Interview with Candice (VINTERSEA fan)

This interview is part of the Interview with the fans FemMetal did with fans of different female fronted bands in Metal!

Other BandsDevin Townsend, Obliviscaris, Periphery, Jinjer, and TesseracT
P.S. She’s my favorite

Jad: Hello girls! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Candice: My name is Candice and I’m a former paralegal and current law student in Oregon, USA.

Jad: How did you first start listening to the band you support?

Candice: I started dating Riley Nix in summer 2014—he’s one the guitarists in VINTERSEA. I had never really listened to much metal before meeting Riley. I’m embarrassed to admit that I called it screamo and pretty much avoided it. VINTERSEA was very new in those days, they had spent a lot of time writing their first demo and by October 2014, they had their first gig at a venue. Riley invited me and I was so nervous because I wasn’t familiar with the genre and had no idea what to expect or what I should wear—I ruled out cardigans, something I’ve since realized is absurd. My friends and I arrived and drank a little too much and I said hi to Riley but he still had to load in and set up so we didn’t get to hang or meet the band until after they played. I was trying to decide how to fake loving the show in case they were awful because the only thing I knew about them was that they were “progressive death metal.” When VINTERSEA got on stage and started playing, it was like our minds exploded. They were so good. It was so amazing and Avienne was mesmerizing. I had never seen such a cute girl sound like that. We were so relieved that they were good because we were expecting a shitty garage band. I haven’t missed a single VINTERSEA show since and one of my favorite things to do is to scan the crowd during the first song when Avienne goes into her harsh vocals and watch the people’s faces who have never heard VINTERSEA before as their minds explode. No matter how much I watch them perform, it never gets old. They are so talented and so passionate. I’m happy to be along for the ride, helping out in any way that I can and I’m so grateful for them introducing me to metal. It has been seriously life changing.

Jad: Did you see your band(s) live? Did you get to meet any of the members?

Candice: Why, yes! I have (laughs). I actually once even went to a show after getting into a car accident on my way there! I know I’ll miss one some day but for now I have a 4 year streak of not missing single show, including when they went on tour. I make myself useful though—I run their merch table at shows and help with their online orders and shipping as well. One of the coolest things about going to all the VINTERSEA shows though is getting to see lots of other local and touring bands. VINTERSEA has played with Ne Obliviscaris, Jinjer, Dead Animal Assembly Plant, and so many really awesome bands. A lot of my early exposure to metal actually was live shows and that was such a fun way to learn about the genre. I spent a lot of my younger years pretty exclusively going to indie rock shows and that was fun but there is something so much better about the crowd at most metal shows. Metalheads are some of the nicest and funniest people I know nowadays and I’m glad VINTERSEA brought me into that scene with them.

Jad: How does the front-woman of that band inspires you to be a better person?

Candice: Avienne is honestly one of the kindest and best women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She has this incredibly powerful stage presence that alternates between angel and demon but off stage she is just a normal person—a fantastic normal person, but not someone intimidating or hard to approach, like such a powerful stage presence would normally infer. She is hilarious and weird and so much fun to be around. It’s crazy that she grew up in such a conservative country and was able to turn into the dynamic metal goddess that she is today. She taught herself to growl late at night in her home in Malaysia and her family almost definitely was concerned about the sounds they were hearing. Nowadays her parents are arguably VINTERSEA’s biggest fan, their leading competition being Avienne’s husband and myself. She moved to Oregon for college and auditioned for VINTERSEA and has grown into this fierce and confident performer. While in college she joined an acapella group so she could expand her vocal range for the band. She just keeps getting better and better. I think she is inspiring because she has found a great balance between her need to grow as an artist and as a person. She is Avienne the bad ass singer, Avienne the friend, Avienne the wife, Avienne the daughter, and so much more, and she does all of it with care and consideration. I don’t imagine there’s anything she couldn’t do that she set her mind to but it’s not because it’s easy for her, it’s because she is determined and hardworking.

Jad: As a young woman, what rights do you feel that girls and women around the world are still missing?

