Vola
VOLA in 2019
VOLA in 2019
Background information
OriginCopenhagen, Denmark
Genres
Years active2006–present
LabelsMascot Label Group
MembersAsger Mygind
Martin Werner
Nicolai Mogensen
Adam Janzi
Past membersJeppe Bloch
Niklas Scherfig
Niels Dreijer
Felix Ewert
Websitevolaband.com

Vola (stylized as VOLA) are a Danish progressive metal band formed in Copenhagen in 2006. Having gone through a number of lineup changes earlier in their career, the band currently consists of three Danes, Asger Mygind (vocals and guitars), Martin Werner (keyboards) and Nicolai Mogensen (bass guitars); and one Swede, Adam Janzi (drums).[1][2]

History

Origins (2006–2012)

The band was formed by vocalist and guitarist Asger Mygind and some friends, and coalesced into a stable lineup in 2006. The band self-released their first EP, Homesick Machinery, in 2008,[1] which featured Mygind, guitarist Niels Dreijer, bassist Jeppe Bloch, Martin Werner on keyboards and Niklas Scherfig on drums.[3] A single, "Glasswork", was also released on 22 March 2010.[4][5]

After the first EP, there were some lineup changes, with Bloch and Scherfig replaced by Nicolai Mogensen and Felix Ewert, respectively.[6][7] The new lineup recorded a second EP, Monsters, which was self-released by the band in 2011. This EP consists of four tracks characterised by a mix of progressive rock and djent styles,[8] the latter of which was produced thanks to the use of seven-string guitars.[6] The band went on a short five-date tour of their home country to promote the EP,[9] after which Dreijer left the band, leaving them as a four-piece, with Mygind taking over sole responsibility for vocals and guitars, and Mogensen handling backing vocals when they play live.[1]

Inmazes (2015–2017)

On 2 February 2015, VOLA self-released their first album Inmazes.[10] A video was released for the first single, "Gutter Moon" in August 2016, the band having previously released a lyric video for "Starburn".[11] The album was later given a physical release on 16 September 2016 by Mascot Label Group.[12] According to Mygind the lyrical themes on Inmazes relate to entrapment:[6]

The album tries to capture this feeling of being trapped in mental mazes and not being able to fully experience happiness, basically. How is this struggle visualized in your own mind and how do your surroundings react to the behaviour caused by it.

On 2 June 2017, the band released their October Session EP, featuring new acoustic versions of two songs from Inmazes ("Gutter Moon" and "Stray the Skies"), with a video being produced for the latter.[13]

To promote Inmazes, the band embarked on a European tour for the first time, supporting Katatonia on their Fallen Hearts Over Europe tour, alongside the Icelandic band Agent Fresco.[14] Drummer Ewert was busy with other commitments and was therefore unable to take part in the tour, so the band hired Simen Sandnes from the band Arkentype as a temporary replacement.[15] It was subsequently announced on 22 August 2017 that Ewert had amicably left the band on a permanent basis, to focus on other projects. His replacement was revealed to be the Swedish drummer Adam Janzi,[16] who had previously played with The Drake Equation.[6]

Applause of a Distant Crowd (2018–2019)

Frontman Asger Mygind live in Parma in 2019

VOLA's second album, Applause of a Distant Crowd, was released on 12 October 2018, and was considered something of a departure from Inmazes, with less emphasis on the heaviness of the first album, and greater use of electronics,[17][18] a process defined as "natural" by Asger Mygind:[19]

I was in a very different place mentally while writing the lyrics for Inmazes. I'm definitely in a happier place now.

It was actually a relief to be able to have a wider range of awareness for this record. I think our songs develop in the most natural way if I let my emotional response to the music dictate what the lyrics should be about rather than following any kind of plan.

This time the emotions were mostly tied to observations I've made about the outside world.

In anticipation of the album's release, VOLA released videos between August and October 2018 for "Smartfriend",[19] "Ghosts"[20] and "Alien Shivers".[21] The band were special guests on Monuments' European tour during October and November 2018.[22]

On 11 January 2019, the band released a lyric video for "Whaler" and were announced as the support act for Haken on their European tour throughout February and March.[23] At the end of May 2019 a video was released for "Ruby Pool", the fourth track on the album.[24]

During September 2019, VOLA embarked on their first headlining tour, supported by Arch Echo and Rendezvous Point.[25]

Witness (2020–present)

During the second half of 2019, Mygind discussed the band's plans to begin recording their third album in early 2020.[26] It is expected to be heavier than Applause of a Distant Crowd.[27]

On 21 August 2020, the band announced that they had finished recording their third album, which was in the process of being mixed.[28]

A video for the first single, "Head Mounted Sideways", was premiered on 19 November 2020, with the new album due to be released in 2021.[29] A second video, for "Straight Lines", was released in February 2021, at which point it was announced that the new album was to be called Witness, and released on 21 May 2021.[30] On 11 March 2021, a video for the song "24 Light-Years", created by Mogensen and Anne Nørkjær Bang, was premiered.[31] A fourth single, "These Black Claws", featuring SHAHMEN, was released on 6 May 2021.[32]

To promote Witness, the band performed a live-streamed concert from the swimming pool of the abandoned Auderød military camp in North Zealand, near Copenhagen, Denmark, on 11 September 2021.[33] This performance will serve as the band's first live release, Live From The Pool, released on 1 April 2022.[34]

Musical style and influences

On their first album Inmazes, VOLA combined the typical sounds of progressive metal and electronic music, creating songs with odd time signatures, complex riffs and catchy and melodic choruses, with the cover banner drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd, Rammstein and Meshuggah.[35][36] As explained by Mygind, even the name of the band (which was chosen by previous bassist Jeppe Bloch) reflects their sound in that they "try to do [their] choruses very majestic and grandios [sic]".[1]

