Why Vektor are taking trash into the final frontier
"Sci-fi and thrash are our two favourite things!"
Heavy metal and science fiction go together like Donald Trump and ignorant horseshit. Given how many of us are huge fans of sci-fi comics, movies and literature, it seems inevitable that Vektor will conquer metal. With a sound as vicious and inventive as anything the thrash scene has conjured since its mid-80s heyday, and a thematic devotion to wild and vivid visions of a turbulent, hypertechnological future, the US quartet are ticking some essential boxes with a flourish. For guitarist, frontman and chief songwriter David DiSanto, bringing heavy music and sci-fi together has been a lifelong labour of love.
“Really early in life, my dad used to let me watch a lot of movies that most people wouldn’t let their children watch!” he laughs. “I was maybe four or five years old and I saw La Planète Sauvage, or Fantastic Planet in English, and it was this cool, early 70s animated film. It’s super weird. Then there was The Thing, the original version. Those were probably my two favourites when I was a kid. My dad was into horror and sci-fi movies and stuff, and he passed that on to me from a very young age. He’s also hugely into Zeppelin and Hendrix and he always had guitars lying around the house. I’d pick ’em up from time to time. So I had a cool dad and I still have a cool dad! He’s actually our number one fan and listens to our albums in his truck every day.”
On their first two records, 2009’s Black Future and 2011’s Outer Isolation, Vektor combined the furious, spiky thrash of Destruction with Voivod’s sci-fi themes and structural quirks. For latest album Terminal Redux, the gloves areoff and the safety net has been torched. Anintricate concept piece that brings to life astory that David has been tinkering with for four years or more, it draws on the conceptual opulence of prog bands like Rush and Pink Floyd, boldly going where no thrash metal has gone before.
“This one is pretty deep,” he nods. “It’s areally big idea. There’s been a line from the Rush album, Hemispheres [released in 1978], that’s been echoing in my head for 15 years now… ‘We will call you Cygnus, the god of balance you shall be…’ I was always in love with that concept of bringing balance to nature and everything, so four or five years ago, the gears started turning to write this concept album. I did a lot of research on the myths and legends behind Cygnus, in a historical sense and in an astrological sense, and came up with all these big ideas, like wanting to bring balance to this huge space regime that was already in place – and called Cygnus – and the concept really plays around with the idea of humans being the masters of life and death and what the repercussions and the ethics of that are. Itexplores our role in the universe. Even though the album’s almost 75 minutes long, it was hard for me to jam everything in there.” From its multifarious narrative to its stunning artwork, Terminal Redux may appear to have been designed specifically to delight metal’s nerd contingent, but thanks to the way that Vektor also offer a truly expansive vision of what heavy music can be in 2016, their audience has already begun to stretch beyond the usual underground factions. That said Vektor definitely do attract a lot of nerds.