Interview with vocalist Tim Williams | By Justin Kreitzer
Long Island, N.Y.’s Vision Of Disorder first carved a path in the ‘90s hardcore scene with their eponymous 1996 debut and subsequent tours with hardcore heavyweights such as Earth Crisis. Though criminally underrated at the time, their first album soon became a cult classic and went on to inspire the oft-maligned metalcore sound with its blistering blend of powerful yet melodic metal and snarling New York style hardcore.
They released three more albums—including a failed attempt at mainstream nu-metal acceptance—then went on a lengthy decade-plus hiatus. In the interim, dynamic vocalist Tim Williams and fellow founding member, guitarist Mike Kennedy, led the band Bloodsimple. In 2012, Vision Of Disorder—including original members, bassist Mike Fleischmann and drummer Brendon Cohen—reemerged with a triumphant new album, The Cursed Remain Cursed, which was hailed for its aggressive back to basics hardcore sound. “We felt things were in the right place, so we played a few shows and realized the fans of the band really wanted some new stuff,” Williams says of the band’s reemergence and 2012 release. “We all had some time to reconnect and have fun again. So, we started jamming and writing songs. It was just the right timing.”
On November 13, the band released their highly anticipated sixth album, Razed to the Ground, via Candlelight Records. Produced by Zeuss and featuring a modernized take on their classic metallic hardcore sound, furious “state of the world” lyrics, and a palpable energy that belies their decades long existence, the record solidifies their rightful place as standouts of the scene. Of the record’s reception, Williams says, “The fans seem to really be into the last record we did—The Cursed Remain Cursed—and, so far, the new Razed… stuff has been getting outstanding press reviews. So, I feel people are into the new stuff.”
“Electric Sky”—one of the highlights on Razed To The Ground—showcases Williams’ distinct and dynamic vocal style, which he says is inspired by “Perry Farrell [of Jane’s Addiction], Jim Morrison [of The Doors], Thom Yorke [of Radiohead], Mark Lanegan [of Screaming Trees], and Mike Williams [of Eyehategod].” But, of his favorite songs to play live, he cites “Viola” from the 1996 self-titled—“It’s always a great live song; I love the mellow parts in the middle and towards the end of the song.”—and The Cursed Remain Cursed’s “Set To Fail”—“It just crushes live, and it’s one of the finer moments on the record. It’s just a really great moment for Vision Of Disorder… Killer track.”
After such a long and tumultuous musical career, does Williams have any regrets? “Yeah, I have some regrets, but I don’t lose any sleep over them or anything,” he assures. “I really wish we had made better business choices in the early years. I wish we had some solid people around us to help guide us. I think the band could have gone a lot further in the early years with some direction and advice.”
Well, there’s no time like the present. “Some say we are in the best position of our career, because we don’t depend on the band or the music business to make a living,” Williams says. “We really respect our fans and peers for standing with us and supporting us over the years. We are going to ride the wave of Razed… for a while, just enjoy the moment. Get out and rip some shows in the Americas and Europe.”
Pick up The Cursed Remain Cursed on iTunes.