The Band: Vicious Rumors
Country: United States
Answers by: Geoff Thorpe (guitars, vocals)
Vicious Rumors is one of the big names in heavy metal history. It stands out of the average production with so fantastic albums as Digital Dictator. Moreover, I would say they have had a long career and they still keep the flame alive with good new songs, that ain’t easy when you get to the top, making the comparison with sports. And there is one man behind it all, that has always fought for his creature, Geoff Thorpe, a great guitarist that sooner or later we will comment in our section dedicated to the six string masters. So, it was an honor to have this conversation with the boss in charge, Geoff Thorpe.
Hello Geoff, it’s a pleasure to talk to an a living legend as you and great band as Vicious Rumors!
Thanks for your kind words.....also a pleasure talking to you
We don’t have the chance to talk to Geoff Thorpe every month..., so we would like to review a little the band’s history. There are many ways to size the high status of Vicious Rumors, for example 11 studio albums and a new one, the 12th, in August, more than 30 years of career...
Oh yes......I founded the band in 1979 and that's 37 years ago. We had a great start with albums like "Digital Dictator" and "Welcome To The Ball", then we had the great loss with Carl Albert, we tried to continue the whole time, did albums, toured a lot. Since "Razorback Killers" we gained more success again and now we did our our best albums since more than 20 years. Eeverything comes in full circle.
Of all your albums, is there any one especial or most important for you?
I think "Digital Dictator" is the one. We got great reviews, toured a lot and with this album we landed a deal with a major company. And perhaps "Word Of Mouth" because it's the last album we did with Carl Albert.....great and sad memories at the same time.
It´s the second time, you worked with, Nick Holleman, fresh and young blood (only 24) in the studio. How did you find the guy?
A dear friend of mine in the Netherlands who plays in a band called My Big Brother Jake recommended Nick to me. I saw his natural talent and abbility right away. After he send in two songs on video he became the first member of Vicious Rumors which I hired immediately without an audition. Now he's our lead singer for three years and with this chemistry we made one of the most powerful and exciting albums of our career.
A great vocalist, sure. Another relatively new face in the band is bassist Tilen Hudrap, how happy are you with his work?
Tilen is fresh, young and talented and he is a big fan of Vicious Rumors. He is a driving force in the whole VR system and I couldn't be more happy to have him in my band!!
“Concussion Protocol” is the name of the new album coming in August 26th, what are we going to find on it? Any important difference with previous releases?
This time we did the writing as a team . We rented a house in the NL for 4 weeks to be together... no emailing parts!! Then Nick and Tilen came to California to record together!! Everything was so natural and easy this time. All in all it took 8 month but it was definetly worth the wait.
The old way... In terms of composition, did you do all the writing or you also got some contribution from the other guys in the band?
I started 1 1/2 years ago with the songwriting. This time it was natural and with the help of Larry, Tilen and Nick all the songs came together quickly. I wanted to write songs which are 100% Vicious Rumors and which also will stand the test of time.
Apart of you, Larry Howe is the other long time member of the band right now, I suppose he is almost like a brother to you, right?
Indeed...a brother from another mother..ha ha. We are very close and we share the same visions for Vicious Rumors.
Awesome hahaha. By the way, VR has suffered many line up changes. Some people accused you to be a man difficult to work with, what is your opinion about it?
I'm not difficult to work with.....but I know what I want. I founded the band and I had a vision then then how the band should sound. I sticked through good and bad times and I learned a lot...also good and bad things. So I know exactly what I want...but with the current line-up I don' have to think about all of these. We all share the same visions and dedication for the band.
Many people believe that Carl Albert was one in a million kind of vocalist, what do you think?
He was......unbelievable singer, character and most important: a friend. He could sing 5 shows in a row and still hit every tone. I miss him a lot.
All of us miss him. When we talk with so big bands as VR we cannot stop asking some questions that are like history lessons for fans of all times. For example, who is the guy you have played with that have impressed you the most?
When it comes to guitar it was definetly Mark McGee. He was and is still so good. He comes from a clasical background and can play things which are unbelievable. We are still good friends.
Which is that one awesome gig you will never forget?
There is no particular gig. I played at the Wacken Festival and Bang Your Head Festival in Germany, Graspop in Belgium, I did the 70.000 tons of metal cruise.....ha I have one now: Dynamo Open Air in 1990 when we shared the stage with Sepultura and Death Angel in front of thousands dutch maniacs......whoa..that was wild!!!
I believe you. In more than 30 years you must have collected so many stories and anecdotes... Something cool you would like to share with us?
To be honest...like I said there are good and bad ones and sometimes it's better not to share these. But I wrote everything down and perhaps in the future I will release a book with all the stories.
It would be fun, indeed. Returning to your new album “Concussion Protocol”, we get 11 songs, what prevails speed or melodies?
For my point of view the whole record tales you on a ride. Vicious Rumors has never limited ourselves to one sound. We have some really fast songs on the album like "Chasing The Priest" or "1000 Years" but also rockin' songs like "Take It Or Leave It" and "Last Of Our Kind". And a complete new sound in form of "Life For A Life". No two Vicious Rumors albums sound alike. We always strive to give you something new as well as the classic elements of Vicious Rumors. This album has it all!
What are the lyrics about?
Everything: politics, corruption, the digital world, some personal things.....but everybody should make up their own mind.
The covert art is 100% VR, which gives me very good vibrations...
I said to Christoph Schinzel the artwork guy...I want something simple with the ball where you immediately recognise that it's a VR album. And he came up with that and it blow me away.
You have released your last works with SPV label, how do you feel with the guys?
I know our A&R Olly Hahn since 1994 when we played the "Ultimate Power Force Tour" with Metal Church. He also was our PR person for "Word Of Mouth". We never lost touch and in 2011 I send him a mail with some new songs and he immediately wants to sign Vicious Rumors.And now we are here......5 years later and we entered the german Top 100 album charts with "Concussion Protocol" for the first time!!
Congratulations, a prize you deserve. Have you played already any new songs in the gigs this year? How was the reaction?
We haven't played this year!
What are your touring plans? Please, tell us that there will be some dates in Spain hahaha...
We will go on tour from October til December with Dirkschneider and also play some headline shows. And for yure we are aiming for Spain.......stay tuned for more infos within the next weeks
Yeah! If I’m not wrong you will be in the Out and Loud Fest (Germany) as a visitor, any especial interest for something?
I'm very sorry that I answered this interview so late but there were so many things to do. I was invited from the festival to be there, do signing sessions etc......I had a very good time there.
Never too late to know about Mr. Thorpe. And finally, what would you tell to VR’s legion of fans around the world?
The Ball is rolling again!!!
There it is! Thank you very much for your time and we hope to see you on the stage soon!
Thanks to you my friend