With the release of their second album Applause of a Distant Crowd, the band expanded their musical palette to incorporate a more progressive rock sound and a greater use of electronics, with progressive metal essentially limited to the songs "Smartfriend" and "Whaler".[17][18][37]

Amongst their influences the band have named Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Massive Attack, Ulver,[6] and Mew.[38] Mygind is a big fan of British musician and producer Steven Wilson, choosing his top ten favourite songs for Prog magazine in November 2018.[22]

Band members

Current

  • Asger Mygind – lead vocals, guitars (2006–present)
  • Martin Werner – keyboards (2006–present)
  • Nicolai Mogensen – bass guitar (2009–present)
  • Adam Janzi – drums (2017–present)

Former

  • Jeppe Bloch – bass guitar (2006–2009)
  • Niklas Scherfig – drums (2006–2011)
  • Niels Dreijer – guitars, backing vocals (2006–2012)
  • Felix Ewert – drums (2011–2017)

Touring

  • Simen Sandnes – drums (2016)

Timeline

Discography

Studio albums

  • Inmazes (2015)
  • Applause of a Distant Crowd (2018)
  • Witness (2021)

Live albums

  • Live From The Pool (2022)

EPs

  • Homesick Machinery (2008)
  • Monsters (2011)
  • October Session (2017)

Singles

  • "Glasswork" (2010)
  • "Head Mounted Sideways" (2020)
  • "Straight Lines" (2021)
  • "24 Light-Years" (2021)
  • "These Black Claws" (feat. Shahmen) (2021)

References

  1. ^ a b c d Nilsson, Patrik (11 October 2018). "Interview with Asger Mygind, Guitar and Vocals of the Danish progrockband VOLA". Stargazed Magazine. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Dansk band stormer frem i udlandet: 'Vi har haft det ret vildt over, hvor stærkt det pludselig gik'". DR (in Danish). 14 September 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  3. ^ "VOLA – Homesick Machinery". Discogs. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Release group "Glasswork" by VOLA". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  5. ^ "VOLA – Glasswork". Discogs. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Band Profile for VOLA". Bloodstock Open Air. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Bio". VOLA. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  8. ^ "VOLA - Monsters EP". Rockfreaks.net. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Tour". VOLA. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  10. ^ "VOLA – Inmazes". Discogs. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  11. ^ Munro, Scott (12 August 2016). "Vola issue animated Gutter Moon video". Prog magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  12. ^ "VOLA – "Inmazes" Veröffentlichung im September" (in German). Metal-heads.de. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Vola Release 'October Session'". SonicAbuse.com. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  14. ^ Weaver, James (8 August 2016). "Katatonia reveal European tour supports". Distorted Sound Magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Interview with Simen Sandnes". The Progspace. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  16. ^ VOLA (22 August 2017). "We would like to welcome Adam Janzi as the new drummer in VOLA". Facebook. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b "VOLA - Applause of a Distant Crowd". Sputnikmusic. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  18. ^ a b Gallarati, Marco (5 October 2018). "VOLA – Applause Of A Distant Crowd" (in Italian). Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  19. ^ a b Munro, Scott (7 August 2018). "Vola announce new album Applause Of A Distant Crowd". Prog magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  20. ^ Munro, Scott (5 September 2018). "Vola premiere video for new single Ghosts". Prog magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  21. ^ Munro, Scott (3 October 2018). "Vola release animated video for atmospheric new track Alien Shivers". Prog magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  22. ^ a b Ewing, Jerry (7 November 2018). "VOLA choose their favourite Steven Wilson songs". Prog magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  23. ^ "VOLA: in tour in Europa con gli HAKEN e lyric video di "Whaler"" (in Italian). 11 January 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  24. ^ "PREMIERE: guarda il video di "Ruby Pool"" (in Italian). SpazioRock. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  25. ^ "VOLA announces European headline tour". Mascot Label Group. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  26. ^ Wierzbicki, Johann (16 September 2019). "Interview with Asger Mygind of VOLA". Rockflesh.com. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  27. ^ Altaf, Rodrigo (16 July 2019). "VOLA Singer ASGER MYGIND Reflects On the Band's Creative Process: " What We Will Create Next Will Always Be a Reaction to What We Have Just Done "". Sonic Perspectives. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  28. ^ VOLA (21 August 2020). "We have wrapped up the recordings for album #3 and the album is currently being mixed. We will be back with some more exciting news soon". Instagram. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  29. ^ Ewing, Jerry (19 November 2020). "VOLA return with video for new song The Head Mounted Sideways". Prog magazine. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  30. ^ Ewing, Jerry (4 February 2021). "VOLA return with new video for Straight Lines". Prog magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  31. ^ Ewing, Jerry (11 March 2021). "VOLA release animated video for 24 Light Years". Prog magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  32. ^ Ewing, Jerry (6 May 2021). "VOLA hook up with US rapper SHAHMEN for new video for These Black Claws". Prog magazine. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  33. ^ Lehtinen, Jani. "09.11.2021 VOLA: Live From the Pool". Tuonela Magazine. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  34. ^ Weave, James. "VOLA announce new live album 'Live From The Pool'". Distorted Sound Magazine. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  35. ^ McCarthy, Laura (13 September 2016). "ALBUM REVIEW: Inmazes – VOLA". Distorted Sound Magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  36. ^ Needs, Kris (17 August 2016). "Vola - Inmazes album review". Prog magazine. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  37. ^ Ausoni, Giovanni (5 October 2018). "VOLA – Applause Of A Distant Crowd" (in Italian). SpazioRock. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  38. ^ Savić, Niko (23 March 2015). "VOLA: Mental Mazes". ProgSphere. Retrieved 13 September 2020.

External links