Artist of the Week

Metal Band Celebrates 20 Years

Posted by Nick Brothers |
VORE Circa 1995

VORE Circa 1995

VORE circa 2014

Staff Report

Considered to be the “godfathers” of the Northwest Arkansas heavy music scene, VORE will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this June. VORE will be performing a special anniversary show at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville on Saturday, June 7.

During the event, VORE will be joined on stage by former original members Glen Wheeler (bass guitar, 1995-2002) and John Voelker (guitar/vocals, 1994-2007) to perform VORE’s 1997 CD Dead Kings Eyes in its entirety.

VORE has been cranking out their unique blend of crushing, doom-laden death metal since 1994. VORE draws upon death, thrash, and traditional metal influences to create an onslaught of titanic power and heaviness. VORE’s mid-paced rhythmic style is built around strong riffs and songcraft rather than all out speed, which sets them apart from current trends in death metal. Over this soundscape, themes of doom, darkness, conquest, and sorcery roar in a savage vocal attack. The music of VORE is relentless, and generates an atmosphere of menace and foreboding.

VORE consists of guitarist/vocalist Page Townsley, drummer Remy Cameron, and bassist Jeremy Partin. The band independently released four self-financed cd’s – Dead Kings Eyes in 1997, Lord of Stormsin 2001, Maleficus in 2005, and their latest opus, Gravehammer, was unleashed in late 2011.

Q & A

Give us a brief history of the band VORE:

VORE began with guitarists/vocalists Page Townsley (me) and John Voelker. John and I had been in a band together previously called Mausoleum from 1989 to 1994. We formed VORE in June 1994 with drummer Brian Marcinkiewicz. We recruited Glen Wheeler for bass in 1995 and recorded a demo tape that year called To Devour. We released the albums Dead Kings Eyes in 1997 and Lord of Storms in 2001. Marcinkiewicz and Wheeler departed the band in 2002 and were replaced by drummer Remy Cameron and bassist Jeremy Partin. We recorded the album Maleficus in 2005. In 2007 Voelker stepped away and in 2011 we recorded our latest album Gravehammer. In 2012 we signed a record contract with renowned German metal label AFM Records and they re-released Gravehammer worldwide in 2012.

What does the name “VORE” mean?

VORE comes from the Latin word vorare which means “To Devour.” Our meaning is that it is the state of the human race which is consuming its resources, orchestrating its own extinction. We also “devour” audiences with our metallic fury!

Tell us about your 20th Anniversary event.

We’re throwing a big 20th Anniversary event at George’s Majestic Lounge on Saturday June 7 at 9 p.m. We’ll be playing a set of our current material and then a set with former members John Voelker and Glen Wheeler where we’ll perform our 1997 Dead Kings Eyes album in its entirety. Our 1995 demo To Devour has been remixed and re-mastered and will be available on cassette in limited quantity at the show. This will be the first time in 18 years that it’s been available. The other bands playing that night are Fayetteville’s Auric, Macrocosm and Charnal from Ft. Smith and Apnea from Springfield, Mo., with whom we’ve been doing shows almost our entire career.

What’s the secret to keeping a band together for 20 years?

It’s necessary to have good chemistry between band members, be passionate, believe in the music and maintain your momentum. Most importantly, you need to be having fun. In that, VORE owes a huge debt to our fans. We wouldn’t still be doing this if it wasn’t for their years of support.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

We’ve learned a lot of things over the last twenty years. I wish we knew then what we know now about recording techniques and the music business! Even after twenty years, we’re still learning!

How has the scene for metal changed in NWA over the last 20 years?

Over the last twenty years, venues have come and gone. Bands have come and gone. Fads have come and gone and people have cycled in and out of the scene. Our heavy music community has had its highs and lows, but what hasn’t changed is that there is a small but devoted group of people that love this kind of music and will come out to support local metal in Northwest Arkansas!

What have been the band’s high points? Low points?

Each new album is a high point for us. Getting signed by AFM Records in 2012 was a peak. Many of the huge shows we’ve done with big bands have been awe-inspiring. Winning the NAMA (North Arkansas Music Awards) “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2009 was heartwarming local recognition. Our lowest point was having our trailer stolen last year. Thankfully, there wasn’t much gear in it.

What’s the future hold for VORE?

We shot a music video out in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N. M., this spring with a director named Joe Bacharka that has worked on films like Marvel’s The Avengers, Cowboys and Aliens and Iron Man 3. He and his crew are in the process of editing and adding the special effects to it. We hope to premier the video this summer. We’re also in the middle of writing our next album. After that is released, the plan is to set up a European tour.

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