Interview: Virtue In Vain
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hywel: I would probably be doing more in the management side of the music industry, aiding bands or performers. If not maybe engineering, although that's a very difficult industry to get into.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Hywel: I run a small management and booking agency company to help other bands and in my free, I like to do photography or some basic design work.
I find working with other artists as well as doing a different creative outlet helps me experience different ways of approaching and seeing things. When it comes to writing music, it opens up new avenues of writing and helps prevent writer's block.
How long has your band been around?
Hywel: The idea of the band started in 2012 but we officially started in 2014
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Hywel: We are mainly based out of Cardiff however our guitarists lives in London. Being Cardiff based has really pushed us to be a better band. The amount of talent in the Wales music scene is unbelievable and I feel that it makes us all as musicians be the best we can be.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Hywel: We wanted the band name Virtue In Vain to represent something we relate to. In essence the idea of anti-idolism. The name portrays the idea that you shouldn’t have to look up or follow the same path as someone or something just because it has been portrayed as successful.
That just because you take the path less traveled by doesn’t make your view any less valid, we are all different and wealth and success has no bearing on character.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Hywel: It was when we played with Ice Nine Kills & Shields. It was the first show we played with our current line up and for me it was when the band felt really complete. It was a pleasure to share the stage with such accomplished band and was something I won’t forget.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Hywel: Good question, I think for me the overall venue is The Globe in Cardiff. We have loads of places we would love to play. Scotland & Ireland are two places we would love to play and outside that in the EU & US.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Hywel: For me the main two acts would be The Devil Wears Prada and Make Them Suffer. I would also love to play with From Sorrow To Serenity and Crystal Lake. It’s a tricky one as I have so many line ups I would love to play with.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Hywel: For a younger band it would purely be just write what you like and keep doing it. The more you play the better you will be.
For my younger self it would be that advice. As a vocalist I really practiced my craft, however I wish I had taken up an instrument as well to have that bit of variety and help convey my ideas better.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Hywel: Keep playing and keep writing, it will all come together.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Hywel: That's a difficult question. If I could pick one it would be For All You Know Is The Mask I Wore of our EP with the same title. That song for me really was when we started to find our sound and both lyrically and musically is just a really meaningful piece that I still listen to alot.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Hywel: My favorite song to play is Marionette. It’s fast, bouncy and really a great song to get a pit started. Our most requested song most likely is Marionette out of them all, which is nice since I love playing it.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Hywel: It starts with a couple of riffs and a concept. I love writing concept pieces and songs. We come together and started jamming some ideas and we come up with a direction we would like to take our music in.
I am inspired to write music as I love how music brings people together. From sharing a love of a artists to the mutual respect and understanding you have with strangers at a live show.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Hywel: The sense of community and believing in yourself. People will always be around to support you. Also believing in yourself is important as everyone is capable to doing greats things.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Hywel: Yes! Mainly between myself and my brother Emyr (Guitarist). We just take a step back and see what we disagree with. Could be on where a song is going or a sense of direction. We just try both and see which idea is best for the song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Hywel: We are currently writing for our next EP. We also have some plans in the work to tour later this year early 2023 so keep checking out our socials for updates.
Thanks for having us today