Interview with Tommy Vucur from Vanishing Point
Interview by Militia
HailMetal.Com: It`s indeed a rare pleasure to speak with someone other than Chris or Silvio about Vanishing Point. What are you up to at this point in time mate?
Tommy: It`s a pleasure Goran. Just spending as much time as I can with my family, cause things will get really hectic after the album release. Adrian will be coming over to my place in a couple of hours, gonna set up his `fret less` bass for the next rehearsal.
HM: For anyone that isn`t familiar with Vanishing Point can you tell us what type of metal you guys play and what`s your roll in the band?
Tommy: We`re a melodic Metal band with some Progressive vibes thrown in without the cheese [laughs]. We mostly concentrate on melody, emotion and we like to make the songs catchy with memorable choruses. We all have our own specialties in the band. I`m big on melody & production, guitar sounds, bass etc... The roles are all equal in VP. Be it lyrics, music, production ...nothing gets the go ahead unless we all approve first. its a band, not someone`s side project.
HM: Some of the members of VP are off different backgrounds? Can you tell us where everyone`s from?
Tommy: Myself, Adrian & Leonard, Our parents are Croatian. My Dad & Adrian`s Dad are holidaying in Croatia as we speak... Silvio & Christian`s parents are Italian & Chris`s are Polish. We all have the same work ethic, thanks to our parents. All of us are born here & proud. :)
HM: Small world, I am in fact from Bosnia (lived in Croatia too) and Oliver the other HailMetal owner is from Croatia but lived here since early age. Another staffer Ilija or Damien-X as we call him, who`s done an interview with Silvio before for HM is Croatian too. The rest of the guys are all from Oz. I`ve noticed that metal scene in both Melbourne and Sydney consists of lots of Croatian metalheads. What do you make of that conclusion?
Tommy: Ah... Ok! I guess we`re strong minded people who like to discover & there`s so much to discover in metal music. Cro`s do tend to hang out in big groups... if one person introduces a style of music like metal? eventually the rest of the group will like the music. We`re very cultured people. And I think metal is a culture that keeps people together.
HM: Take for instant the band UnderCode from Croatia. If I`m not wrong, their singer lives in Australia while the rest of them in Croatia. That`s the band that contributed their music to popular Serious Sam video game).
Tommy: I`ve herd of the band, but haven`t herd their music yet?! Sorry.
HM: You`ve recently been joined by a new drummer. How is he fitting in?
Tommy: Perfect! We`re so grateful to have Christian in the band.
HM: What were his previous bands he played in before joining VP?
Tommy: PTB. Christian & Adrian played in Jazz bands together also.
HM: Why did you go with him?
Tommy: Adrian introduced us. He said that "Christian is the man for the Job"! So he called him up, we jammed... `Seasons, Hollow & if only I`. He didn`t miss a beat!! They`ve played together for a few years, their amazingly so tight! We`re Blessed to have him in the band, And he`s only 19 years old! There`s new energy in the band... They`re gonna take us to the next level.
HM: Do you still keep in contact with Jack Lukic? How`s he doing?
Tommy: Yeah... our rehearsal studio is at Jacks place :) Jack & Christian get along so well. I`ll be the Godfather to Jacks son Lukas in 3 weeks, Joe Del Mastro & he`s wife will be god parents to Emily. :)
THE FOURTH SEASON
HM: it`s just been announced in news that the upcoming VP album will be called The Fourth Season. Why did you go with that name?
Tommy: Basically it`s the fourth Album, new members...Meaning? A new season for us.
HM: Can you tell us what will it sound like? The artwork seems specific enough?
Tommy: There hasn`t been any great change in direction in terms of music as we always use a number of different styles. `The fourth season` is our heaviest album to date. I`d say our music style has broadened a little in terms of variety, like D-tuning. Musically the album is more to the point. We worked very hard on the recording production. We are happy that all the melodic elements are still intact because it`s what we do best and for us naturally any Vanishing Point album is melodic.
HM: Who came up with the album cover design? Who is the woman with a violin?
Tommy: That was difficult [laughs]. Its hard for us to agree to something that we will all like. That cover is a Perfect choice, and we all agreed [laughs]. Don`t know who the woman is on the cover?!
We googled the net for art and come across "Kadri Umbleja" site, she is from Estonia just like Endel. That was a trip :) We contacted Kadri for the artwork... she said "no problem, I`m a VP fan... It would be an honor". We couldn`t believe our luck!
HM: Would there be female vocals on the album?
Tommy: No. sorry...
HM: Mastering duties were handled by legendary Mika Jussila who worked with Nightwish and Sonata Arctica in the past to name a few. Did you want a specific sound that only he was able to deliver or? …Why go with him?
Tommy: Going to Mika was a natural progression for us. We`ve worked with Fin`s in the past (Gamma Ray tour) their amazing Techs... when it comes to sound engineering! Endel has worked with FinVox in the past, so we know we can trust them if Endel does.
HM: Those duties were done in Finland as you`ve said. Were any of the members present while he did the work? How difficult does it sometimes get to work with someone that is overseas?
Tommy: Na... We didn`t need to go. Wasn`t that difficult when you know how professional they are & who they`ve worked with. They wouldn`t put their name on something they weren`t happy with. We`re very happy with the end result :)
HM: How was `Embrace The Silence` taken in by the fans? What`s the feedback been like?
