Rushonrock: I want to ask you about Elite and in particular working with CJ McMahon. What was it like featuring someone as experienced as him on your debut single?
Vexed: It was incredibly humbling. CJ is a true professional in every sense of the word. He’s also a huge inspiration to all of us in the band so when he said he’d like to work with us we were speechless. Having him on our debut single was very validating for us as we’d sacrificed a lot to get to where we are and it made it all worthwhile.
ROR: Is using featured vocalists something Vexed are keen to continue doing or was this a one off?
Vexed: Yeah for sure we’re always up for the idea of working with other musicians but it’s not something we’re seeking out to do. If it happens, it happens.
ROR: And how did it come about?
Vexed: When we were writing Elite we took inspiration from artists such as Thy Art is Murder. We chatted a lot about how cool it would be if we could have CJ feature but that we were just too small of a band and knew it wouldn’t be possible.
One evening Megan had a ‘fuck it, what do we have to lose?’ moment and just messaged CJ online and they started chatting. He wasn’t available at the time as he was about to go on tour so we said we completely understood but thanks for his time.
The following morning Megan woke up to a message from CJ saying he’d checked out our music and thought it was sick and that he really wanted to make the time to work with us. He went completely out of his way to get it done before the Dear Desolation tour and completely nailed it. We’re in complete admiration of his talent and just how God damn kind he is.
ROR: In the press release for Elite you mentioned that you’re planning to do more music videos as well as booking shows and festivals, can you go in to any more detail about when we might see new music release or get the chance to watch you live?
Vexed: Our new single Dominate came out last week with another music video! You can watch that on our YouTube channel or listen to it on most streaming apps. We’re headlining the Black Heart in Camden this June 28th, as well as playing at UK Tech-Metal fest in July. We’re booking up more shows for the end of the year so there will definitely be a tour announced at some point.
ROR: As a fairly new band, there’ll be some people out there who don’t know a tremendous amount about you. Can you give us a breakdown of how Vexed got together and what sort of music influenced you all growing up?
Vexed: We all met through the local music scene and started playing music together in a different band. We toured and played shows together for a couple of years before realising we hated it. The music wasn’t inspiring us and we honestly resented playing them. We had built up an amazing fan base but we couldn’t keep lying to ourselves so decided to scrap it and make a new band. We all grew up listening to lots of different types of music, predominantly metal, but it wasn’t until our teens that we really got into the heavy stuff. That’s where our hearts truly lie.
ROR: One of my favourite songs right now is Force Fed by Employed to Serve and Elite reminds me of that in a lot of ways. Is that the vibe you were going for?
Vexed: Honestly none of us have ever listened to Employed to serve but we’ll definitely go give them a listen now. We were mostly inspired by Thy Art is Murder and Whitechapel when writing this track.
ROR: You mentioned that Elite takes aim at arrogance, what other traits in people vexes (aha) you?
Vexed: Victimisation. People who try and play dumb and innocent when they know fully well what they’re doing!