Vendetta Red

Doug Reed

Post-grunge rock group Vendetta Red, arrives out of the Seattle music scene, bringing with them various music genres seemingly blended to offer screaming vocals mixed with dream-like melodies.

The band is currently on the road with The Ataris in a Kerouac punk rock story of bands getting to know each other, while exploring America’s college circuit. Vendetta Red and The Ataris kicked off their college tour here at Villanova on Oct 3.

Vendetta’s music is an embodiment of trance-like energy, providing intensity that zealous music concert goers could not even dare to match.

Tight jean wearing lead singer, Zachary Davidson, bounces around stage swinging his microphone, putting forth genuine emotion stirred by deep poetic lyrics, raging guitar riffs, and fast drum beats. The band comprises Davidson (vocals), Erik Chapman (guitar, vocals and keyboards), Justin Cronk (guitar and vocals), Mike Vermillion (bass, keyboards, and vocals), and Joseph Childres (drums and vocals).

The band’s name, Vendetta Red, symbolized in a pair of open scissors (tattooed on each member of the band) represents cutting off useless burdens and living in freedom according to Davidson. Like many underground bands, the band is living this dream: open road, live music, meeting new people and giving the middle-finger to standard norms. Vendetta was formed back in 1998 on the West Coast, according to Davidson, playing anywhere they could, at bars, basements, garages, anywhere that would offer a stage or at least a cheap substitution.

This Seattle band takes the much abused and overused word “emo” to its original roots, a la the hardcore “screamo” of days gone by. However, the sensitive mellow ears of most Villanova students found this ear popping, while other punk loyalists moshedand crowd-surfed the stage diving lead singer.

Vendetta is a band that has perfecting the art of live performance. When asked about their ability to just jump on stage and deliever a sporatic brust of indie rock music harmony, the band replied that it is really the sound of their melodies which instantly creates arm swinging and guitar slamming action. Their music is that intense, with current single “Shatterday.”

The Villanovan shared some words with Vendetta Red back stage in their makeshift dressing room (Women’s basketball locker room), just after they finished their opening set in front of a mixed responsing college crowd.

The interview was a mix of formal reporting and lasp rock ‘n’ roll conversation.

Genevieve Leon: Are you sensitive to stimuli? (while the band and reporters shared a smoke)

Zachary Davidson: I’m not sensitive to alcohol, but weed – yeah (laughter). I take one hit and I’m out.

Joseph Childres: Yeah, I’d advise not to mix the two on your first time. If you’re drinking, that is just the wrong time to smoke weed.

Leon: Other than the music you write and perform, what’s your jam?

Davidson: My jam, (laughter), oh man – the new Outkast (begins gyrating and singing). Outkast’s new album, man, it’s … rad.

Douglas Drake: Is it hard to find shirts that are actually pretty tight?

Davidson: I have to go to like, vintage shops and places like that. Clothes that have been around. I have to go to the kids section if I’m buying new. Actually, almost all the shirts I have I trade for from other bands. I bring our shirts up to other bands and ask “Hey man, can I get a shirt.” Like on the Warped Tour, we were kicking it backstage with other bands, going around, giving out shirts all day long.

Drake: What’s the best Warped Tour you’ve played?

Joseph Childres: The last one was way too packed, I remember heading up to stage and getting stuck in the mobs and crowds – I couldn’t move! I was like “How am I going to get to the stage?” I literally, could not even take a step and get pass the crowd. Soon enough, people started going the other way and started a … mosh pit, people flying everywhere.

Leon: How many drum sticks do you break a show?

Childres: Um, on average I usually break like about one or two. But I try to be good about that because, man, it adds up, gets expensive.

Leon: Do the members of the band all interchangeably play every instrument? Do you switch it up between sets a lot?

Davidson: I play drums, but I’m nowhere near as good as [Childres], but I can hold a beat.

Leon: Like Foo Fighters Lead singer Dave Grohl?

Davidson: Oh God, nowhere near that! That guy can do anything. I can just kind of keep a beat for about three measures, and that’s it. But yeah, everyone plays everything.

Leon: Do you ever go crazy on stage and break anything, like Nirvana style?

Childres: We used to! Man, we haven’t done that in a long, long time. One thing is if it’s your own equipment, but when you’re on tour with bands you’ll be hanging out and be chill until you get onstage and mess with their stuff. Man, then they get scary.