Michigan based metalcore band Of Virtue who formed in 2009 and have been taking the world by storm the last few years, from playing tours all over the U.S and 12 different countries with a host of great bands such as Architects, Of Mice and Men and For Today. Last March they released “Ghost Town” which was well received and their highly anticipated follow up single “Surrounded” is out now and available. We got to catch up with guys to find out a bit more about them and their single. Check it out…
Hi guys thanks for taking the time to talk to us, how you all doing today?
We are doing great! All of us are getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, and we are super excited to get the OV (Of Virtue) machine rolling strong into 2018.
Tell us about your journey as a band and how you’ve come to this point in your career. You’ve played Warped Tour, you’ve opened for Bring Me the Horizon. How did you get here?
The band started out in late 2008/early 2009 with myself (Damon, guitar/backup vocals) and Mike (guitar) as the founding members. We had been playing together in another band called The Passion Within which had just disbanded. Our old outlet was a bit heavier and we felt that what was missing at the time was a more melodic and progressive approach to the music coming out then. During those formative years, we had the privilege of putting out 2 EPs and 2 full-length records, touring all over the country playing everything from DIY venues to national stages with some amazing artists such as BMTH, Architects, Every Time I Die, For Today, The Acacia Strain, etc. Over the last two years we had another member change which saw our old vocalist leave and we brought in our great friend, Tyler Ennis, to fill in that spot.
What music are you listening to right now?
A little bit of everything! I (Damon) have found myself jamming a lot of pop/dance music and some hybrid bands like PVRIS and newer BMTH a ton. As a group, our playlists can range from bands like Northlane, While She Sleeps, Architects, WCAR, nostalgia like Slipknot, Linkin Park, Korn and other things like hip hop, acoustic, etc. We are all pretty eclectic with our tastes!
Ok! You’ve got a new single out, Surrounded, tell us what it’s all about?
“Surrounded” is written from the viewpoint of someone wanting the best out of the world but is constantly being beaten down by various social problems that inhabit our culture today. The character takes a viewpoint that once we can all come together and realize we are greater than the sum of our differences, we as a people can do many great things to advance ourselves. Topics such as racism, discrimination, religion, politics etc are all lightly touched on in one way or another throughout the song.
Seeing the negativity in the world and the crazy things that are happening right now, how do you get your inspiration to bring positivity in through music?
Why contribute to all of the bad energy that is around us? Some of our firm believers that you are what you put into the world and if you breathe hate, expect hate in return.
You toured the U.K. and mainland Europe last year. You played Manchester the day after the bombings. How did you find that and what were your feelings towards it?
Touring overseas for the first time was a great eye-opening experience for us. It is great to dive into and embrace different scenes and cultures to open up our own scopes of reality. Our Manchester show was interesting because none of us have ever been in close proximity of an area that just had such a vicious attack happen. Driving through the city during the afternoon, you could see police/military blockades preparing for the vigil that was happening later that evening and it was a sobering reminder that the world in all of its glory still has very ugly elements in it as well.
In “Surrounded” you touch on political and social issues. Which topics within these do you most care about and want to highlight to your listeners?
We want our listeners to know that we as a band are comprised of different ethnicities, ideals, backgrounds, and beliefs yet we stand together with each other in the life we have made. It is easy to give into the temptation of tearing down one another to make yourself feel better. Confronting the notion that if we understand why people hate or believe so strongly in something is much harder to do and is something that we as a group are willing to take on. We want to challenge our listeners to do the same and have those conversations instead of going down a more destructive path.
We really respect the concept of the band… of bringing positivity to your listeners. What made you decide to make it your mantra?
There is plenty of negativity in the world and we did not want to be an outlet for things that we do not agree with. As Of Virtue,
If you could change one thing worldwide for the better what would it be?
To respect and honor each other in our differences as individuals. Part of what makes the world a special place is there are so many different kinds of cultures and backgrounds that we believe it is ignorant to blatantly disrespect or put down someone or a group of people simply because they may not like the same things you do.
What plans do Of Virtue have for the future? New music, tours, etc.?
Right now, our main focus is “Surrounded“. We want to make sure it gets the attention it deserves, being heard by as many people as possible, the video seen by as many people as possible, and so on. Our team is always working on future plans; however, we have several things unannounced at the moment and while I can’t announce them here, I can say that we will be active in 2018 and we hope your audience will be watching!
What advice would you give to the kids today and future generations to come?
Pursue what you are passionate about and give 110% to achieving your goals. Set small benchmarks for yourself so you realize the steps you are taking will lead you to where you want to be.
Be sure to check out their new single “Surrounded” and video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/cHwcr7k9kW8