Admittedly, I was taken aback upon my first foray into 1,000 Miles of Mud, the recently released full length from Pittsburgh’s Night Vapor. The reason is simple: this is noise rock and I’m a rabid fan of noise rock. Here’s the kicker: on first blush it seems haphazardly chaotic and sludgy but deeper investigation unraveled an album’s worth of off-kilter and damn FINE compositions. This album takes so many different roads it’s nearly absurd how much it grows on you and how quickly it happens. We recently had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions so keep reading to see what they had to say and hit those links to support them by buying a copy. Trust me, you need this after the glut of eoy lists and too much holiday cheer.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
I started playing piano at age 7. I got really into writing music when I received a Fender Stratocaster on my 16th birthday and a 4-track tape recorder shortly thereafter. I’m a person of modest ambitions and I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We recently played a show at a parking garage, but it ended up being totally awesome, so I’m not sure if that counts. In general, debasement is a core part of our aesthetic, so we aren’t easily embarrassed.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
I love how easy it is to find exactly your favorite kind of metal played at a very high level these days. I also like that we are in a phase where solid musicianship is valued again. If I have one over-arching critique it’s that many current metal bands place too much emphasis on professionalism. Almost no one is making a living off of metal now, so why present the band like it’s a corporation?
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
I don’t want to speak too much for Albert, who is our singer and lyricist, but I like to think that we are plugged into a frank conversation about the relationship between day-to-day existence and mental health. Many of our songs deal with difficult subjects like hopelessness and self-destruction in a matter-of-fact, sometimes tongue-in-cheek way.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My dad got me into Rush and Nirvana when I was an adolescent. I realize these aren’t capital M metal bands, but they were important jumping off points for me. My friends exposing me to Primus later in high school was also a big deal for me. I learned about weird heavy bands like Sigh and The Flying Luttenbachers from a video-game message board during that same time frame. My parents are visual artists and have always been totally supportive of my various musical endeavors.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
I don’t know if it’s great career advice for an aspiring writer, but I think more time spent on lesser known bands would be to the benefit of curious listeners and adventurous musicians.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
My hope is to get Night Vapor’s songs into the ears of as many sympathetic misfits as possible. I have no interest in world domination. That seems like a lot of responsibility for one band. I earn a living as a college music teacher. When I’m not making music I enjoy playing video games, especially “bullet hell” vertically-scrolling-shooters as of late.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?
A handful of recentish albums I think are great: Koenji Hyakkei – “Dhorimviskha,” Overcalc – “Meaningless Terrain,” Krallice – “Go Be Forgotten,” Weasel Walter – “Skhiizm,” LeftyFish – “Hello Kittie’s Spank,” Mercury Tree + Cryptic Ruse – “Cryptic Tree,” Bisbaye – “Synkronyk.”
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Our second full length “1,000 Miles of Mud” will be released by Corpse Flower Records on vinyl and digital download in mid-December. We’ll do a release show in Pittsburgh in January. Beyond that, stay tuned!
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Night Vapor for their time!