Originally formed under the moniker SIRENS AND SILHOUETTES in late 2011, OUR VOICE THE VESSEL rose like a phoenix from the ashes following the departure of former band members Chris Zimmerman, RJ Gorgone, James McDougall, and Benjamin Green, who is now the lead vocalist of WITNESS FOR HOPE. The band’s current line-up includes lead vocalists Ben Aquino and Christa Manley, guitarists Josh Stringfield and Angelo Cabanos, bassist, Corey Underwood, and drummer Eric Radabaugh. With a new, solid membership, the band released their first single “Revenge Against Us” in October 2012 and their debut EP in Fall 2013.

Since then, OUR VOICE THE VESSEL has been hard at work making a name for themselves as one of the need-to-know bands in Virginia metalcore scene. We spoke with Aquino, Stringfield, and Cabanos regarding the band’s beginnings and their name change, their upcoming new music and recent performances, as well as their belief that the Virginia music scene is making some positive changes.

Originally your band was called SIRENS AND SILHOUETTES. Why did you decide to change the band name, and why did you choose to name it OUR VOICE THE VESSEL?

Josh: The band was originally formed with four other members, and they came up with that name. So when our new members joined, we were an entirely new band. So we decided we should change it, and OUR VOICE THE VESSEL encompassed everything that we all wanted our name to be.

Does it have a specific meaning?

Ben: It’s different for each of us. We originally wanted to experiment with a concept around it, but we decided to branch off and combine everyone’s influences into it. To me, it’s like a story about striving to be the best person you can be.

Angelo: To me, I see it as a metaphor for our individual motivations for doing the band together.

Ben, I read that you and Christa were not the original vocalists. How did you get involved with the band?

Ben: Christa and I have been in and out of bands together for the past seven or eight years, and the ones we were in together did the best. She became one of the new vocalists for the band, and when the spot opened up for a second vocalist, she came to me and asked me to join.

Josh: I was in the band before both of them joined, and I had asked Christa to be a part of it because I really liked her stage presence and how she carries herself both on and off the stage. She vouched for Ben, and we were happy to have him join since he is such a strong vocalist.

Why did you decide to have two vocalists instead of just one?

Ben: We really admire bands with two vocalists, and it just makes their vocal range that much stronger.

On your most recent Facebook post, you guys stated that you will be releasing a new single this summer. Has the song been chosen yet? What can your fans expect from it?

Ben: We have been experimenting with some acoustic stuff, and we are still gathering feedback for what people would like to hear. So far, most people have been saying that they want us to go heavier, but our new stuff will be all over the spectrum.

Josh: We all have an equal share of participation in the writing process. As of right now, it might be heavier, but we will decide later on what represents our band the best.

Do you guys have a new EP or full-length in the works?

Josh: Right now we are just writing. We have a couple new songs done and a few still in the works. We are trying to decide out best options financially and for the band.

Have you set any projected dates for when the recording may be completed?

Ben: We have been experimenting with doing the recording in-house with Josh as our producer. We really admire bands like PERIPHERY who do all their recording on their own. Our ultimate goal is to cut out the middle man entirely.

Josh, you recently went on tour with HONOUR CREST as a fill-in bassist. How was that experience? Does OUR VOICE THE VESSEL have any plans to tour in the near future?

Josh: It was amazing. Going on tour is something that really speaks for itself. The dudes in HONOUR CREST are really intelligent guys, and it was really cool to be a part of that and be on a tour where people recognize your band—even in Canada. As for our own tour, we plan to have at least one tour lined up by the end of the year. We are just making sure that we are getting our finances in order so we don’t go in debt like bands that don’t prepare for that.

Later this month, you guys are opening for FALLING FORWARD and TEXAS IN JULY with a stacked local line up, including HONOUR CREST, FOR THE BROKEN, IN VISIONS, PYRO, OHIO, and I AM THE KID. Do you guys have anything special planned for that show?

Josh: It’s gonna be a surprise, but we do have something special planned.

Earlier this year, you guys also played in the first annual SHAKARAWKA. How did that go?

Ben: It was interesting. The beachfront atmosphere made it lighter and more fun for everyone. It was cool playing with new bands we had never met before and making new friends. We also saw some interesting bystanders passing by.

Do you think the Virginia music scene is improving and becoming more unified or is it still struggling?

Ben: It’s definitely coming closer together. There is much more of a push for a positive force for change in the music scene. We still have some sour apples, but we are working on getting them out of the basket.

Josh: It’s growing and there is much more band morale to make positive changes happen, and there is a push from all bands to get more people into the scene rather than bashing on them.

Do you guys have anything else you would like to share?

Angelo: Be on the lookout for lots of big things and new music coming out this year.

For more updates on OUR VOICE THE VESSEL, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *