Starting way back this band from Canada was influenced by bands such as Journey, Van Halen and Survivor.
After a break due to “life happens” they were finally back together in 2019.
Their debut single, “Turn Around” reached no10 in UK AND New Zealand iTunes Rock Charts and now they have a new album coming out July 22.
In today’s “In the Spotlight” I have the HUGE pleasure to give you Fatal Vision!
Hi Simon and thank you so much for joining me today.
What is the story about the name Fatal Vision?
Honestly, the answer to this is lost in the mists of time. The other original members had been in a band called “Fair Warning”, and I wanted to reboot with something new, so came up with it daydreaming in a high school class, I imagine. There is a very famous novel by this name, but it has nothing to do with that.
You had an unfortunate break for a long time, do you feel that it was time wasted, or was it a blessing in disguise, making you as a musician and individuals and as a band more determined and ready for what’s to come?
In the end, it was a blessing in disguise. Back in 1990, we were all going off to college, had no money to spend on studio time, and the spectre of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc. was all looming just over the horizon. If we had gone all in then, it would all have come crashing down when the genre collapsed. The reality is that the original Fatal Vision could never have created an album of this scale and with this massive of a sound and with all of these special guests on it. The main problem now is that I have this huge backlog of songs, and there are only so many that can go one album, and you can’t put an album out every three months!
After your break you are the only returning member, how was it to rebuild with new blood and how did this change the sound if at all?
This was not the original plan. Fatal Vision had been consigned to the past for me, other than I had a couple of scratchy old demo tapes, and a brown binder full of songs I wrote in high school. Then, back in 2018, my wife bought me a gift to go to a local studio: get some vocal sessions, and record a song and a video. When I got there, I found that was this really meant was “here’s our book of songs by Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, etc., pick one and then we’ll do that.” This held no interest for me — but luckily, when I told the studio owner I wanted to record an original from back in the day, she mentioned that their engineer owned his own studio and was a guitar player. This engineer turned out to be Miguel Montant, our guitar player in Fatal Vision Mark II. We went to his studio in Gatineau, recorded “Time Keeps Slipping Away”, and then I said “hey, I have these other three songs on old tapes, could you re-record them with modern equipment”… I remember he sent me “Burning For You” and I was driving along in my car and the track hit the solo he’d written, and my jaw dropped. So we re-recorded those, and then I thought “hmmmm… we have four songs, there’s ten on an album”, and we were off to the races. Four became 10 became 20 became 40, and suddenly we have three albums in the hopper.
Miguel had played in a number of Ottawa bands with Scottie Irving (keyboards), Alex Wickham (drums) and Andrew Burns (bass), so he recruited them to join us, and they already were a solid unit. For the first album, there’s not a huge change to the sound other than it is professional, rather than three guys banging stuff out in barns and basements, but by the time we get to album three, “Three Times Lucky”, Scott, Miguel and I have gelled as a songwriting unit, and the sound has definitely evolved. The other thing I did was to create what we’re calling the “Fatal Vision Choir”, which is a WALL of backing vocals, and we have folks like Jeff Scott Soto, Paul Laine, Harry Hess, Marc LaFrance, JK Northrup, my country music singing partner Christine Corless and others in that wall, which gives us something very different from just the usual “gang vocals.”
How has it been during covid and how does it feel to be able to rehearse and play gigs again?
COVID has been a blessing and a curse when it comes to this project. On the one hand, I have been the most locked-down person you will ever meet. There was no way I was going to go to a studio to record vocals, so I built one in my basement. The guys have done most of their stuff in their own studios as well, other than drums, for which we’ve gone to a couple of big-time studios. In this era, however, it’s much easier to record our various pieces and shoot them around. It also meant that a lot of the guests we have on the album were not overly busy, as they weren’t touring or recording, and were looking for things to do, so it opened that door for us.
I’m not ready to play shows yet. The thought of being indoors with that many people — yikes.
What can you tell us about your upcoming album?
Other than the title track, all of the songs on “Once” were written back in the 1987-1990 period. There were a few that were unfinished, like “Haven’t We Been Here Before?” and “Wings Of The Night”, where I had a first verse and chorus, but needed to write the rest, but all the others were done. It’s very much a product of its era, but with modern production techniques. So it has the soaring guitar solos, the big piano intros, the booming drums, and that mass of backing vocals. So very much in line with my influences: anything with Wetton/Downes, Schon/Cain or Peterik/Sullivan, so think Asia, Journey, Survivor, Bad English, with some Van Halen and RATT licks thrown in for good measure. There are hard rockers, big power ballads, and a couple of more modern mid-tempo ones as well. We have singles and videos out for “Time Keeps Slipping Away” and “Heartbreaker”, with “Open Your Eyes” going June 24th, and the album on July 22nd. There will also be videos for “Into The Twilight”, “Once” and “Haven’t We Been Here Before?” to wrap this release up. It’s coming out on our awesome label out of Germany, Pride & Joy Music, and will be available everywhere, both in physical and digital forms.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently doing the backing vocals for second album “Twice”, which has thirteen songs, are demoing “Three Times Lucky”, with another lucky thirteen at the moment. Future plans are for “Four Sides To Every Story”, and, optimistically: “Five Live”, which we’d like to do at a VERY famous Sunset Strip bar in LA. “Twice” is another mix of ballads and rockers, there are some Meatloaf sounding tracks on there as well, and the final note on album closer “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer”, I hold for about twenty-five seconds, which we believe just may be a record for our genre! The first ballad, “Turn Around”, we actually released independently back in January after it appeared on a the WOAFM radio show done by Oliver Sean, and it currently has 135,000 streams on Spotify, and has charted in the UK, US and New Zealand iTunes charts, so we already have a head start there! Planning for more videos for this one is also underway.
I’m hoping that the world situation improves so that we can look at hopefully winding up in some outdoor festivals in 2023, but as a new band from North America, it’s obviously going to take some work to get noticed.
What is the one thing you would like to tell your fans?
We are ready to roll, and not going anywhere! Within the melodic rock community, there are a lot of fans who complain about bands that all sound the same, have the same lyrical content, etc., so we’d encourage everyone to look outside the people they’ve already heard of and you’ll find there’s a lot of fresh, different stuff out there, you just need to have a listen.
What is the one thing you would like the Music Industry to know?
Stop with the one size fits all. Nirvana blew away our scene. Everyone had to downtune their guitars and stop singing about relationships. Then pop punk/emo. Then urban artist #1 featuring urban artist #2. Now everything auto-tuned and 20 second mini-clips on TikTok. It’s all just gross. I cannot even count the number of people who have listened to our songs and said “wow, this is fantastic, why isn’t stuff like this on the radio, this speaks to me” — trying to put everyone in a box and force-feed the same stuff to the public writ large has proven disastrous for everyone:. artists, labels and fans alike.
And that was my chat with Simon from Fatal Vision!
And I for one Can’t wait for their New Album to be released 22 July!