Six Questions With Of Virtue
Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is Michigan-based indie metalcore band Of Virtue. We have NOT had the privilege of featuring Of Virtue here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with them, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
This interview is with Damon from Of Virtue:
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
Of Virtue is based out of Lansing, MI USA. Mike (guitar) and I started this band in the fall of 2008/early 2009 when our old band The Passion Within dissolved. The original line up of the band was our old vocalist Nick, my friend Shon on drums and a mutual friend Kyle who played guitar in a local band called From Under The Gallows. After the first year, Kyle was replaced by Jon (bass) whom we have known for years prior, as we had played shows with his bands. Ryan (drums) came on board in 2013 when Shon quit and Tyler (vocals) is the newest replacement for Nick when he departed shortly after the release of Salvation in 2015. We would describe ourselves as a melodic/atmospheric metal band.
As an artist, how do you define success?
Success is being able to play shows and see people singing along with your lyrics, jumping up and down and just enjoying themselves with you as the backdrop. It is also late at night when someone reaches out to you and says that your songs helped them through a specific period in their lives and if not for that then who knows what would have happened. We were fortunate to do our first European tour earlier this year and we went into the trip with no expectations. We came home having met some of the greatest supporters and new friendly faces that most of us didn’t know existed, Those are some of the ways we as a band define what it means to have “success” doing what we do.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
One of the biggest challenges in the musical climate today is staying relevant to your average listener and staying on top of social media. Every day, there is a flurry of new releases/songs/bands in general that are all competing for the same pieces of the pie and standing out can be a fairly daunting task. If you do not have the right content or not enough of it, you can become a flash in the pan and lose any momentum that touring, releases or anything you make public has done for you to that point.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
That is a hard one! I would say “Ghost Town” because that song was a turning point for where our band is heading and embodies everything we want to become. If I had to choose an old song, “So Nearly Free” would be the choice. The story is portrayed in the lyrics along with the more somber backdrop makes that one of my favorite songs to play in any set.
Who do you consider your greatest influences?
Collectively, some bands that have greatly influenced us over the years are bands like Thrice, Misery Signals, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Story Of The Year, just to name a few. For myself, artists like Michael Jackson, Sade, Biggie, Nas, Metallica and a host of others have all impacted how I few music and what I do with my creative process within the band. All of us have varying musical backgrounds so our tastes/influence go well beyond just metal/rock music.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
Life, in general, is something that contributes heavily to the content we as a band creates. All of us have been through many hard times and have done our best to channel those frustrations into a positive outlet that the listener can connect with. Along with personal experience, our culture and our worldviews on various topics provide content creation as well. Some of the best art is made when our world is seemingly in disarray and people take that and turn it into something we can better understand or something that provides an escape.