Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Vestal Claret was created in a recording studio in 2005. Phil Swanson had the concept and approached me to help him come to fruition. I was engineering the second Upwards Of Endtime recording at that time. He hummed a few riffs, I translated those to guitar and we were off. We recorded two songs that appeared on the flip side of Atlantean Kodex’s The Hidden Folk, which Phil also sang for. That was released in Germany by Metal Coven. We received an offer to record a full length on Sentinel Steel Records and went back to the grind, but this time I started working harder on the songs. Not only did I transpose Phil’s hummed riffs, I wrote my own passages between those riffs and created a much more progressive landscape. That wad enough to botch up out offer from the label. Once the music was rejected by Sentinel Steel and whoever else heard the demos, Phil took his lyrics to Chad of Hour Of 13. In essence, people who dig Phil’s work in HO13 owe that experience to me. Hahah. After some time, Phil came back to me and we got around to releasing that progressive album, Bloodbath, two more full lengths, and other releases as well.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
Phil: Rik Agnew-era Christian Death and early Running Wild, a mix of 80s goth, punk, heavy metal, 90s black metal, and a substantial dose of 70s/80s Satanic Panic
Simon: Heavy, dark, progressive music generated by someone with a love for the truth. Genesis, Baltimore Consort, Fates Warning, Rush, John Lennon.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Because of the layers. These are recordings that get better the more you listen. We pay tribute to classic and underground metal with every breath.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
We have released a bunch. We have some followers that are all over the world and I am thankful they found us. We never blew up like some of Phil’s other projects, but that’s because most folks don’t understand what I do. Perhaps someday. We usually get good reviews. There have been some that have made me feel realky proud of my work.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
No. We are just a recording project. Perhaps next year we will make a showing.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
We have been around and under the radar for a long time. We are an underdog story. We don’t give a flying f*%k. They should be interested in us because of the layers. The layers, again...
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Keeping socially distant and not touching our faces.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
I am very close to finishing a remix of our first full length, Bloodbath. That should be up on the bandcamp page before the end of this month (July 2020).