Former Nile bass player Jon Vesano is now creating sonic thunderstorms with In-Defilade. Paul Castles talks to him about the band’s bludgeoning second album Elude, which also sees him join forces once more with some friends from his Nile days.
ZT: Hi, Jon! Thanks for talking with Zero Tolerance. In-Defilade’s second album Elude was released at the end of last year – how pleased are you with it?
JV: The material itself is the greatest representation of In-Defilade’s fury thus far. I am very proud of it and hope it gains some traction in the exposure aspect.
ZT: Erik Schultek was a key figure this time around…
JV: Yep, Erik’s inclusion made such a huge impact on the outcome of Elude. His skill-set and interpretation of the entire scope of the music were ideal. He added the dynamics to every note. Erik also has insane studio chops and a studio of his own (Level 3 Studios in Madison, Wisconsin). I couldn’t be more pleased and honoured to have him alongside us on this. The production is just so crisp and chaotic. Erik did such an amazing job with the mix, and I’d have assumed since he played drums on this album that he’d have ensured it was represented perfectly. I’d say he succeeded.
ZT: What was the mental approach when making this album compared to the first?
JV: The mental approach was the same. A major difference between the two was that this album was written in considerably less time than the first. Rulers Of Famine featured a few songs that I had written back when I was in Nile.
ZT: On some of the tracks for the new album, you were also reunited with Dallas Toler-Wade from your Nile days. Was it good to catch up and work with him again?
JV: Absolutely! We have kept in touch for the most part. He nailed the feel of every lead. Over the many years we’ve known each other, I believe he’d gotten the In-Defilade formula down pat. After he completed his contribution, we all agreed that no other individual existed who could more fully immerse themselves into the feel of what we wanted to convey, and I can’t hear the songs without his parts. He will always be welcome and a brother to us.
ZT: Elude is an immersive experience, similar in intensity at times to Nile. Did you want this band to move away from what Nile are all about, or are you comfortable with the comparison?
JV: I’m comfortable with the comparison. I’d shared the stage with Nile off and on with my other bands for 10 years prior to my joining. My writing has always been the way it is. Less tech, more stone-to-smash-things with! Hahaha! For me personally, songs are meant to be audible canvases of emotional expression upon which to illustrate the primal fury and barbaric thoughts presiding over my mind, and a connective invitation to those who agree or feel the same.
ZT: There’s a lot of anger within these new songs; does that emanate from personal issues or broader subject matter?
JV: For me, it’s always personal, the storylines are sometimes quite literal in their displays of rage and/or sadness toward particular things in my life. Overall, the rage is real, and the message of circling/fortifying those you care for is priority. To wreak vengeance upon those who seek to do you and your kind harm. Family and brotherhood first, to cultivate a new world where being free and living with true liberty is of utmost importance and not just lip service. I love (with endless schadenfreude) how so many want the world to babysit them and actually strive to be dependent upon an invisible power that does nothing but enslave through mandated contributions of wealth. When theologians and supposed statesmen purposelessly collapse infrastructure as a means to claim that what they are stealing is for the benefit of the common good. One day they will collapse everything, and who is to bear the burden? Our young… the innocent children. The devoted hardworking men and women that found themselves completely stripped of everything by kleptocratic, theocratic and socialist fuckbirds. By design, they are devoid of options and must welcome the new slavery to ensure a meagre future for those they worked so hard to provide for. To me, that is extremely personal. I’d rather write songs about an inevitable collapse and cultivate connections through song and content.
ZT: Although the theme of the album is post-apocalyptic, are there things from today’s world that have helped shape some of the songs?
