Vision of Disorder, or VOD as they’re more affectionately known, tend to get lumped too easily into the hardcore genus. However it was their blending of progressive and metal elements that separated them from the pack in the mid 90s. While they amassed a devout cult following during this period, there was still a contingent that wasn’t quite catching on to the band’s left of centre tendencies which was an inhibition to the growth of their fan-base.
As if living up to the phrase ‘Ahead of their time’, the popularity of the band increased in hardcore circles whilst vocalist Tim Williams and guitarist Mike Kennedy had formed Bloodsimple, long after the split of VOD in 2002. Williams elaborates on the spark that helped reignite VOD.
“When VOD was around everybody liked it and we had a good time” starts Williams, in his thick New York accent, “then we broke up and it took three years to get Bloodsimple going. Bloodsimple started doing all the big festivals and people were always coming up to me, ‘When are you doing another VOD record? Come on we’re all waiting’ and I was like ‘What the f**k? Where were you people back then?’ Imprint bred some weird status that everyone really respected. When we recorded that record, people didn’t like it at first, they thought it was too weird. When we played a couple of [reunion] shows the kids went so crazy, then there people saying they really wanted to hear another record. By then Bloodsimple was done so we said ‘F**k it lets make a record.’”
Reunion tours have been commonplace over the past decade, with fans being fortunate to see the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and many more return to the stage. The common criticism to this is usually from people accusing them of getting back together to collect a pay cheque from their previously established success. While VOD accumulated popularity and a measure of success in their heyday, their relationship with the music industry provided little motivation for their return.
“In the middle of 2000 we’d been going pretty hard for almost seven years. We were out supporting the From Bliss to Devastation record and while going into that record deal we were promised the world, and we thought ‘Yeah everything is lining up really well. They’re actually going to give us what they say’ and long story short they gave us nothing, they f**ked us over. We really put our life on the line. We did a record that we thought was great, we thought the label was going to get behind, get it out there and they just did nothing. Between that, the trade centre coming down and us being on the road for so long with each other, we were just like f**k this I can’t even be in the same room with you right now. We just got fed up”
No one is going to be quick to accuse VOD of reforming for the sake of a quick buck, especially when considering the success that Williams and Kennedy attracted with Bloodsimple. Just ask Williams how important his craft is and you won’t second-guess his motivation.
“I do music for a lot of reasons,” says Williams “I do it for creative reasons; I think it’s healthy for me, I do it almost like a personal therapy, it really helps me vent me frustration and anger. After Bloodsimple I had that void, I took a couple of months off music. Guys were always egging me on like ‘come on lets jam’ and those guys coaxed me back in.”
VOD tested the waters with a three-song mini set during a Bloodsimple show, which was met with a more than favourable result. This eventuated in their first full reunion show, which took place at Manhattan’s Super Bowl of Hardcore in 2006. Over the coming years, with only smatterings of shows occurring, it wasn’t until the end of 2008 that VOD finally announced they had reunited for good with the intention of releasing a new album. Williams gives us a taste of what fans can expect at the upcoming Soundwave festival.
“We wouldn’t do the disservice of doing the greatest hits, we’re going to mix it up real good” assures Williams “We’ll probably do a few new ones and a few classics, pack as many songs in to one set. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Soundwave and the times I have played Australia it’s been cool, so it’ll be cool but way bigger.”
In 2012 Vision of Disorder released ‘The Cursed Remain Cursed’ and fans couldn’t be happier as the band returned to their roots. With the band back on track, one must ask what is going to keep VOD from joining the ranks of reformed bands that have fallen victim to history repeating itself.
“[We’re] not making any rash decisions and we’re keeping our eyes and ears open on the business end. We were pretty thorough in the record deal we signed. We were offered a bunch of different deals and we took the one that was best for the band. I wouldn’t say we were stupid, but we were very young and naïve when VOD was big and we don’t intend to make mistakes like that again.”