Vrain is the ring leader of Vertex Records and Night Terrors. Though slowly growing and gaining an audience with the attention of the underground dark electronic and industrial scene, both project grew out of nothing but self-ignited passion. With Night Terrors already gaining positive reception on the website as well as myself having a keen interest in Vertex's releases, we talked with Vrain regarding both the label and the band about their past, present, and future.
Alright, thank you for joining us! For those readers who are not familiar with your label or personal project yet, let’s get some key information. Who and what are Vertex Records and Night Terrors, and who is involved in this record label and project?
Vrain: Vertex is an electronic netlabel and collective, ran by myself, based on the idea of giving a platform to music I find fun, with a focus on underground EBM, vaporwave, and other such genres, based upon one ideal: “Imminentize Electronic Eschaton”.
As for Night Terrors, of which I am a part of, we are a three-piece electronic band, taking influences from electro-industrial, vaporwave, deconstructed club music, and Japanese pop, and twisting all of those genres and ideas into atmospheric EBM and dark electronic. We have Aleph 0, who writes and performs vocals as well as writes some of the music, M.D.Geist, who does keyboards and synthetic embellishments, and myself, Vrain. I write the 90% of the songs (structurally, that is), and do the main electronic execution.
Getting to know your music tastes next. What are your top five favorite albums of all time?
Vrain: That’s a pretty big question, haha. In no particular order, here are some off the top of my head: "Deathconsciousness" by Have a Nice Life, "Mind Slaughter" by Zex Model, "The World That Summer" by Death in June, "Because I'm Young, Arrogant, And Hate Everything You Stand For" by Machine Girl, "The Ape of Naples" by Coil, and "Garden of Delete" by Oneohtrix Point Never".
And as for newer music that’s always in heavy rotation for me: "For All Time" by Lady's Only, "Chinese Nu Yr" by Igloohost, "Acid Arcadia" by Vaperror, "Product" by Sophie, and "Electra-Violet.FM" by Yangire".
We are going to start with Night Terrors as this is where the journey began. When did Night Terrors start and what was your major influence when starting the project?
Vrain: It’s kind of a funny story. Aleph and I were acquaintances in high school who didn’t really know each other. Then, about a year later, I was at a Skinny Puppy concert, and him and I noticed each other in a crowd and were like “WOAH, you like this kinda stuff too?”, and hit it off. We bonded over other industrial-type stuff, and because I had been working on some of my own music, I asked him if he wanted to start a band.
Geist and I have known each other since we were really young. Aleph and I were at a Shining concert, and after years of not seeing Geist, we met again, and that’s when Night Terrors became Night Terrors.
Originally, we had the idea of being a synthpunk/synthpop band, similar to High-Functioning Flesh or other such bands, but the template of Electro-Industrial seemed to be a much better fit, seeing as we were collectively into bands like GGFH and the Thrill Kill Kult, as well as shared interest in black metal, anime, and all that stuff, and we kinda just wanted to make something that shared all of our visions, something dark, neon, somber, and yet 100% fun.
Though you have only been active for three years, you’ve had two albums out already as well as several singles. This makes you one bust individual. Out of everything you’ve released so far, what is your favorite album/EP to date and why?
Vrain: Well, we’ve only had one album out so far, "Now,here" (not to be a Neil Degrasse Tyson or anything), whereas "Bodyslave" is more of a document of our trippy, wet, experimental songwriting and jamming process. I would have to go with "3 x 3 – 4 x 4", our second EP, simply due to the story behind it. We were a few hours away from performing at Verboden a couple years ago, and realized we had barely any merch. So, we quickly burned some songs onto some CDs, made cover art in fifteen minutes, got some quick prints, and that was it, ten copies of our second EP, including a random synth jam, and a remade version of our first recorded song, 'Headwalking'. That same night, we played outside the US for the first time, met some new friends (including the guys who run Collapsed Structures, the label we are currently under, what a great crowd). Therefore, "3 x 3 – 4 x 4" will always
have some sentimental value, and while it’s somewhat underdone by our current standards, it was a lot of fun to make.
For 2019 you have released a collection of outtakes, demos, and other such things on “Overman”. Do you have anything else planned for Night Terrors in 2019? Any other singles, Eps, or remixes?
