Interview with Tourniquet vocalist Chris Inzinna and guitarist Michael Fink and Seizures vocalist Cameron Miller | by Natalee Coloman
For the first time in over 10 years, Eighteen Visions performed for fans at the Observatory in Orange County, California, on Friday, June 2. The show promoted the band’s new full-length album, XVIII, which was released that same day. Attendees received a free download code upon entrance.
Eighteen Visions were first established in late 1995 in Orange County and are known for their heavy metal sound and dedicated straight edge lifestyle. The band have not only been influential for other musicians throughout the years, but also for the straight edge community.
Eighteen Visions essentially broke up in April 2007 and had no communication with the public for the following decade. In early 2017, fans speculated about a reunion based on an Instagram post of the band members with the caption: “The Countdown Begins…”
“I remember their last show; I was 15, and I was begging my mom to let me go,” says Chris Inzinna, the vocalist for Tourniquet. “I eventually saw them on Warped Tour in 2006, so it’s been 11 years.”
Inzinna and Tourniquet’s guitarist Michael Fink flew from New Jersey specifically for this show. Inzinna says it was a no brainer for them to instantaneously purchase tickets and book flights as soon as it was announced. “I was seeing things and hearing things and pretty much said to everyone I knew, ‘If Eighteen Visions plays again, I’m going to be there no matter what,’” he recalls. “The moment the show got announced, I got out of bed, ran downstairs to my computer, and bought tickets instantly. It didn’t feel real to me.”
Suddenly, that dream of seeing Eighteen Visions again became a reality for not only Inzinna, but everyone in the venue. A thick haze from the stage’s fog machines started to fill the room, and “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins began to play. It wasn’t until the lyrics “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life” played that the crowd began to move. As soon as Eighteen Visions appeared and played their first note, the room was wild.
“I think everything about the performance was amazing,” Inzinna says after the set. “They sounded great, the crowd was going crazy, and they played pretty much a perfect setlist.”
Eighteen Visions have had a heavy influence on Tourniquet’s sound and appearance, because they were Inzinna’s favorite band growing up. He loved everything about them. “The combination of all the Orange County music just blew my mind,” he says. “Eighteen Visions was always one of the bands that stuck with me and struck a chord. Everything about them is so unconventional, and it really was inspiring.”
Eighteen Visions’ bassist Mick Morris passed away in 2013, and the band used previously recorded bass tracks during their live performance as a means of paying their respects to their late member. “When Tourniquet plays live, we naturally play at different tempos all the time,” Fink says, “but playing with a bass track at a certain tempo is incredible. They must have had to run through their songs relentlessly to play perfectly with consistent speed.”
Supporting Eighteen Visions on their comeback show were Seizures and Retox. Seizures continued their tradition of playing in nearly complete darkness, which became a frequent factor in their performances roughly a year ago. “The first time we ever did it was in 2011 at a house show. There was a lot of blind moshing and holes in walls,” says Cameron Miller, vocalist for Seizures. “I don’t know why we waited so long to do it again. I think our sound just speaks for itself and doesn’t need anything else at the moment. Playing complicated songs in the dark and not knowing what’s going to happen is exciting.”
Besides supporting Eighteen Visions on the show’s bill, Miller is assisting with the band’s music video production. “I’ve been working on their new music videos and hanging with them more than ever the past few months,” Miller says. “It’s been cool to watch this all come together. I’m so stoked for them.”
Eighteen Visions have been an impactful presence for a multitude of bands across the country, and with their return, it’s not far-fetched to assume they will continue to influence the industry.
Photo by Travis Shinn