Veil of Maya have evolved since they first landed on the scene and their recently released album, False Idol, showcases their growth while staying true to their roots. In preparation and support of the release the band hit the road for The Devil Wears Prada’s No Sun / No Moon Tour. We were able to sit down with guitarist Marc Okubo at Denver’s Summit Music Hall to discuss their new album and relaxing after tour.
Groovey.TV: Your album False Idol released on October 20th. How does it feel to have that out in the world?
Marc Okubo: It’s relieving and scary at the same time. Now that tour is going to be over I don’t know what I’m going to do anymore. I might have to fire up the PlayStation or write another one; I don’t know.
GTV: Are you playing any of the songs on this tour and how have the live crowds been reacting to the new songs?
MO: We’re playing ‘Overthrow’; we didn’t want to go overboard playing new songs since the album came out halfway through our tour. We didn’t want a bunch of YouTube videos to leak of camera quality audio. But the fan reaction has been great! It’s been getting better as the tour progresses because there has been more time for it to marinate with everybody.
GTV: This is your second album with this lineup. Did everyone feel a little more solidified going into this record compared to the recording of Matriarch (2015)?
MO: Absolutely. We were more prepared, we knew what this album was going to sound like and we wrote the music accordingly.
GTV: This is the first album to focus heavily on choruses. Was there a plan for the lyrical content of the album or did it happen naturally through the writing process?
MO: There actually was. Lukas had a concept that he thought up that he had started recording and so we had a basic idea of what the lyrics were going to be about. As far as the chorus thing, we just thought we might as well since we have a guy that can sing and we know it.
GTV: Did that add a new level of pressure?
MO: Honestly, this is the least amount of pressure I’ve felt in the studio in awhile. With the last record I felt that there was so much more pressure from the member transition that I don’t think it could have got any worse than that. With this one, as long as we were happy with it at the end of the day we can trust it.
GTV: What are some of your favorite elements on the new album that you think will peak the interest most of new or old fans?
MO: There are a lot of songs that go back to our old ways of being progressive. We have a song on the record called ‘Follow Me’ that doesn’t have a chorus in it really, it’s more of our old style. But we have a song called ‘Citadel’ which is all singing and no screaming, which is a new thing for us. This is our most diverse and dynamic album yet.
GTV: You’re currently out on the No Sun/No Moon Tour with The Devil Wears Prada. How was touring in anticipation for the album release versus touring after the release?
MO: I prefer it, honestly. You can talk to your fans and see what the hype actually is. Do people actually care or is it just kids that didn’t get enough attention from their parents and go on YouTube to talk crap about everything. And if we’re hanging out with our fans, we can show them stuff and get them involved.
GTV: For your live shows, do you typically practice a stage act before the tour or do you spontaneously come up with it the day of the show?
MO: It’s something that just naturally happens every night. We might do something new that we like. I like to be kind of weird on stage and goof off, if everyone likes it maybe I will do it again, I don’t know. I just like to have fun on stage, so whatever happens, it’s just natural.
GTV: What are the most important elements when creating a set list?
MO: We pay attention to how much energy we can exert. If we play a slower song we follow it up with something that hits hard so the audience doesn’t fall asleep. Also, during our whole set we wear in-ear monitors and have a click track going so we don’t really have stopping points. It will be song, song, song, sample, song, song, song. We try to keep it real fast.
GTV: The tour is winding down within the next few days. What are you most looking forward to when you get home?
MO: Seeing all my friends and loved ones. I’m actually a little nervous because I’m not used to being a normal person at the moment. I have to figure that out all over again.
GTV: Are there any weird things that you miss about being on tour when you’re home?
MO: Waking up every day with people that are like-minded and know what you’re going through, just having that support. Once tour is over, all the people that I grew up with, they’ve been moving on with their lives, so I wake up by myself and have to remember if the last month just really happened. It’s weird for my mind to transition from everything going at 100% all the time to nothing. I have to figure out activities to fill my time in with and be productive.
GTV: Now that the album is out and the tour is almost over, are there any big plans for the upcoming months that we can expect from you?
MO: We are working on booking tours right now, offers are still coming in. We’re going to India in January; we’ve never been there so I’m pretty excited about that. We’re just going to see where this album takes us. I might work on some other projects until it’s time to write more Veil of Maya songs again. I guess that’s what makes me nervous is that I don’t have a set plan. I’m so used to having a schedule, now I have to make a new one.
Check out Veil of Maya’s False Idol
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