Tommy: The fans have been overwhelming to us. We are so lucky to have such loyal & understanding fans!! We`re becoming more aware of the responsibility of being a band, cause of our fans.
HM: We feel the same way as we have to keep going because of all our readers. It`s a difficult responsibility that never stops. The album is a very inspiring release filled with beautiful melodies and was a certainly heavier album than `Tangled In Dream`! How much success did the album bring you?
Tommy: Thank you! Quite a lot actually... we have gained respect from our peers & the music industry. We are very grounded people, success will never go to our heads.
HM: Looking at the CD booklet I`ve noticed that you also contribute with writing the lyrics. Is this process shared between everyone evenly (not just Silvio)?
Tommy: Yes it is! We all read over the lyrics and approve them. Music has a huge effect on an audience, especially teenagers, so a band must consider the implications of what they say & do. This awareness led me to pen "breathe". A life-affirming track to remind us all to stay positive.
HM: You`ve finished a new video for the new song Surrender. Are you happy with the end result?
Tommy: Yeah. The company www.democlips.com has done a fantastic job, couldn`t be happier & more proud of the work they`ve done for us.
HM: How much work has taken you in order to get it done?
Tommy: That was a long day... we started the shoot @ 1pm & finished around 3am. Time went by very quickly. Had ball, lots of laughs!
HM: Do you tend to force your influences onto a VP recording?
Tommy: [laughs] We all do! It`s creative Democracy. :)
HM: Please tell me what is your favourite Vanishing Point album and why?
Tommy: "Tangled In Dream" will always be closest to my heart. I loved writing that album musically & lyrically. It took us to Europe twice & opened up a few doors... Wacken, Gamma Ray tour... etc. That album will always remind me why I`m in this business & to stay true! Sometimes you tend to forget?!
HM: As a guitarist how important is the practice time and do you learn new things as you go along? How often do you practice?
Tommy: In your early stages as a player it`s very important, cause as you get older you won`t have any time [laughs]. I never did any exercises, that`s not what its about for me! Everyone should approach it how they like. There are no rules. It`s spontaneous.... an artist doesn`t practice how to paint? Otherwise it wouldn`t be Art?! It`s all about the unknown. It`s always been melody & song arrangement for me. A timeless song is more important than a guitar riff! Some of the best music ever written has come from mistakes.
HM: How do you recommend doing exercises?
Tommy: With discipline if you do want to do them.
HM: What`s your view on alternate tunings?
Tommy: I`m all for it! Keeps you on your toes.
HM: When are we going to see a Vanishing Point DVD?
Tommy: We`re always talking about doing a DVD, but its still to premature for us. Couple more tours if possible? Then we`ll think about it.
HM: You`re endorsed by ESP guitars. What does that involve?
Tommy: Just the usual appearances in guitar shops, you can also do clinics if you like no pressure.
HM: This is going to be a massive year for Melodic metal in Australia with Black Majesty, Lord and Vanishing Point releasing new albums. How important is this for the local metal scene, in your words?
Tommy: A Show for us is an event, not a gig. If you play every week people will take your band for granted & you`ll just burn out. Good music is timeless, it doesn`t need a scene to survive! If you stay true to yourself and write good songs? You`ll always have an audience not a scene. Be yourself & not somebody else... otherwise you`ll always be a day late, trying to catch up. It`s all about the music to me.
HM: Over the years the band has supported bands like Black Label Society, Dragonforce and Nightwish. Playing alongside which band was your favourite? Is there anything you learn or get out of touring with such names?
Tommy: The Zakk shows would be my Fav. We had a ball with DF. They love their drinks :) really awesome guys! We still keep in touch. You never stop learning in this industry, you`re kidding yourself if you think you know it all... If you`re a good listener I`m sure you`ll go far in this industry.
HM: What`s Steve Ravic up to now days? Metal Warriors the label still going strong?
Tommy: Have no idea. We don`t keep in touch.
HM: What do you know about his movie Warrior [link]? Where any VP boys involved in the production?
Tommy: Don`t know anything about the movie...
HM: How did you sign to Dockyard 1 label? What are some of their other most well known signings?
Tommy: We found Dockyard1 through a good friend of ours Jörg who has his own concert promotion/touring company called Dragon Productions and he mentioned that there was a cool new label starting up with some very experienced people, so naturally we were interested. The offer they gave us was great and we knew some of the people already and we knew that they are capable, fresh and determined people, so naturally it was a good move to sign with them, and so far everything is going fantastic, so we are all happy guys. Iron Savior, Persuader & Savage Circus would be their most well known signings.
HM: Chris and Silvio birthdays are coming up. What are you going to get them?
Tommy: Don`t know... Cevape & beer. [laughs]
HM: How do you guys get along with one another?
Tommy: The band is our second family. We`re brothers!
HM: I assume you will start doing shows as soon as the album gets released? Any major plans with tours overseas?
Tommy: Yes there are, but cant say to much at this stage...
HM: How can people overseas get their hands on your back catalogue or merchandise?
Tommy: Through our site At: www.vanishing-point.com.au Or www.dockyard1.de
HM: Any last words mate? Please feel free to mention anything I`ve forgotten.
Tommy: Thank you to everybody, who is out there supporting us. Hopefully we`ll see you soon. Thanks for buying our albums and believing in us and also having the patience with Vanishing Point. I suppose words can not express how grateful we are. We wish you all a happy & safe year...!!
Take care & stay safe.
HM: Appreciate it.