Exclusive Interview: Veil Of The Serpent talk “Galley Of Sin”!

Originally conceived in 2020 by guitarist and engineer Gene and his son, drummer Felix (who now manages the group), the pair found American vocalist and lyricist JD Stafford a year later and together forged their evil plans as they began their journey down the left hand path as Veil Of The Serpent. For their debut EP “Gallery Of Sin” they chose to create a concept EP, a classic Halloween Horror tale, which tells of a detective hunting down a serial killer that makes paintings using the blood of his victims…

How have you found the reaction to the five singles “When Fear Becomes The Law“, “Into The Moon“, “Enter The Culling“, “Dark Saga” and “The Scarred“ that you released prior to the debut EP “Gallery Of Sin”? Have you found it has helped shape the sound based on what people have liked or have you stuck firmly to your vision?

Gene: “The reactions to the first songs were overwhelming for us. We had so much good feedback. We knew to create Veil Of The Serpent was the right thing and of course, something like this is extremely motivating”

JD Stafford: “I’ve been really pleased with the positive reaction we have received. I’m still experimenting and figuring out what my individual style is, so it’s been encouraging to receive such consistent support”

How did you go about finding JD Stafford as a vocalist for Veil Of The Serpent? Was the logistics thing of him being based in the US and the other two of you being based in Germany ever considered as an issue?

Gene: “The internet and social media have made it easier to find people who can play music. We knew we would release Dark Saga first and were looking for someone who would go well with this type of music. And what can I say, he was the one who blew us away. The logistics of him being based in the US and Felix and me being based in Germany was never considered an issue”

JD Stafford: “I feel like the recording process is pretty seamless, but I would love to do live shows. It would be great to develop that on-stage chemistry with the rest of the guys”

What’s it like working together as a father and son in a project like this? How does the relationship affect the dynamic?

Gene: “As a father, it’s really cool to do with your son exactly what you’ve been doing for over 30 years – metal! Felix has always had something to do with metal, since he was a child. For example, I don’t know of a bigger Iron Maiden fan than him. I played in a few bands but Veil Of The Serpent is the thing I always wanted to do. We mostly follow the same idea, but Felix sets the tone, which is completely ok. It’s nice to get challenged again haha”

The style of the “Gallery Of Sin” is infused with 80’s nostalgia for Traditional and Thrash Metal. Who would you say were your biggest influences?

JD Stafford: “On the vocals side, I would say that Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Matt Barlow (Iced Earth) had notable influence”

Gene: “Iced Earth are definitely our biggest influence. Apart from that we are musically very open and also hear everything from all over the world. Since I grew up in the late 80s early 90s, German heavy metal and thrash is deeply rooted in me, which you can certainly hear here and there”

The haunting leads in “The End And The Beginning” really stand out as something you might hear on a film score. If you were approached to record music for a movie, would that be something that you’d be interested in?

JD Stafford: “Absolutely. I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted the EP to be about, but I had a lot of different possible endings and tangents to choose from. In order to arrange my thoughts, I visualized the overall story as a movie in three parts and then organized all the plot points into a cohesive idea. The actual lyrics came last. I’m glad that my intention for it to feel like a film came through”

Gene: “Something like that is of course always an incentive. And here and there I even try to bring something like that into our songs”

The EP feels like the beginning of something so much bigger, so what’s next for Veil Of The Serpent?

Gene: “Definitely a lot of new music haha”

JD Stafford: “I really want to put out a full album sometime in the near future. Whenever I drive, I grab a CD from my binder and listen to it start to finish. A lot of passion and devotion goes in to creating an album. From picking the songs to creating a fluid song order to all other facets of the musical creation process, an album is the best way to create a complete picture of the bands’ intentions in my opinion”

Gallery Of Sin” by Veil Of The Serpent is out now and available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *