Interview with Vesperia lead singer Morgan Rider

Vesperia is a metal band that was formed in 2012 in Toronto, Canada. They were crowned 2015 international and Canadian champions of the Wacken Metal Battle. They will be on a major tour in Canada and are still planning a future tour in the USA.

I had a chance to interview the bands amazing lead singer Morgan Rider. Fans can find the band on many social media outlets., Facebook and Twitter are just a few places you can find information about the band and all the latest tour dates.

AXS: Where are you from and when did you start playing together?

Morgan: Vesperia are considered a 'Toronto band', though all of us live just a little outside Toronto. Vesperia began at the start of 2012.

AXS: Can you tell me who is in the band and what do they play ? Has your line up changed ?

Morgan: As of fall 2014, our full lineup is myself on lead vocals and bass, Casey Elliott on guitar and backing vocals, Frankie Caracci on lead guitar and backing vocals and Dylan Gowan on drums. Our lineup has changed quite a bit in the past and we have had positions such as a keyboard player come and go. Right now we are feeling very confident with this lineup and our chemistry seems very strong too!

AXS: Who decided on the band name and why ?

Morgan: Actually, that was me and a previous guitar player we had back in 2012. We were out of ideas searching for a more marketable name for the band. We happened to be browsing texts on the history of Canada at the time and stumbled across the word Vesperia, which roughly translates from latin to "in the land of the evening star". At one point, the name was a candidate name for Canada instead of Canada, so we thought it very patriotic to call ourselves that. That, and the name also conjures epic imagery, which is something of a pursuit for us.

AXS: You were the international and Canadian winners of the Wacken Metal Battle. What effect do you feel this had on your career ?

Morgan: Well, winning the Wacken Metal Battle has definitely put our name in many more ears than we had previously. We feel like our reputation increased a bit as a result, but we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make to our sound and live show. In the end, it's been a positive promotional increase for the band. It has also helped us get onto larger shows and tours with bands like Eluveitie, Arkona, Kalmah, and so on.

AXS: How many cd's and ep's have you released ? You have released a new Ep The Iron Tempests -tell me a little bit about it ?

Morgan: Under the name Vesperia, we have released 1 demo in 2012 called The Swordsman, a full-length album in 2013 called An Olden Tale and then an EP called The Iron Tempests earlier this year. The EP is a small showcase of our new material and features a cover of a famous classical piece called 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. We used this EP throughout the year to give existing fans and people who have never heard or seen us to get a small window into what we have been doing as a band. If you weren't aware, we took a brief hiatus during 2014 while I was out on the road in North American and Europe playing bass for another band. This caused a bit of speculation from Vesperia fans if the band would continue. So releasing this EP extinguished those guesses and also gave everyone some new music!

AXS: Do you all collaborate together on writing songs ?

Morgan: In the later stages of our writing process the entire band will be rehearsing the material to a click track and a rough mono-summed version of our orchestral backing tracks. We do this to smooth out any rough patches and strengthen the structures of our material. Before that, our guitarist Frankie handles most of the writing for the current music and I write all of the lyrics.

AXS: You have a major tour of Canada coming up? What excites you about touring and do you have a favorite town or venue?

Morgan: Yes, we will be on the road in a few months with the Finnish band, Kalmah! We always love touring and we feel like all the hard work and all of the behind the scenes movements are always a build up to the big tour. We love being on the road, seeing our friends and fans, making new fans, talking to people, taking cool drives through huge mountains and forests and just generally being our own little family out thousands of kilometers from home. We have so many favourite places that we've played and they are just all so good to us, it's hard to pick a favourite.

AXS: When will you be touring the USA ?

Morgan: We DID have a tour planned in the USA this past November, but we did not receive our work permits on time to make it possible. Right now, we are working on a full North American tour to support our upcoming release in 2016. We will have to wait and see how that shapes up!

AXS: Who are your musical influences ?

Morgan: Our musical influences range hugely. For the sake of familiarity though, the bands that influences are musical choice are: Septicflesh, Wintersun, The Black Dahlia Murder, Limbonic Art, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Wolven Ancestry.

AXS: If you weren't musicians what would you be doing ?

Morgan: Probably looking for ways to become a musician! No really, I would likely be a graphic designer (I do this anyways), Frankie would likely be a martial arts instructor or a chef, Casey would likely be a chef or an engineer and Dylan would be a visual artist, or maybe a game designer.

AXS: If you could make a cover of another bands song -what would you choose and why ?

Morgan: We've done a few covers in the past, including a "Spirit of the West" cover - we haven't put too much thought into it, but maybe we'll do a Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder cover next. That'll be badass.

AXS: What's next for Vesperia ?

Morgan: Up next we will be recording our next full length album in March, then hitting the road all of April. 2016 will be an even busier year for us!

A big thank you to Morgan Rider for talking with about his band and what's next for them!