Of Virtue releases Progressive and Melancholic Single "Sinner"
Mid-western metalcore band Of Virtue comes back from their 2019 full-release What Defines You evolved and better than ever with progressive and melancholic new single "Sinner" via Arising Empire.
Nothing screams going through a Dark Night of The Soul more than when you are using music as the gateway to getting through life's most troubling obstacles. When it comes to Of Virtue, the meaning goes far deeper than most might imagine. It's perseverance, transition, progress, and above all reaching the best version of yourself during that journey.
“Sinner" represents several different layers of the struggle with substance addiction and in this case, revolves more around my personal struggle with alcohol when I was younger. Like most addicts do, you treat your vice almost like a God. You’ll do anything to keep it in your life, you believe it makes you feel like a better version of yourself and ultimately you believe that this thing could never hurt you when that is the furthest thing from the truth. ”
Within those transitions, Of Virtue became that sparkling beacon of hope that would light the way for change spiritually and physically. While progression and change are a part of any band's survival, Of Virtue has long understood since the beginning what growth and evolution mean within yourself and for your craft. Their new single "Sinner" is not only an extension of that development but also creatively shows a band that knows the value of taking chances to earn success.
Coming off of their 2019 release What Defines You, "Sinner" shows something more evolved, atmospheric, and above all lyrically poignant. While the band has gotten this far on their merit, it doesn't hurt to tote that their new signing to Arising Empire has brightened their future immensely. Now with a new single and new signing to a label under their belts, it feels like the sky is the limit for the midwestern metal act. But Of Virtue has always been about expansion and continuing to grow, and this is only another chapter in that exciting journey.
What started Of Virtue? What is the story of your band name?
Damon Tate: Mike and I [Damon] started Of Virtue after our previous band broke up. Both of us wanted to create something a lot more melodic and progressive. At that time I was also newly sober and I was going through a ton of transitions, so having a project which could mirror that and be an outlet for my energy was vital. As for the name, it was meant to represent the bettering of ourselves. It relates to the spiritual or physical journey each of us are taking while trying to become the best version of ourselves.
What are your music influences? What artists or bands have you taken inspiration from on your latest single, "Sinner?"
Damon Tate: As a collective, the list is endless! In terms of heavy music - Slipknot to Story Of The Year, Killswitch Engage to Korn, Breaking Benjamin to Bring Me The Horizon, Misery Signals to Meshuggah. We all come from vastly different musical backgrounds and experiences. But I believe this is what has helped us nurture a strong curiosity to try new things and experiment with our sound today.
When it comes to “Sinner”, the main inspiration wasn’t any specific artists or songs perse, but more so the opportunity to be in the same room together, making music without any inhibitions, just experimenting and enjoying each other’s company after not being able to do that for so long. We aimed to bypass any creative barriers we might normally put up and allowed any idea that came to mind - be it something r&b related, pop-related, rock-related, or beyond.
How was this creative process different from anything you have worked on previously?
Damon Tate: Because of the pandemic, just like most bands, we had very limited, if any, access to each other for extended periods of time. To compensate, working remotely with each other was the norm for us during this time so we would share anything from fully formed tracks to loose demos or even just hummed phone ideas. While in the past we might share demos - we haven’t stripped down the process that far before. It was very different for us.
In the past, we’ve talked about 2019's ‘What Defines You’, even on the Deluxe version, we got a taste of what to expect when it came to new sounds coming from you guys. With this new single, "Sinner," how does this differ instrumentally yet still keep in stride with your original sound?
Damon Tate: “Sinner” is us diving deeper into the moody elements we started using on the last record, but combining that with a massive wall of sound. We realized that this experimentation was pushing us in ways we had never thought and we started to highlight those new elements further. We wanted something that you could both scream at the top of your lungs at a festival or just vibe with while driving down the road in the middle of the night by yourself.
You guys just got signed to Arising Empire! Congratulations! There are some huge names attached to this project such as Evan McKeever, known for his work with VRSTY, Dan Braunstein, known for his work with Spiritbox, Dayseeker, and Volumes, and of course both Dana Willax as well as Orie McGinness to help create your videos, a team that has worked with the likes of Wage War, Kingdom of Giants, and more! That's fantastic! How has this all impacted the creative process so far?
Damon Tate: Thank you very much! Arising Empire has been so positive and enthusiastic - it really gives us peace of mind to get as we try to get as creative as possible! Tobbe, Robin, Mark and everyone over there involved with us have been fantastic to work with so far and we couldn't be happier with the team around us.
In regards to the names you’ve mentioned - they all bring such an awesome energy to their piece of the pie and each song wouldn’t be what it is without them. We also want to thank everyone else involved, but without giving too much away yet, so you all know who you are. Thank you!
Lyrically what is "Sinner" getting into thematically? What made you guys want to write this single? There is this sense of letting go of toxic things or, in this case, a relationship with a person.
Damon Tate: “Sinner” represents several different layers of the struggle with substance addiction and in this case, revolves more around my personal struggle with alcohol when I was younger. Like most addicts do, you treat your vice almost like a God. You’ll do anything to keep it in your life, you believe it makes you feel like a better version of yourself and ultimately you believe that this thing could never hurt you when that is the furthest thing from the truth.
During the sessions for this song, all of us went to a lot of vulnerable places and discovered new things about each other. Talking about all of the people that we know who are addicts / recovering addicts and the realization of how much pain and conflict that is or can be internalized and for a long time, I felt real shame about my past and who I used to be. “Sinner” is a way for us to talk about the process of overcoming not only your vices but also the survivor’s guilt that can also take a toll on a person during their road to recovery.
Is "Sinner" part of a larger project?
Damon Tate: Absolutely! This is just part one of many things to come!
What is next for you guys?
Damon Tate: The absolute diametric opposite of “Sinner”.