Photo cred for VV1 – David Castillo
This Goes To 11 is a new column hosted by Mark Dalbeth. Mark was born in New Zealand and now lives in Los Angeles, and would be better known in Australia as having been part of the band Bellusira. Following his dreams, Mark moved to LA and has been working on Rav Medic plus an exciting new project he has in the works. As a performer, Mark has been the subject of many interviews and as a result of often being asked the same generic questions himself, has come on board with HEAVY and plans to conduct interviews with an edge.
No bullshit questions, no boring anecdotes and definitely no soft edges, This Goes To 11 is a column where the musician finally gets to turn the tables with hard-hitting questions you won’t hear anywhere else.
This week Mark nails down L.A’s Void Vator.
Mark: Let’s cut straight to it! Your biggest fear right now with the music industry?
V.V: The Music Industry is at rock bottom. What remains of the Music Industry is a small handful of uninspired dead people who play it safe, and run things into the ground. There is no real music industry anymore. Almost everything is basically DIY.
I hope a new generation of creative entrepreneurs come along who see the value in music. The behind the scenes players are an important piece of the puzzle. To make a substantial splash, any industry needs smart creative people who invest real time and energy to create something big with the raw talent that exists. Marketing music is much harder than creating it. You could have the greatest band in the fucking world. Big deal. What do you do with that? That’s the real work.
Everything needs to start over from the ground up. The current establishment is run by lame pieces of shit who don’t even care about music, much less new music. They need to GTFO.
Why do you think Rock Music is always the genre fighting for commercial acceptance?
Most civilians are basic-bitch pieces of shit that exist to pay taxes, watch friends on tv, and die a slow boring life. It’s hard to appeal to losers like that. Kids actually like rock music when they hear it. It’s just hard to get it out to them.
I feel bad for kids because they’re so indoctrinated, sheltered, and brainwashed from birth. Kids might hear a Beatles song or some Led Zeppelin song on a 30-second commercial they skip after 5 seconds, but they’re pummeled with the worst pop and hip-hop music 24/7 a day. What a horrible life. Its why kids turn out so weak, soft, and confused.
Was there a moment in your career that you thought about throwing it all in?
I‘ve managed to stay on the path through focus and luck. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a wife, and I always stay active. Once you let the roots of civ life take over, they’re next to impossible to break free from. I’ve had some good runs that have kept me inspired (not just on the shitter). Even though everything I’ve ever done has fallen apart and failed, I always found the will to pick myself back up by the bootstraps and keep moving.
Fortunately for me, even though all the bullshit and misstep’s, I ended up finding Void Vator. It’s all about going with the flow. I think the Metal Gods are looking out for me.
If I truly felt I was wasting my time, I’d call it a day. Being in a band is one of the hardest things to do in the world. I could’ve had 5 PhDs in the time and money I’ve invested in doing this for the past hundred years or whatever it’s been. If you’re going to be in a band in 2020, you better fucking love it or GTFO like most people do.
What is your typical writing process?
It’s all about playing. The more I play, the more something will fall out the sky that’s good, and I’ll record it. Home recording is key. I’m pretty good at making demos. I can program drums, I can lay down the bass and guitars, and lay down vocals too. I can create whole songs or complete riffs to present to the band. Being able to make decent demos is important. Demo’s make writing efficient and quick if you’re working with competent people.
We trade ideas back and forth over the internet. Then we jam them organically and rework, rewrite, re-arrange the songs to feel right. A song goes back and forth from demo to playing live constantly. We usually work on 2-3 songs at a time. If one song hits a brick wall, we switch the focus to another.
It’s a beautiful process. It’s not all in the rehearsal studio like the old days, and it’s not all alone behind a laptop being a sterile YouTube musician. It’s the best of both worlds, and we got it down.
Fortunately, everyone in the band is quick to learn and improvise on the spot. Time is our most finite resource. We have to live these boring civ life’s during the day – (ew, gross) and then go to rehearsal for the few hours that our lives mean something.
Is there still value in printing CD’s or do you believe the digital world has taken over completely now?
There is absolutely value in pressing physical. People buy and collect physical merchandise. I have a side gig at an eBay music resale shop on the side, and sales are through the roof. It’s necessary to create quality collectable items. You have to put thought and effort into creating something worthwhile. It’s crazy, but you can’t just crank out a cheap piece of crap, and it helps if you don’t suck. Music fans spend large amounts of money and collect music, they’re just not civilians. If you don’t sell CDs and Vinyl, you’re fucking retarded.
Are you prepared to sacrifice money and comfort in order to progress your career?
That’s the only way it works. I wonder if any of these big bands from back in the day could operate on the shoestring budgets, we work with and keep it together when they were coming up. If you have a sweet civilian life, you’re probably not going to put up with what you need to do to be in a good band. It’s not going to make any sense to hustle when you can just show up someplace locally 5 days a week and collect a fat paycheck for something you don’t even give a shit about and live like a king. Most civilians make more money than any musician ever will and that’s a fact jack.
Can you see modern Rock music returning to (commercial) radio in the near future?
It easily could. It’s just that the shit bag losers in charge of the radio platform would rather throw a playlist from 1994 on loop and collect easy advertising money. Anybody could beat these stale rock playlists if they wanted to. It just takes money and someone who wants to do it.
It’s sad that there are no decent rock radio stations, but that’s by design. A handful of boring civs are in charge of all radio for some reason. Radio could be a cool platform again. Elon Musk should buy some radio stations and fuck shit up. That would be sweet.
Was Lars Ulrich right?
100% right and everyone knows it.
Has Rock Music become too safe?
Everyone still does drugs and fucks and what have you. That’s not a big deal anymore. Your average civ is popping pills, banging randos on dating apps, and spreading their cooch daily on their OnlyFans page for money. That’s normal.
I think it’s weak that musicians bend the knee to this PC SJW Cancel culture bullshit. The modern-day PMRC are the SJWs that will gang up and cancel you in if you don’t sing their narrative. Fuck those people, be yourself, say some shit, and if they don’t like it – good.
Do you think it’s important to play in multiple projects or solely focus your attention into one?
I think being in too many bands always fucks things up, but by all means, go ahead and do you.
What have you got going on or coming up that we should know about?
We have a new album coming out called GREAT FEAR RISING in 2021. Get our albums STRANDED and DEHUMANIZED on our Bandcamp page. bandcamp
Watch “No Return” from Void Vator below: