The two gentlemen settled on the name “The Vex” as it seemed a word most accurately describing not only their feelings toward the music and art scene in Orange County but also the means of changing that environment: irritation.
“No one feels the need to better themselves,” says vocalist Colin Peterson, “They’re too fucking comfortable.”
When asked about the music scene in Orange County Collin accounts,
“Orange County is so mired in the surf punk scene….at the end of the day I just can’t relate to that. There’s so much more to talk about…the way culture is changing, the way modes of communication are changing, the way people function – everything is evolving and we wanted to talk about that instead of surfing.”
Anders, the musical engineer, adds “Colin and I are both very critical people – we’re critical of our surroundings and what’s going on. It does seem like there are a couple bands emerging that are sort of driven by that same angst or ethos.”
Colin and Anders became friends in high school, both of them feeling equally alienated. They shared an interest in bands like Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle as well as an interest in the Italian Futurist movement of the early 20th century – a movement which revered technology and denounced that which was done in the past.
The parallel between The Vex’s ideology and Futurism is perhaps made clear from F.T. Marinetti’s manifesto entitled “The Destruction of Syntax/Imagination without strings/Words-in-Freedom”
“Futurism is grounded in the complete renewal of human sensibility that has generated our pictorial dynamism, our antigraceful music in its free, irregular rhythms, our
noise-art and our words-in-freedom.”
“We had always seen the Italian Futurists as the sort of progenitors of electronic or noise music,” Anders elaborates.
“Yeah,” agrees Colin “they had super punk rock attitudes back in 1917.”
“Originally, when we started,” jokes Anders, “we had wondered and asked each other what it would be like if Samuel Beckett put on a punk rock show.”
The abstraction, while humorous, is actually a very accurate way to describe them. Watching The Vex is definitely a bit like experiencing Theater of the Absurd.
Colin explains, “Basically the whole thing is just an effort to make the audience feel something – this is another thing that we’re a reaction to – you go to a lot of shows and you have people standing with their arms crossed. We wanted to create an artistic experience that you had to submit to.”
But it isn’t just a visual experience. The Vex’s music is strangely enthralling as well. One of the many notable qualities of The Vex is the antistructural feel of their compositions. Anders explains, “Every song is very conceptually driven.”
According to Colin, this, as well as his stage performance, is an attempt to create tension. As he puts it, “People draw lines of demarcation between modern man and classic man – there’s the man of classic literature that would live and die with great conviction, live in these bold strokes…I kind of wanted to re-interject that hyper emotional being into the modern setting and watch the tension between him and the droll monotony that is everyday life.”
The Vex is currently finishing up recording with producer Jourdan Alexandre Gallemore (a name becoming more and more familiar to audiophiles in the Orange County area). It will be their first release for which their growing number of fans are quite anxious.
Orange County, which has generally not been considered a major reserve for innovative music and which may still be far from being a musical mecca, seems nonetheless to be peppered with a few promising, interesting groups like The Vex .
Colin concludes, “I think it’s really starting to become apparent that people want more…which is really fucking cool.”
To stay updated on The Vex visit http://www.myspace.com/thevexwashere