“VATICAN” Interview by Shibalika Tamuli
Welcome and greetings from MHF magazine! How have you been?
Great, couldn’t be better.
Tell us about the band, Vatican and how it all started?
The band started in or around 1986. With members consisting of Vince Vatican ( Guitar ), Vic Gribouski ( Drums ), Marc St. Stevens ( Vocals), and Lenny Round ( Bass ). Lenny, who would after a short time later would go on to the Bullet Boys. We had traveled to Cleveland and got a dose of the Cleveland scene and wanted to write and start an all original metal band. Coming from an area on the outskirts of Cleveland, there was not any all original metal bands in our area, so therefore Vatican knew we would be facing a up hill battle to get to do what we wanted to do. We held our swords up high and went into battle with the release of the first demo ( Repent Or Burn ) 1986 a two song demo. After this Brain McNasty was added to the fold as bassist and vocalist, this is know as the classic Vatican line up.
Let’s talk about March Of The Kings. Tell us about the process you went through and how it is different from your former releases?
Being a band that had been inactive for so long, once the cd Metalmorphosis came out in 2014 ( Cult Metal Classics ) a re-release of our past demos from Power is Obsession & Answer To The Master, we started playing concerts again, and realized, from speaking to our fans, they we demanding a new Vatican Cd. You see, before Metalmorphosis, all that was released to the public were just cassettes and when a Metalmorphosis was in cd format and available worldwide, people wanted to hear what Vatican sounded like today. We recorded in three studio’s over a span of 2 years, using 3 different engineers, all material produced by Vatican as a whole. Took some time and talent to put this cd out. In the past recordings ( Power Is Obsession & Answer To The Master ) we were younger, had more time to rehearse while someone else would pay for the whole recording and production process. In the beginning, we were naive to the studio process, and let management make most of the decisions. Those management decisions must of been the right one’s, because shortly after ( Answer To The Master ) our success took off..
Tell us about the Ohio scene back then when you started and how it is now?
The scene back in the day was strong! Bands like Shok Paris, Destructor, Black Death, Purgatory, and Wretch were amazing to see. You had to purchase tickets well in advance to get into these show, if you waited for day of the show, you would be listening from the street. Which I had done many of times. To Hear Vic Hix from Shok Paris through a brick wall of a theater, would give me chills! As for the scene today, there is some sort of scene, though nothing like in the past. You would have to check out some classic Shok Paris video from the Variety Theater in Cleveland, that was the scene, see how many people are there! I don’t believe Ghost can bring in that many people to a Cleveland venue today. Like everything else, things change.
Do you think Heavy Metal the least heavy of all the genres? What’s your favorite era of the evolution of metal?
Coming from the metal genres, that would be bias to answer that question. Their are so many people that live for metal, I see it everyday, I meet them everyday. My favorite era of metal is by far the 80’s.
What are some other genres you’re into?
I’m a pop guy, been listening to some country artists also lately. I’m a freak for instrumental guitar’s also.
What were your influences? Some artists/musicians you like?
Edward Van Halen, Steve Bello, Malmsteen, my all time favorite Peter Frampton.
Hobbies besides music?
Upcoming plans/tours for the band?
September I will return to the studio, for the follow up of March Of The Kings. I have a few shows coming up and will be playing through July. 2018 Vatican will be appearing in Europe, which is our strongest market. We are so looking forward to that.
Thanks a lot for talking to us. Leave a message for your fans!
Thank you all for your support over the years. You see, we as a band do what we do for you, the fans. Otherwise, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere warm, drinking a very expensive cocktail. Love you all see you soon. Stay heavy my friends.
Shibalika Tamuli / MHF Magazine