Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
We just self-released our third self titled LP.
How long has the band been together?
We formed the band in early 2006, so we have been recording for over 14 years.
What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
I started doing it because I felt that it was what I was made for.
What is your music background?
I started late, took the violin for a few years as a youngster, but didn’t pick up the bass until I was 17. I played in bands, studied some music at university and just kept going.
What image do you think your music conveys?
For Vestal Claret, it’s a pretty dark image. Our early work is pretty grim.
What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
I produce and record music, I hope to keep working with other folks. The work situation is currently pretty rough.
What are your long-term career goals?
To keep making music, whatever the cost may be.
Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Writing and recording have been my go – to since the early 2000s
What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
The older material is mostly Occult and Satanic Panic themed. Our new material is more along the lines of solitude, despair and the end of times.
Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Unfortunately, we are just a recording project. We almost got invited to a Doom Fest in Germany, but alas.
What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Our fans aren’t too demanding. When they reach out, they are mostly supportive and understanding of our efforts.
Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
No. My father came around a little, and he stopped trying to talk me out of pursuing it.
Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
I grew up listening to 70’s and 80’s rock. When I was a teen I heard a glimpse of Heavy Metal and instantly thought that is what I wanted to do. I couldn’t even play an instrument. I felt the power of the music and imagined myself dealing that out for others. The song that really brought me to it was Battery by Metallica. The intro, to me still, is a beautiful piece. Then it slams you.
If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
We would open for Iron Maiden.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Every record I complete adds to it. I have made other recordings besides the ones I did with Vestal Claret. Some were made before I had any clue how to make recordings, but I did it nonetheless.
If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
I’d be a panhandler with a guitar.
What do you think of the current music scene?
It’s always been hard to find music that could turn you on. The material you have to dig for, for me, is always more intriguing than the material that is fed to the masses. It’s easier to dig with the internet, but the saturation is up beyond belief. So although things have changed, they are pretty much the same.
For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
I think I might be a descendant of Bigfoot.
If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
I have never been able to describe my music. Someone said to me specifically about this recording, “it sounds like Creedence Clearwater Revival were aligned with the Devil”.
Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
I always like to thank our supporters.
Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Vestal Claret is:
Phil Swanson: Vocals
Justin DeTore: Drums
Simon Tuozzoli: Guitars, Bass, Organ, Percussion, Vocals, Various Instruments