Lockdown was tough on all of us, but especially those who, faced with the uncertainty of an eternal hermetic existence, found themselves having to equate their worth – whether or not they’d ever be allowed to be what they were in The Before Times.
This is the situation many artists have found themselves in over the past 18 months – not so much fighting for their existence, but weighing up whether it was even worth mounting a fight for at this point.
That was something Void Of Vision’s Jack Bergin felt, and something he noticed those around him were feeling too. But before falling too far into despair, Bergin found a hardline amid the chaos – that being sad was becoming tedious. It wasn’t enough to just leave the sadness behind, though. It had to be destroyed, along with other regressive attitudes and behaviours still clinging to the tatters of society.
Much like the way the pandemic set ablaze Void Of Vision’s best laid plans, so too would their new EP, Chronicles I: Lust – out now on UNFD – take a match to the past. Speaking with BLUNT, Bergin explains this was the only possible way for Void Of Vision to enter their new chapter.
There’s a lot of darkness in Chronicles I, but I can’t help but feel as though the overall takeaway is a message of positivity. How accurate is that read?
I think it’s going to be a very common theme for people coming out of COVID – this whole era has been a giant period of self-reflection. A lot of people are going to be thinking very differently upon how they act, how they function through their day-to-day life, or even how they just think while they’re on their own. We’ve had all this time to ourselves to just wallow in our thoughts, whether they be negative or positive, and I think it gets to a certain point where it becomes like fucking tasking to dwell on these negative thoughts.
This EP will speak to a lot of people in that sense. It’s got a lot of themes on there that visit self-realisation and realisation of the world around us, especially in the music industry. That’s going to be a really cool connection with the fan base and new listeners to see how they feel about these topics that I’m sure they’ve had plenty of time to be thinking about now.
I can actually pinpoint the exact moment when I decided I was done being sad and angry and negative during the pandemic – it was during the millionth weekend screening of 90 Day Fiancé reruns. Can you trace it back to that specific moment? Did you have that actual “Eureka” moment that led to Chronicles I?
Weirdly enough, it was probably during the recording process. There’s a track on the EP called ‘Gothika’ that’s outlining that exact scenario; it just hurts me to think, “Is this really like what I’m going to be treating the rest of my time on Earth like?” I’ve literally been negative about everything.
Hyperdaze is a very negative record, in hindsight, and I didn’t realise how much it had actually absorbed into my general wellbeing and my life. So it was nice to kind of get back into the studio and have that cathartic experience, just emptying out all those feelings I’d been bottling up. I think that’s the beautiful part of writing and recording music – that’s our musician’s chance of therapy, in a sense.
So kind of pointing all that towards the music, was there an element of just kind of coming out with this destructive, explosive power to destroy the past to be able to move on?
I think that came very naturally, to be honest. James presented the songs, and for this EP we picked the most crushingly heavy things that we could, because it just felt very reflective of the time being. I think as a vocalist, I tend to listen to his songs first and then I’ll attach meaning to it from what I hear. Of course these are extremely aggressive tracks, and I feel like I need to accompany such a harsh kind of unfolding of my emotions.
I think we just wanted to put out the most explosive sort of comeback kind of piece of art for whenever. I mean this has been in the pipeline for a little bit, so we were hoping that COVID would end a little bit sooner – but yeah, we tried to time it so that it would be ready for the comeback, if you will.
I would have gone with “baptism by fire”. It really feels as though you guys just kind of poured petrol on it, lit it ablaze and then just effortlessly strutted through it.
Baptism by fire is hard. I really like that. To put this out for our next piece of work is probably a nice statement to start everything off with. I know there’s a lot more where this came from, and people are probably going to get it a lot sooner than they think.
I want to point to ‘Vampyr’ here specifically, because that’s a track where you go straight for the fucking jugular. You say things that are really important and really need to be said, but people are falling short of saying them. They moreso wait for someone else to say them, then agree with them. What was it like to take the front foot on this topic that so few people really have the confidence to do?
It was necessary, first and foremost. I think it’s very important in a time where we are witnessing – for the first time in literally decades, in the music industry – a culture shift of sorts. We can see a future where harassment and abuse are not things in the music industry, and that it’s just something in the past, because that’s where it should be.
It felt great to put this out because I think you can stand idle or you can start making waves. It’s the least that we could do with our positions in the music industry. I know I’ll never understand how women feel in the situations they get put in, but the least I can do is help my fellow peers recognise people who may not be thinking about it as much.
I heard a very interesting quote from Shawna of War On Women, that women no longer need allies, they need accomplices. It’s not enough to go, “Yes, we support you”, you’ve gotta fuck some shit up.
Absolutely. Once everyone’s in this, it’s more fun for everyone. The fact that we can incorporate more equality and make a safer space for everyone means a better time… So why wouldn’t we?
Chronicles I: Lust is out now via UNFD
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