I began my music industry career the way many kids did at the time – in college radio. There are no illusions for me though. I was on a small station at a college that didn’t put a whole lot into its extracurricular profile as an educational experience.
However, the radio station afforded me a unique opportunity to meet a great many people in the music industry, and since my major was percussion performance and music business, I developed those relationships as much as I could. It eventually paid off in landing my first full-time job in marketing.
A mere few weeks into my underpaid and overworked lifestyle of music marketing, I was gifted a very unique opportunity to help an upstart metalcore band from Long Island leave their indelible mark on college radio. The company I worked for was tasked with helping Vision of Disorder gain national prominence in order to build upon their recent success.
Metalcore at the time was still a bit of an “upstart” genre, and VOD weren’t exactly directly appealing to traditional hardcore or metal kids. It was certainly a newer hybrid for me. I was pretty well-versed in metal but not so much in hardcore, and I had no idea what to do with a lot of metalcore from the mid-90s when I was first exposed to it.
But VOD’s album Imprint struck me as different, personally. The vocals were haunting as well as gratingly guttural. It was as if shattered glass screams were being refined immediately and the edges honed into these beautiful melodies only to be shattered again and re-honed. The guitar work was crass and jarring at times and yet melodic and seamless at others. The drumming was aggressively over the top. driving everything to the edge of ruin and yet subtle and tasteful to the point that you almost forgot it’s there in the layers above it.
At the time, they were flanked on the college radio airwaves by the likes of stalwarts Slayer and Fear Factory who were both vying for number one on the charts. The Phil Anselmo guest appearance helped, as did Dave Sardy’s production and guest credits. But it was the brutality of it’s own merits that eventually carried it to contend for number one.
I was marginally convinced it could do it. My coworkers seemed more sure, and I believed them since they had years of experience I didn’t. Witnessing what VOD could do live convinced me there was something even deeper than what I’d already discovered in the music on record. I was sold on the personal approach to Tim’s lyrics and to the rawness of the band’s execution. I dedicated myself to introducing others to it, not because it was my job in music marketing but because it was my pleasure as a fan of the band.
That fall, the album did the unthinkable on the CMJ charts and wedged itself into the number one spot. If only for a single week, it achieved something special in the ranks of what records achieve, and for me personally, it positioned itself with an indelible position in my life. My personal love of a band directly translated into a tangible success we could share together. Throughout my career, there have been very few examples of this and none so special as what VOD was able to create.