I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Mike Fleischmann, bassist for the New York-based hardcore/metal bruisers, Vision Of Disorder. The band, long considered pioneers in the early metalcore scene, are hot of the re-release of their EP Still, and currently in the process of writing for a new record due out sometime in 2015. Here is how the conversation went.
As a Long Island boy myself, I was onboard with Vision Of Disorder from the beginning, and it is hard to believe next year you guys will be celebrating 20 years as a band. Did you ever imagine you would still be going at it?
Fleischmann: It’s not something we ever talked about back then. I joined this band when I was 18 and you don’t want to even think about yourself approaching 40 when you are that age. You would never want to be in a band that your parents would listen to. Now, we are parents and our fans have kids and it’s the coolest thing in the world that we are still doing this.
Is there any talk or are there any plans to release any new VOD material?
Fleischmann: Yes, we are about 13 songs into writing our new record. It will be out on Candlelight Records (once again), hopefully this Summer.
What was the catalyst behind re-releasing your original EP Still?
Fleischmann: Still has never been available “legally” online, so obviously we wanted it out on iTunes etc. Still was originally released on 7″ vinyl only. There seems to be a demand once again for vinyl. Kevin Gill (who originally released Still on SFT records) approached us about putting it out on his new label, Dignified Bastard, and with the 20th anniversary approaching; it was a no-brainer.
You guys are credited as being innovators of the post-hardcore (*editor’s note: not the genre post-hardcore, but all relevant genres after hardcore) scene, especially the NY scene. How do you think the scene progressed and are there any newer bands that you find yourself grooving on?
Fleischmann: It’s probably just that we are getting old, but the scene seemed to become congested with bands all playing very similar music. Back in our day, bands were much more diverse and you could see them all playing together for less than the cost of a beer on a Sunday afternoon. We dig the band Code Orange – they seem to be doing their own thing.
Do you have any touring plans in support of the record?
Fleischmann: No touring plans until the Summer.
Check out the song “Hard Times”
Was there a definitive moment when you realized you wanted to pursue a career in the music business, or did it just sort of happen?
Fleischmann: All of us in this band dreamed of becoming full-time musicians. We wanted to be like Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura, and Faith No More. We all put our lives on hold to pursue the band and had a blast.
What would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Fleischmann: It’s hard to surprise people with iPod selections nowadays. People are much more tolerant of allowing others to have guilty pleasures and enjoy crappy songs here and there. I have 2 daughters so I have a lot of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, etc. I guess “Morton Downey Jr. Sings” would be the most surprising selection.
Favorite childhood musical memory?
Fleischmann: I have 2 older brothers that listen to metal and one day when I was in 1st grade my mom took us to the record store. They liked AC/DC, my oldest brother had “Back in Black,” my middle brother had “For Those About to Rock,” so I bought “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” We got home, I put it on and my brothers were like “who is this singer?” (Bon Scott) and then we decided, it must have been what Brian Johnson sounded like when he was younger.
What is next for you?
Fleischmann: We start recording the new album in March! So until then it’s writing, writing, writing!