2021 is the year of the work-up, where the normal beats that preceded 2020, which felt like a machine with no brakes, came to a screeching halt and now is being cranked slowly back with gradually lifted expectations ahead. Granted, the previous year wasn’t a complete bust, but the moment March came around, we all saw in forecast signs of trouble ahead. What was memorable about 2020 though? For Altered Vision, an alt-rock quartet that has molded itself continuously since 2017, it will be an anniversary at the end of February that the band blew the doors off of Amos’ Southend on 2/28/2020, and they haven’t stopped thinking forward since. Reported by AV via their Facebook page, an EP was in the making as of last April, and as the grease started to come back to the music machine after last year’s lessons, we’ve now got a taste of what’s to come with “Never Alone” and “All Or Nothing”, the band’s first two singles put out into the digital world.
“Never Alone”, while steeped deep in a 2000’s rock aesthetic, reminiscent of Foo Fighters & Chris Cornell’s work, plays for the upbeat message, the lyrics presented as if the track is reading the minds of everyone in the perceived audience. A key in the song are the lines “Reach Out You Hand, There’s No Place To Hide”, bearing both a truth and a line of support that so many that might hear this could need, fortunate or not. All of this is placed alongside an evened-out instrumental backdrop, discarding a vocal climax in order to invoke a stable sense of trust alongside the lyrics.
In a slight change-up, “All Or Nothing” hits like an anthem, even keeled yet powerful, both in vocals & with the instrumentals. The energy stays consistent, however, as the look as the self as well manifests in both sets of verses, the first speaking to the thought of holding back for that perfect moment, while the second is an approach to those around asking listeners if they’ve met the limit of their abilities. The climax explodes into an affirmation of pursuit, crossing into a scream that anyone looking for a jolt of motivation could take from.
Between both songs, the speeds differ, but vocalist Josh Doom meets the expectations the music itself sets with ease, rhythm guitar also in hand. JJ Jones, together with Doom and Ben Grasberg as the lead guitar fleshing the bones, provides the skeleton that frames each track via bass. Finally, David Guion provides the kinetic energy as he thunders the tracks into action on the drums.
2021 is a hopeful year, given how much we’ve learned to adapt to present issues. If there is anything Altered Vision has to say about that, it’s through their music, with the words and vibrations to push their potential to the limit, no guard rail to stop them ahead.
While checking out the newest releases, we also hit AV up with a couple questions to see where the road might go from here;
Q1.) In just a few sentences, who is Altered Vision?
A.) Altered Vision is 4 friends putting their heads together and creating music while having fun pursuing their passion.
Q2.) When the band originally formed back in 2017, what were the catalysts that brought Altered Vision into fruition?
A.) Catalysts that brought the band together, Josh and I (JJ) were roommates a few years earlier and always talked about starting up a band due to similar tastes in music, but it was taking forever to locate a drummer. Finally one day David answered our Craigslist ad the day before it was to be taken down and it was answered in such a professional way that we had to get together, the chemistry was there from day 1.
Q3.) In both of the tracks that the band dropped in January, listeners might be able to pick up on the nuances that 90’s/2000’s Alternative were laced in. What are the influences that y’all draw on in the song-writing process?
A.) We definitely draw from 90s and 00s alternative in our music writing, since we grew up during that time bands like Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, and Alice in Chains tend to inspire us doing the musical aspect. Lyrically we pull from everyday experiences as well as specific instances in our lives.
Q4.) The band has written via social media on how the two singles were only the beginning in 2021. What can audiences expect with the upcoming EP, and what other projects are slated for this year?
A.) We are currently in the process of writing a full EP/LP. Our audience can expect us to put 100% into this album, there may be a few surprises and/or guest appearances as well. Really looking forward to have everyone hear it. We are also working on having music videos filmed for both singles as well. If the pandemic subsides we do have a couple festivals lined up if everything goes well but can’t give too many details about it currently.
Q5.) Where have you gotten to perform in our scene? Which venue are you most interested in playing at post-Covid?
A.) The Charlotte area scene has so many awesome venues we’ve gotten to play like: The Milestone, Amos’, Skylark, Tommy’s pub etc, Grounder (which is in Spartanburg) etc.
Some places we hope to play once Covid is over: The Fillmore, The Underground, The Neighborhood Theater, and of course the ultimate dream PNC Pavilion.
Q6.) Last Question; RF20XX is half ‘n’ half music and gaming. What are your favorite games, or what was something you loved to play back when?
A.) Some of our favorite games are:
Josh: Legend of Zelda series (specifically Majora’s Mask), Mario Kart
JJ: NCAA Football 2006, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros,
Ben: Fable, Mario 64
David: Goldeneye on Nintendo 64, Mario Kart
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