Currently Unsigned: Vengeance Within

We continue our look at what it means to be a 'sovereign' band in 2014 with a chat to Sonny Luciano of Cleveland, Ohio outfit, Vengeance Within...

Well obviously I've blown your identity in the teaser by saying who you are, but for the sake of form Im going to ask you to identify yourself anyway. Who are you, and what function do you perform in Vengeance Within? "I am Sonny Luciano and I am the guitarist. I started this as a studio project in 2008. I brought Jeff Robbins on board to do vocals for the release of our album in 2013".

Thank you. Who else is in the band? "John Loeffle (Guitarist), Jack Daniels on Bass and drummer Luis Ortunio"

And how long has this unit been together? "This was my solo studio project for many years and we just went live as band in March of 2014".

So just the one album to date at this point, obviously? "Yes, Deifying the Human Intellect".

What are your thoughts on the whole 'unsigned band' issue? Obviously the role of reccrd companies and their relationship with artists has changed radically in the last twenty years. How important do you think record companies are in today’s modern world of social media et cetera? "I think they still have a role to play. Touring, recording, promoting and merchandising are still expensive and very time consuming. Although these things have been easier to do as unsigned, independent artists due to social media, that will only carry a band so far. Fans want the live experience; they want to see bands put out an album a year, a variety of merchandise and all that costs a lot of money".

To extend that topic a little further, how important is any of the ‘traditional’ impedimenta of the record industry in 2014? Are band managers, distro companies, merch companies and PR reps just other means by which a band can lose money or does each separate part of the machine still have something to offer the unsigned band? "That really depends on who you work with, Yes, promoters and venues want to get paid and if they don’t bring in what they expect then the bands do not get paid. We don’t have a manager, booking agent or  promoter but we work very closely with some of them. They are a necessary evil unfortunately. I would rather work with them directly instead of going through a middle man".

Being that you embrace th DIY ethic wholeheartdly, what has been the best way you've found to spread the good word? "I think by far it is social media. 2014 is different from 2004 and 1994 in that respect where we don’t have to pile in our shitty van with 5 smelly guys all month long to get our name out. Nowadays, by clicking submit, our music is available worldwide"

The internet as protector of delicate nostrils! I knew we'd find it's real purpose one day! What would you say has been the least effective way of getting the name out? ".We tried doing the old school flyer way....yeah, doesn’t work,(laughs). People just want to look shit up on their smartphones and not be bothered with paper!"

So true! You mentioned earlier you don't have a manager, so how much time a week do you spend on non-musical band activities? And would you do those thing s anyway even if you did have a manager? "As a band we spend easily forty to fifty hours a week on non-playing activities. There are so many websites and pages to update and push to new prospective fans. Even if we did have a manager, I think that responsibility should fall on the band and we would continue to do so. It gives us a chance to interact with our fans on a more personal level".

That's good to hear! Now on to some other matters - it's time to do some plugging! What's on the near horizon for Vemgeance Within? "We’re currently playing a lot of shows playing tunes form the first album Deifying The Human Intellect and writing new material at the same time. But that’s not to say we’ll play a tune here and there that will be on the second full length album, you’d have to come to our shows and see if we do or not! We're planning on the second full length to be released in mid-2014 and hoping for a tour in support of that release in the (Northern) summer of 2014".

Marvellous. Where can people learn more about you?


Thank you. Any final words for our readers? "We’re not your average run of the mill band, we all come from different musical backgrounds and we vary in age! That alone should be an indicator that our music incorporates all genres of metal! And it’s not forced, our influences show and translate perfectly into our tunes....try it, you’ll hear thrash, heavy, speed, death, black metal and even classical music in the songs. We live, breathe and bleed metal and will not be labelled as a distinct sub-genre, we are Metal, we are Vengeance Within!"