Candice: Girls and women around the world are trying so hard to catch up with men and I think we are making better progress than ever but there is still a long way to go. Depending on where you are in the world, your ability to be certain things and achieve certain goals greatly varies. Universally, women have to work so much harder to gain the respect that most men inherently receive. It’s important that our male allies continue to speak up for us and use their privilege to lift us up as we strive to make it in the same world. I love seeing young girls and women out there working their butts off in their hobbies and careers, despite whether or not it’s a “traditionally female” activity. The more we break stereotypes and refuse to back away, the stronger foundation we will set for the young women of the future. I have lady friends who are engineers, scientists, lawyers, musicians, and so much more. My little niece gets to be a Cub Scout and learn about camping and fishing and nature rather than being a Girl Scout because she wasn’t as interested in the crafts and stuff they did. I think it’s those little things that will ultimately help make the difference and pave our way to equality. We need to keep just showing up and proving we belong everywhere the men are. I get so excited every time I get to vote for a female candidate and every time I see women out there doing amazing things and getting acclaim for it. The stronger we get, the more we need to help other women achieve that strength too. We don’t help anyone by simply helping ourselves, competing against other women, and tearing them down. As a someday lawyer, I want to be an advocate for women and children. I want to be an example to young women that we can be whatever we want and we can achieve it through hard work, kindness, and lifting each other up.

Jad: What other bands do you like to listen to?

Candice: When it comes to metal, some of my favorites are Devin Townsend, Obliviscaris, Periphery, Jinjer, and TesseracT. For other genres, I love the Avett Brothers, Amanda Palmer, Regina Spektor, and Ben Folds.

Jad: What lyrics from a metal song would you think of in the following situations:
If you’re depressed?

Candice: “Now the rain it comes, The rain it blurs the grey line The grey line The Greyhound home You are so vicious Hurt me, I can take it…”
Devin Townsend – Deadhead

Jad: If you’re getting bullied?

Candice: “Step forward and meet a new sunrise A coward is shivering inside Today I’ll, I’ll be a friend of mine who swallows Suffering with smile I drew a different reality With unconditional loyalty Ego hardly can be piqued ’cause I’m selfless…”
Jinjer – Pisces

Jad: If you’re happy and having a good time?

Candice: “Living through the highest highs, You’re shining and it shows Down at the bottom, but I’m fine I try to feed it, but it still wants more Give me that feeling that I’m looking for Show them how to fly away when this world is torn If you feel like dying, lose that forever You’re shining and it shows…”
Periphery – The Way the News Goes…

Jad: If you’re late to school or work?

Candice: “As the lights surround me I’m losing myself In altered minds I’m falling Falling deeper Siphoned into dirty water Echoes of whispers Brought you here Now is the time Wander into horizons…”
VINTERSEA – The Gravity of Fall

Jad: What is your favourite new-comer band?

Candice: This one is tough, I looked all through my iTunes and Spotify and had issues finding bands that were post-2014 so I am now inspired to find some because that’s nuts that there weren’t any. I asked Riley if he had played me any that were post-2014 in the car or something and he said Numenorean so I’m going to give them more of a listen this weekend.

Jad: In your opinion, what is the difference between Metal and Rock and any other music genre? And why are the fans of artists in Metal more dedicated than other fans?

Candice: As a newer metal fan, I have actually thought about this quite a bit. I grew up listening to musical soundtracks, the Beatles, the Beach Boys—all of my mom’s favorite music. As I got older, as a 90s/00s kid, I listened to lots of pop, R&B, rap, then I went through my indie phase, followed by my techno and dubstep phase, which was weirdly followed by a bit of a folk phase and a resurgence of my love of the oldies. I never expected to get into metal. I actually always found it really overwhelming. To an inexperienced ear, metal can be really hard to digest. It’s loud and the vocals are not necessarily the most important part, which they arguably are in most other music genres. The vocals are normally the first thing than non-musicians can attach to because it is what we are most familiar with.
Metal draws from and builds on so many other genres. I think metal is music for musicians or for passionate music lovers. Metal is so technical and intricately layered. There is so much more to the depth of a metal track than of anything you could hear on the Top 40—even the best of the best Top 40. The more you listen to metal, the more you can hear and differentiate those layers and hear the technical intricacies. I’ve been lucky enough to listen to VINTERSEA during the writing and recording stages of their albums and was so mesmerized watching the songs build and evolve.
I spent the first two years of Riley and I’s relationship writing down the names of songs and bands that he played me or mentioned loving. I knew nothing about metal but it was clearly very important to him so I wanted to at the very least to be able to identify and tell apart his favorite bands and songs. I started with Devin Townsend and Periphery, moved my way into TesseracT, then Jinjer and Ne Obiviscaris, and the deeper I got, the deeper I wanted to go. I can honestly say I was so overwhelmed the first time Riley played me Behemoth and now sometimes I’ll request Behemoth songs in the car. To an untrained ear, metal is “screamo” (yes, I’m embarrassed for ever using that word in my past) but once you give it a chance, it’s like listening to the most emotive poetry in existence. Every note, every layer, every growl or clean vocal, it all works together in symbiotic perfection, and as much as I’ll always still have a place in my heart for other genres, now that I have experienced the heavy, I’m not going back.

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