VYCES Ė We Have ThemÖ
By Dave Schwartz
Iíll give you something to think about Ė
Vyces is an unsigned band receiving airplay on SiriusXMís Octane
channel and is currently out as primary support on Mushroomheadís
US Tour. While thatís sinking in Iíll share that Vyces is
Dave Naruszewicz (vocals), Shawn Patterson (guitar), Andrew
Bones (bass) and Russell Ray (drums).
Yes, the band is kind of tearing it up
right now. But you should know that all this good fortune
didnít come easy. Sacrifice and hard work is the rule.
Pay your dues. Surround yourself with good people. And
then, a little bit of luck never hurts.
I had some questions and vocalist
Dave Naruszewicz had all the answers when he called in from the
tour stop in Traverse City, MI. to talk about all that is Vyces.
DB: Thanks for calling Dave.
Letís talk a little about Vyces. You guys are out on tour,
youíve got a song thatís being played on Octane and a bunch of
good things happening. Iím interested in hearing about
DN: Yeah, well our first show of
2018 was at Las Rageous Music Festival in Las Vegas. So we
more or less opened for A Perfect Circle and that didnít suck.
It was amazing. We met a lot of bands, did a lot of
networking. And right after that Ė last Sunday Ė we got
invited to Vinny Paulís house. It was the Sunday Funday BBQ
which was awesome. That dude likes his tequila, Iíll tell
you what. (Laughs)
DB: You mentioned the Las Rageous
Festival. I speak with a lot of bands and find that there is
a split. Are you a band that loves the festival shows or are
you more at home in the clubs?
DN: It really comes down to how the
crowd is, you know? When the crowd is into it, you can feel
it. So the festival settings thereís a lot more people but
youíve got to get the crowd into and if you do it feels really,
really good. It doesnít really matter where we play to be
honest. We played a sold out show in Flint Michigan last
night at The Machine Shop with Mushroomhead and Iíll tell you
what, that was killer. We were actually having people sing
our songs back to us. That will never get lost on me.
Itís the coolest feeling to connect with somebody on that level.
DB: I understand exactly what youíre
saying. That must be a wonderful fucking feeling to be out
there and have the experience, to have that validation.
Letís talk about the single youíve got out, ďThin Luck,Ē tell me a
little about the song.
DN: We wrote that song about toxic
relationships. Everybody has had one whether it be with
another person or with work. Itís a situation where you feel
like you stuck somewhere. Itís like a comfort level but you
know that itís just completely wrong for you. So we were
diving into that. Itís another one of peoples vices, you
know what I mean? Some people date people that are terrible
for them forever. Some people stay at a bad job forever and
it steals the life out of them.
DB: Moth to the flame, right?
DN: And then you walk away and you
realize, what the hell was that? I canít believe I did that
DB: I read that you enjoyed writing
about the darker side of emotion and humanity. I imagine you
find a lot of meat on that bone.
DN: Absolutely man. The name
of the band is Vyces, you know? So when weíre on stage weíre
portraying peopleís demons. We are peopleís vices. We
are peopleís addiction. We are whatever it is. Thatís
what we do in the band and itís how we portray ourselves. A
lot of the stuff I write about comes from personal experience.
My lyrics come from different places or different situations that
spark some anger or whatever. Itís my therapy. Music
is my outlet to vent to the world.
DB: I know that digging into your
own past emotions allows you to express feelings very directly.
At the same time youíre revealing yourself to your audience.
Do you find that an issue?
DN: No, I feel that itís the most
honest and the best way to connect with somebody else. I
know exactly what Iím writing about but itís awesome when fans
approach me and tell me what they think the song is about and itís
totally different. Iíve connected with them on a totally
different level but itís all in the same realm. So itís
very, very exciting to see how people interpret our music.
DB: When you guys first came
together as Vyces, you came from a lot of directions both musical
and otherwise. How did you find each other and determine
that you had something that was bigger than all of you?
