Exclusive Interview: Vitalivour talk writing and recording “Part One”!

The second part of our classic creature double feature of interviews returns to Vitalivour mastermind and multi instrumentalist Joshua Bowden for a trip down the yellow brick road that is memory lane about writing and recording debut EP “Part One“. A Death Metal EP with plenty of favour, it maybe his first solo endeavour but there are ambitious plans afoot to conquer the World with a Death Metal brew that infuses other genres including both Groove and Doom stylings…

How did your previous experiences writing and recording help to smooth the path of the new record? “I have been blessed by the Gods to grow up in a music loving family, with a dad who writes and records music as a hobby. In my late-teens and early adulthood, I spent a lot of time making poor-quality recordings until I could get a decent demo out of my efforts at home. I believe this has been a tremendous help when I work with a professional studio engineer because while I can’t do what they do nearly as well as them, it makes communication MUCH easier”

How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article? “Riffs and melodies tend to materialize in my mind first. They quickly become fully-structured segments with guitars, drums, bass, and sometimes even vocal cadences (precise lyrics usually come much later in the process). At the same time, I also have themes and song subjects already planned out. I already know what messages I want to send and the stories I want to tell. The challenge is piecing together riffs and melodies that come to me separately. It’s like getting a box full of puzzle pieces for different songs, some of which are incomplete. I very rarely force anything. I will allow a riff to sit for years if I haven’t yet found something for it to flow into. Gotta find the right pieces! I think it is a common experience we all have at some point, trying to force puzzle pieces together. It just doesn’t work”

What was it like working with [your dad?] Dennis Bowden on “Become“? How did him adding a solo to the track come about? “My dad is a guitar wizard haha I love workin with him. We also have written several songs together with my brother, Craig, so I knew long before I recorded “Become” that I would want my dad to play a lead on at least one Vitalivour song. I also have plans to put my brother on a song or two (he plays the bass). When “Become” was about ready for post-production, I decided THAT is the song for my dad and sent it to him, requesting he write a lead to end the song. A few days later, he sent me the final lead you hear on the EP today. The man is a wizard, I says! He knows me and my queues very well and he knew exactly what the song needed without any discussion”

If you had the opportunity to work with a guest in the studio next time around, who would you like to work with and why? “If I could, I would work with Mario Duplantier of Gojira haha it’s always nice to dream right? By far, he is my favourite drummer of all time and it would be a dream-come-true to jam with him”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “I use a Schecter C-7 Hellraiser with Schecter’s passive Brimstone pickups. When I am just jamming and writing, I plug into a MXR Fullbore Metal pedal and play through a Peavey Bandit 112. When recording, I do direct-in with my Focusrite Scarlett interface, using Ampire and StudioOne to perfect my guitar tone. I dont know what the wizard at Aggressive Audio does past that point, but he makes the tone come through a bit cleaner and sharper while maintaining its oomph. At the studio, I am playing on a Mapex kit with Zildjian cymbals, a 6.5″ by 14″ Gretsch brass snare, and I use Pearl Demondrive kick pedals. The bass I used is an LTD 5 string, also recorded direct-in”

What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “It would mean the world. I am a HUGE fan of Schecter guitars and basses, Tama drums, and Ernie Ball strings, juss saying haha” 

Part One” by Vitalivour is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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