Vrain: We mostly intend on playing a few shows over the summer, as well as some physical copy reissues of older material, and a live album while we finish up our upcoming second album, tentatively titled “Z E N I T H”. It’s quite far along actually, writing wise, and will be somewhat different than our older material, taking more influence from Vaporwave, Techno EBM, and Digital Hardcore.
And let’s move onto Vertex Records and its history. Was the label originally released just for Night Terrors releases? Or did you start it with the goal of publishing others’ works from the get go?
Vrain: Vertex started out as an idea to start a full-fledged record label for various types of industrial music, however, after some thought, it became my small passion project, a way for me to ensure that the music my friends and I enjoy is out there and accessible to anyone else who may enjoy the same varieties of fun, dark, electronic music.
The first release, the Night Terrors / Chrome Corpse split (which I mention there will be a new physical copy of soon) was somewhat of a test, to see if people would even bat an eye at Vertex, and the slew of Night Terrors releases afterward were more due to a lack of other signees, haha. However, the label now has tons of new talent, and you can expect to hear even more from all-new bands and artists in the near future, including a solo project from Night Terrors’ very own Aleph.
You do all the artwork for the releases on the label as well. A lot of it seems to be inspired by old school electro-industrial releases. Is this correct? And, either way, what are some of your favorite cover arts in history?
Vrain: Yes, I do, and that is somewhat correct, I am very much influenced by Electro-industrial cover art from the late 80’s and early 90’s, however my primary inspiration for the cover art mainly comes from Vaporwave, specifically the color palette, and the way that various Futurefunk artists will repurpose anime art to fit the theme of their work, which is something I try to emulate with my artwork. Labels such as Dream Catalogue, Business Casual, and plus100 specifically come to mind as inspirations.
As for favorite cover art, some would be "The Ape of Naples" by Coil, "Perfect View" by Lust for Youth, and "Neo Wax Bloom" by Iglooghost, as far as newer music goes, and as for older albums, Tactical Neural Implant, of course, "In the Nightside Eclipse" by Emperor, "The Key" by Nocturnus, "60 Second Wipeout", by Atari Teenage Riot, "Bara No Seidou" by Malice Mizer, "Nada" by Death in June, and "Hole" by Foetus.
And, just as I asked with Night Terrors, what does Vertex have in store for 2019? We have already seen releases from Solitary Heart, Deadly Gear XX, Chrome Corpse, and Lobelian Surgical Society. It seems as if you are spoiling your listeners.
Vrain: A few more new releases, such as the aforementioned Night Terrors solo project, which will be some extremely mind-bending stuff, as well as some hard-hitting new material from Vaporwave/Electro-industrial master Fear730, and as with every year with Vertex, a brand-new compilation, chock full of pulse-pounding electronics. Vertex will also be releasing physical copies of various releases over the summer, and some reissues are in the works, as well as a box set of some of our more “underground material”, all finely wrapped in physical neon glory.
Do you or any of the artists on the label have plans to perform live in 2019? And, if so, do you have any set dates or venues? Will we ever see a Vertex Records Festival?
Vrain: Of course! Night Terrors is working on a tour for the summer, aiming for dates in California, Oregon and Washington at the least, as well as a possible Vertex party sometime late July, though we’ll see about that. As for Chrome Corpse, they are always performing, so of course them too, can’t forget them in the Vertex EBM posse, hell, they basically invented aggrotech. Sushichimera and Deadframe as well, intend on playing some small shows across the US. As for a Vertex Festival, it’s definitely possible, but farther down the road, we’re always growing as a collective, so it only makes sense that someday we’ll have enough performing artists to warrant a festival, haha, not to mention our allied forces in Collapsed Structures!
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time. I do wish you the best and appreciate all that you do on Vertex and with Night Terrors. The space below is for any last words you may have. Cheers!
Vrain: Last words, huh? Scenes are overrated, Industrial music is dead, Vaporwave is the future, and that Vertex is in full support of All-ages shows, because the current industrial scene seems to have a dislike for young artists, ‘cuz we don’t make the same “Industrial” that people heard twenty years ago, so, THINK FORWARD, DISAGREE, DON’T BE ASHAMED, AND IMMINENTIZE ELECTRONIC ESCHATON!
I would say that the most important thing in life and probably our biggest freedom is for people to be themselves. And if a person has the opportunity to express themselves, they shall not hesitate to do that for one second. And it's not a question of doing that in a creative or artistic form of art. So I think that would be my last words. If you can express yourself, DO IT!
Front 242, Jan 01 2003
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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