All of us have a vice and things that we cannot live without like excercise, sex, alcohol, sleep, etc. Well this week we got a band from Chicago, IL that calls themselves Voice Of Addiction. This trio made up of Ian, Jeff, and Andy are three serious musicians that are keeping the punk scene alive in Chicago & beyond. It is a perfect week to have VOA here as they just released a new single, “September Remembered” via their Myspace page. Join us as we talk with Ian about Chicago, addictions, free music, and so much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and what are your plans for the day?
VOA: I am home in Chicago working on my computers. I just finished my lessons for the day and am catching up on my emails. Promotions and bookings for the next few hours.
Stoli: How did the three of you meet and begin to play music?
VOA: Jeff and I met back in middle school when he moved to northeast Ohio. We startedplaying music together right away and haven’t stopped to this day. He moved out to Chicago 10 years ago and convinced me to shortly follow. Voice Of Addiction started form the jam sessions in our first house in the city. One of our other roommates, Rob Mann, became our first drummer. The band has been around about six years now. On Feb 20th 2009 our current drummer Andy Petty played his first show. We did 100 in 2009 and have kept this momentum into 2010.
Stoli: What made you decide to call the band Voice Of Addiction?
VOA: Our original name we had to change, there was too many other bands with the same name. We thought about it for months. Jeff finally recommended Voice Of Addiction. It was actually the name of a song we used to play at the time. It clicked right away. The bands ideology can be derived directly from the band name as well. We believe everyone is addicted to at least something to vary degrees. Its not just the usual; culprits “sex, drugs and rock n roll” (fun as they may be)but Soda pop, Mcdonalds, Money, Power, Religion, the list could go on and on. We want to bring these things to the table of discussion.
Stoli: I love your agressive but yet melodic sound. Would you say that your music reflects your personalities in real life as well?
VOA: For sure. I have always had the punk and hardcore background. But we all have Formal Training. That opened me up to a lot of different styles, because we had to learn everything. This is what makes it hard to briefly describe the band. I usually say we are a rock band with progressive and ska breakdowns, held together by the punk rock attitude.
Stoli: Coming up who are some punk bands that you respected and looked up to?
VOA: Minor threat, Bad Religion, Dead Milkmen, Youth Brigade, Swinging Utters, Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Exploited, Subhumans, Crass, once again I could go on forever those are the first that popped into my head.
Stoli: What does the Chicago music scene offer you guys in regards to playing in front of music fans and what venues do you like to play?
VOA: Chicago is one of my favorite scenes in the country. I initially moved here for music school, but I am still impressed all these years later at the opportunities. As far as for the band we have played almost every venue two or three times at least in the six plus years we have consistently been playing the city. For over a year we have been hosting a Punk Rock Night which is a free admission 4 band show on saturdays. Bringing in the best in local, regional and national talent. We have also become one of the go to bands for benefits and other community events in Chicago.
Stoli: On your site I noticed you offer all songs on the audio player as an MP3. At your stage is it more important to get your music heard than getting purchased?
VOA: What I have found and what we are doing is offering a free mp3 version of the song from our websites. I figure if they want to get it for free they will find it one way or another on the internet. However, for a uncompressed higher quality format of the song, they would have to purchase the album, and also our lyrics and award winning artwork are included. (“A New Religion” album artwork received best design of the year in Graphic Design Magazine out of 10,000 applicants.) But we are primarily a live band. This is how we survive. We sell a majority of our merch at our shows, but also in our store at VoiceOfAddiction.com
Stoli: I love the song, “Right Now.” What is the meaning behind that song?
VOA: It is a rally cry sort of song. It is about the less then 1 percent of the population, the filthy rich, the scum the cares more about money then ethics or people. And one of my underlying themes that we are a lot more dangerous then we believe. By working together and cooperation mountains can be achieved.
Stoli: I have always seen a huge connect between hip hop & punk in its manner to speak for the masses. What are your thoughts on that theory?
VOA: I believe that they are both urban and more modern forms of folk music. Which by definition is about “the traditions, customs, and superstitions of the uncultured classes.” Both raw artforms. And both are political in nature. I may not be the biggest hip hop fan, but I support anything positive, and that helps better my community or the surrounding global community.
Stoli: How long have you been writing ‘re-Evolution’ and where did you record the album?
VOA: Those songs were written in a little over six month period. We went to Engine Studios in Chicago because they had the largest live room for the drums. We wanted an enormous sound on the kit. We Put the drums and bass onto 1 1/2 inch tape there. We tracked the guitars and vocals at Stranded on a Planet in Chicago and also mixed and mastered it here. Scott Fritz produced this album.
Stoli: Where can fans new & old pick up or download a copy of the album?
VOA: You can get it from our store at VoiceOfAddiction.com or we have distrobution through Hell City Records and through Interpunk.com
Voice Of Addiction “The Walls” MP3:
Stoli: If you guys are the Voice of Addiction, what is your own personal life addictions and are all addictions bad?
VOA: Coffee, alcohol, smoking, travelling, music. I think that any addiction that can be used in moderation is completely fine. it once others are affected and you lose control that the addictions turn bad. It is important to know you limits and weaknesses as well as your assets and strengths.
Stoli: What is coming up for VOA and where can readers follow you guys?
VOA: May 29th we re-issued our last two albums “re-Evolution” and “A New Religion” in a double album cd. We will be running sales on these all summer long. In between our busy touring schedule we are working with our producer and Stranded on a Planet on our new full length album. An extensive tour will be planned for this. V.o.A. is a busy band and always on the road check out our sites and join our mailing lists to keep up to date.