DN: Well first when Heart Set
Self-Destruct, my former band, disbanded, we just kind of got to
the point where we needed everyone all in or all out. People
were just like, not enjoying touring Ė it was a situation where
half the band wanted to do it and the other half didnít.
That was a huge bow to me because I dumped my life, my heart and
soul into that. Everybody left on good terms. But you
know what; Iím not done with music. So I started playing
with other bands in Chicago because thatís where Iím from, but I
just didnít find what I was looking for. So a drummer friend
of mine, Russ (Ray), heís out in Los Angeles. Heís actually
the brother of one of my best friends in Chicago. Thatís how
I met Russ. Weíve always talked about being in a band
together but we were always both busy. Finally we just hit
the right time. So I called Russ up and asked if he wanted
to do this? I committed to fly to Los Angeles twice a month.
But I told him, weíve got to do this for real. And here we
are. Russ played with our guitarist Shawn (Patterson) in
previous bands. Shawn was the first phone call and the next
thing you know we spent two years writing songs, recording and
really putting the brand together Ė before we ever played live.
We were just putting everything together so that we were sure that
we could take things where it needed to be.
DB: I read that you were working
with Augustus ďGusĒ Cryns (producer of Stitched Up Heart, XO
Stereo, The Dead Rabbits, and Westfield Massacre). I know
that you wrote a large quantity of songs. Was that an effort
to document everything you were writing or were you trying to find
DN: We knew what we wanted to do.
I had a very, very clear cut ideal of what I wanted to do.
But Iíll tell you what, after writing a couple of songs everyone
has pretty much felt each other out. But you really donít
become a band until you a good 10 songs deep. Thatís when
you start molding as a band. You discover that Dave is
really good at this and Shawn is really good at that and Russ is
really good as something else. You try to take peoples best
qualities and mold them into the songs and thatís when I feel like
you really start getting the sound. We all come from a lot
of different musical backgrounds. When I was a kid I watched
MTV with my dad every single day. So Iím everything from
'80s pop to heavy metal to whatever. Iím just a fan of good
songs. Russ is really a Pantera/Slayer kind of guy.
Shawnís into everything that Russ is but he also likes jazz.
And Andrew comes from metal and pop punk and maybe metalcore
stuff. So we put all these different things together.
And on top of that we have our producer, Gus. He really
helps us put our songs together. Itís really nice to have
that other guy. Gus is basically a fifth member of our band.
DB: Letís talk about the tour.
Youíre out with Mushroomhead right now. This seems like a
very good connection for you.
DN: This is the biggest tour that
weíve been on to date. And whatís great about it is that our
management really came through with it. So props to our
team. Weíre all working toward the same goal. And
being able to score a tour like this and being main support, I
canít be more happy.
DB: So I have an oddball question.
Reading your bio and your publicity I see that Vyces is still
unsigned. Some bands today, they could care less about
signing to a label while for others, itís the main goal.
What side of the line to you guys fall on?
DN: The goal is to get the label,
but to get a good deal. Theyíre out there. Just donít
sell yourself short in the beginning or jump at the first thing.
If Iím going to be signing my music away to somebody, I want to
know that they are working hard for it Ė because weíre going to go
out and work hard. So right now weíre doing some shopping.
I know that as an independent band the money is going to run out
one day. A lot of radio stations feel more comfortable
putting you on the air or maybe youíll get onto a tour because
they know thereís going to be something behind it, thereís going
to be promotion behind it. They feel more comfortable with a
band thatís under a label. At least thatís my take on it.
I could be totally wrong. But I feels that we need to be
under a label that will support us and help us grow.
DB: I get it. And by the sway,
thereís no wrong or right, this is rock ní roll. (Laguhs)
I want to thank Dave Naruszewicz for
sharing a moment with us. Check out Vyces Ė ontour now with
Mushroomhead. And check out their social mediaÖ