Victoria K is a symphonic metal band from Melbourne often supporting touring bands like Eluveitie. This is absolutely for symphonic metal bands like Nightwish and Lacuna Coil. The project was initially a solo effort that became a fully fledged band on the Rockshots Records roster.
I wasn’t as timely as I’d like to have been with this interview and the new album Essentia is OUT NOW.
Who are you and what part of Australia are you from?
Hi Noob Heavy we are Victoria K and we’re from Melbourne, Victoria
What is the current release and what’s it like?
Our latest release is ‘The Haunting’ and it’s an atmospheric track that details a haunted or cursed past that torments you until you find acceptance. We use a lot of middle eastern folk sounds, which are based from my Greek heritage and the track as a whole has a very moody soundscape and is very melancholy.
Do you have a release coming up?
Our debut album Essentia is being released via Rockshots Records on April 24th. We will also be releasing the music video for ‘Matrix’ at the same time. That will be the fourth music video for songs off the album. (Edit – it’s out NOW)
Who are your biggest influences?
The biggest influences would have to be Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence and Kamelot. I have listened to all these artists right from the beginning and they have had a huge impact on me and our music.
How have your live experiences been?
We’ve all played loads of shows over the years and with different bands. Some of the members of Victoria K are still playing with their other bands. We are all so very supportive of each other and everyone’s individual musical journeys.
As Victoria K we are all really excited to tour Europe in the near future and are preparing for that once the global travel restrictions are lifted.
Is there something unique to your state’s scene compared to other states in the country?
They say that the Melbourne live music scene is one of the best in the country. We have a lot of venues available to us and there are so many killer bands you can go and see. The fans are incredible and always bring amazing energy to every show. I’m told that Melbourne has more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world.
Who are some of your peers in the scene?
We were extremely lucky to play with Suldusk in support of Eluveitie last year. She creates an incredibly atmospheric sound which is just amazing. We’ve also been lucky enough to connect on social media with Devonian, a killer crew from Brisbane QLD. We’ve never played together but would love to hit the stage with them when we get to play in Queensland. There are so many great bands in Australia that it’s hard to name them all.
What’s the best and worst gig experience you’ve had?
The best gig would have to be when we played the main support for Eluveitie in Melbourne. The energy of the crowd was electric and to get the crowds approval when we started playing was surreal. The pinnacle was when we walked off stage and the crowd started chanting, “One more song”. Wow. Thank you Melbourne metal fans. What an amazing experience. Of course, we never got to play our encore because Eluveitie was ready to hit the stage.
The worst would have to be when I played during a heat wave in Melbourne in a small venue and I was struck down by heatstroke on stage. It hit me about 10 minutes in of a 40-minute set and I sang most of the songs on my knees. I felt like vomiting the whole time. I got through the whole set except for the last song. I walked off stage in a daze and I couldn’t even interact with anyone because I felt so gross and out of it. Some of the other guys from the other bands were legends though, they stayed with me until I was okay. I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse experience than that.
As an Australian artist do you face any specific barriers in the music-making or promoting process?
I don’t think we face any barriers to the music-making process. We have the best team and our Producer, Lee Bradshaw of Bradshaw Music Productions is an absolute legend. He understands our sound and my voice better than anyone on the planet. He also writes all the orchestrations for our music. Promotion is a little trickier. To hit a global audience from Australia can be challenging and a difficult path to navigate. We are extremely lucky to have been signed to the Italian Metal label Rockshots Records, who have been incredible to work with and created opportunities for the band we never would have had. They have really been instrumental in building the global brand.
What is the artwork process for the band, do you get the same person or grab pieces from different places?
The artwork is generally a collaboration of ideas that get thrown around for weeks before we come to a unanimous concept. We then share that concept with our graphic designer and photographer – Nicole Nighthawk of Infinity8 Multimedia who takes those concepts and turns them into something awesome. Nicole does most of our artwork and all our photography. The album artwork was created by a very talented Brazilian graphic designer, Fabio Araujo of Art Studio Design. We came across him on social media and were blown away when we saw his designs. We just had to have one of his pieces on the cover of Essentia.
I recommend any musician or band to check out both these incredible artists on their social media sites.
Is there anything you’d like to plug for your members like side projects or tutoring?
Martin and Sheri both play with Black Like Vengeance a killer Melodic Death/Thrash Metal band from Melbourne. Their third studio album is in post-production and is due to be released late 2020. Head over to their Facebook page and check them out.
What are some major lyric influences and how is that side of the process completed for the album?
The major influences are Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft. Their works have had had an impact on the lyrics. I will develop a concept to write about and then start writing lyrics. I write down all the lyrics that come to mind, the good, the bad and the ugly. Once all the ideas are out of my head, I go back and edit the lyrics for as long as I need to until they are the best they can be. I look at it line by line and consider alternative words and phrases to get my message across and make sure it all scans correctly. I develop the melodies and head into the studio, test them and tweak them further if I need to. The process works well for me, I really want every song to be the best it can be.
Bands are often given a lot of advice online and through experience, what’s a piece of advice that really helped your band?
This is very true. There are always people willing to give advice. I think the most important thing is to trust your instincts, trust your gut, trust in your vision and filter any advice through those things. The best advice I have received is to do the work necessary to finish. You must finish and make it the best it can be at that time and then deliver that finished work. After all, does an unfinished song or a finished song that no one ever hears even exist? Unless you deliver your art to the public are you really an artist?
How do you feel about the current state of your genre?
There are some incredible bands and amazing new talent coming through. I feel the genre is rich in uniqueness and depth. There really is a style of metal that would suit anyone. The fans are incredible, supportive and super loyal.
Thank you for the interview!