Vreid Are Metal Warriors on Stage, Tourists Off Stage
"It's been really good. We're very surprised with such a good response over here. I think people in the U.S. and Canada are much more enthusiastic than back in Europe to our shows," Vreid bassist Hvàll Kvåle told Noisecreep via a phone call while the band traveled via bus through southern United States.
Usually metal bands say the opposite of this: that American fans should take notes from the rabid metal swelling in Europe. But the vintage rock meets dark metal band Vreid are seeing sold out shows and rabid fans they didn't expect. One reason for this may be the band has only been here twice before; once for the Heathen Crusade Festival in 2006 and at CMJ last year. This is the band's first trek across North America.
"They're giving so much energy back," Kvåle stated as the difference they're seeing here. "There is (sic) so many people coming to the shows knowing the stuff, and a lot of the old stuff. People have been waiting a long time for us." Vried is not just a band that entertains. Each song and every album acts as some kind of call to arms using historical references, often from World War II, and celebrates the culture of Norway.
Currently, the band appears on the stage wearing uniforms of all black with Norwegian flag patches on the sleeves. Their presence is more of a war machine tumbling down on the audience than a band putting on a show. "That's the actual experience," Kvåle remarked on the band's motif. "People have been coming up to us after the shows, and you can see they have done research on what everything is about. I think they're a lot of people that are happy we're signing about actual events in history, like tradition instead of fantasies.
"That's one of the better experiences of playing for U.S. audiences. They actually embrace what you're singing about." His voice robotisized through a bad signal patch as he said, "I didn't know what to expect. We traveled over here with an open mind and tried to not have too big of expectations and that's why I think it's been such a positive experience so far."
The experience for them on tour has been way past just the venues. The whole band has been seeing the sites, which has even involved trying out certain fast food chains for the first time. You can see their excitement and delight on their tour video updates online. "If you don't do that touristy stuff tour will be s---y and boring half the time. We try to do a lot of stuff in the cities when we are there. We had a couple of days off in New Orleans. That city has been great. Had to try all the cliques like gum ..." he laughs. "Shrimp, ya know."
So far, one of Kvåle's favorite sites was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. "That was fantastic. I loved it. There were so many great things to see there. I think it's going to turn up in the next tour blog." His favorite tidbit was the display of Johnny Cash's acoustic guitars, who Kvåle has always had an admiration for. But it was the mannequins dressed up in the exact outfits of the famed rock stars that delighted and fascinated the rather tall Kvåle so much. "What surprised me was how tiny everyone seemed. All the clothes were so tiny, he laughed. "What was up with these people?"