JV: Everything from today’s world plays a part, ranging from personal frustrations to the struggles of others I care for. How loyalty and honour are stripped away and are replaced by a lust for instant gratification by a world of smoke and mirrors to keep you distracted as the qualities of true connective lives are demonized and considered derelict to the machine of slavery. Where modern slavery is glorified and nurtured, creating henchmen to do the work of the designers. They infect everyday life; you meet and speak to them on a daily basis. They assault you with the notion of goodwill, all the while retaining a false sense of justice and world-saving that ironically enough, has no relevant effect on the world. Yet they live it and breathe it as if it’s their mission. They infiltrate the small circles of true seekers of liberty, though they themselves lack the integrity to keep up with being of such a mindset. They will betray you at any cost because they want nothing of true substance, because they are part of the swamp that decays and rots the structure.
ZT: Is the world a scarier a place today than when you first started writing songs?
JV: Depends on what you find scary. When I started writing songs, PCs barely existed. The so-called Cold War was in full swing. Christians seeped their plague deeper into our worlds. Governments found new ways of performing kleptocracy by seducing Muslim terrorists during their infancy until Western money flooded the coffers of the hierarchy and with their newfound ways of doing the bidding of those who fund them. Technology and the dependency of man’s creations to rule our lives has evolved to crippling conditions. Monetary means are created out of thin air with nothing tangible to support them. The constant threat of “flipping the switch” is ever looming. A true famine awaits. Plagues of rats beguiled by the rabid, frothing celebrity icons’ logorrhea posing a stance in the form of stating some new-ism for the sheep to mob towards. All while your head is turned towards the new speech from inferior humans whose lives play as others and who are considered experts on any given subject. The shadow of an empire grows and obtains all wealth, minds, and lives. It’s not the army who marched through your fields, it’s the one who feeds you poison assuring you it’s food and wholesome. The decay of honesty and honour is at the most corrosive state I have ever seen it. Is the world a scarier place? For the future children of those who seek liberty, true liberty, and passage in their own world? Yes, it is. But the mourning is on the horizon. The mourning of the ideas that lead to weakness and intrusion will slowly be eliminated as a collapse is imminent. As is the restart… Fear and being scared either break you or embolden within you a desire for what you hold precious and valuable in life. The will to survive! I intend on being on the positive side of the outcome. Scared? Somewhat. Crippled by fear? No. Abandon the inferior, and devastate the intruder.
ZT: This album also saw some female vocals with Neska of After Life and Unbreath. How did that union come about?
JV: She and I became acquainted over social media, and I was asked to perform guest vocals on and write the lyrics for an After Life song (‘The Blast That Usurped Mankind’) and so on ‘Infecting the Ranks,’ the favour was returned in absolutely feral fashion.
ZT: Is it a source of frustration that this band have not been able to play live so far?
JV: Yes and no. It will happen eventually, as we believe that our music definitely deserves to be played live, and we’d love nothing more than to decimate you all with our hell-born brand of punishing, militant violence, but until that day arrives, it will be one yearned for. For the circumstances must be correct. With a draw as-yet in its infancy and no label backing (not to mention, a dearth of promoters upstanding enough to deliver on their word through ACTUAL PROMOTION coupled with PAYING A MOTHERFUCKER THEIR GODDAMN’ GUARANTEE, the cost of touring would far outweigh the return, considering also the fact that all three of us are currently in the midst of certain phases of shift that take precedence over our respective directions of finance. Thus, the live arena awaits. For now…
ZT: Away from In-Defilade, have you got much going on in your life at present?
JV: Very much. Acquiring new land and moving into a much-needed change of atmosphere, writing for the third In-Defilade album – sorry, but “away from In-Defilade” are words I don’t understand – and barely escaping the clutches of death at the hands of this ultra-flu going around that people are dropping like flies from.
ZT: Any New Year’s resolutions, Jon, and if so have you broken them yet?
JV: Aside from retaining the compassion to spare lives, no, and so far, so good, so no. Hahaha! I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. No holiday, nor social construct, holds any sway over my resolve. I know damn well the path I’ve carved out for myself, and it’s all just a matter of brutally staying the course, as in doing so, evolution is a natural constant. I and my In-Defilade brethren lead authentic and integrated lives.