By Nicholas Jason Lopez
A show on a previous tour at The Deadhorse in San Angelo, Texas was destined to be a total failure for Void Vator.
The Los Angeles hard rock/heavy metal quartet was supposed to play alongside three local acts and a Houston band, but the locals all dropped out.
The members took it in stride to turn things around.
“We started going up to people in the bar and outside the club and said, ‘Hey, we’re a couple of boys from LA, give us a chance, listen to two songs and let us know what you think,’ and by the end of that, there were easily 150 people in that club,” said Sam Harman, the group’s bassist. “They all bought merch. We could’ve just kind of taken it on the chin and been like ‘It’s another shitty gig’ or you grind and you work because this is the funnest job you can have when it’s going right, but it’s still work, you know what I mean?”
The show was such a success that San Angelo became a stop again on the group’s biggest tour yet – a five-week “Skeleton Crew” tour that went from coast-to-coast in the United States earlier this year. It began Mar. 21 in Las Vegas and ended in Tucson, Ariz. on Apr. 22. Also included were stops in New York City, Providence, R.I. and New Haven, Conn.. All in all, it spanned 19 states and 26 shows.
Void Vator is Lucas Kanopa (guitar/vocals), Erik Kluiber (guitar), German Moura (drums) and Harman (bass). Formed in Dec. 2014, they quickly gained a reputation for memorable live performances in the local Los Angeles Circuit and eventually ventured out to Southern and Northern Calif. on a never-ending quest to bring their music to the masses whenever and wherever possible. In fact, thanks to the help of purchasing their own van, they toured four times just last year alone.
“We’re serious about this and we want to be the best that we can be,” Harman said. “We’re just hoping to get this music to the right people and impress the right people and just do it bigger and better each and every time.”
Before they embarked on their “Skeleton Crew” journey, they released their newest EP Stranded, which was recorded with legendary producer Bill Metoyer (Slayer, Flotsam And Jetsam, Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Trouble).
“He was totally easy to work with,” said Harman. “He was hands off in the sense of letting us kind of do what we want, but when we asked for his opinion, he was sometimes brutally honest, which you need that. You don’t want somebody to stroke your ego or tell you that this is gonna work when it’s not, so it was awesome. It just required us to rise to the occasion. You know you can’t show up into the same studio as [Metoyer] who [has] recorded all these crazy legendary acts. You got to be ready for it. You can’t go in not knowing your parts. You better be ready to fire on all cylinders.”
It follows up their debut EP, 2017’s Dehumanized, which was recorded with Grammy-nominated hard rock producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, Deftones, Metalocalpyse) and released on Wild’s WURMgroup label.
Harman noted that the new music was “more cohesive and heavy” compared to Dehumanized, which he actually didn’t appear on as a member. As far as Void Vator’s future, they want to just keep doing what they do best – put out more music and hit the road.
“You’ve got to be the best at what you do because somebody on YouTube is gonna be a hundred times better than you and that’s just the name of the game,” Harman said. “You can’t be a hundred percent all the time. That’s just not realistic, but as long as you learn from it, that’s the only way to do it. That’s why these tours have gotten longer and we’re hitting more cities [is] because we’re learning from the mistakes that we’re making and it seems that more people are taking us seriously and they want to see what we have going on.”