It’s bad enough having to experience the sudden resignation of one band member, but when it happens multiple times and the remainder of the group still continues to make music, you’ve stumbled upon something special — just ask Kingston band Vorasek.
Lead vocalist Mitchell Freeman, bass guitarist Ted Evans, lead guitarist Jeebs Simpson, and drummer Zakk Badour have managed to strike gold with their band lineup, after years of different members coming and going.
“When [the members] left, they said the songs were too hard for them and they didn’t want to be in a metal kind of band,” Badour said. “And I understand that completely. But in a way, it just feels like this is what we’ve been looking for, what we’ve been searching for the whole time.”
Understandably, the rock group went through production issues after the initial member changes. They had already recorded music, and with the loss of a singer and later a drummer, it proved to be difficult, though not impossible, to start that again from scratch while also maintaining the original material they had worked diligently on.
This initial struggle later on showed itself to be a blessing in disguise for the band. It allowed them to alter their music in ways that would fit with the new sounds of singer Freeman and drummer Badour. Vorasek’s successful two-member addition led to the release of their EP The Noise Complaint in March 2013.
“Without Mitch, we’d have a hard rock sound. You would think he’s from the 80s or something. It kind of brings together two different types of music,” Badour said about the singer.
Although Freeman wasn’t present, his bandmates assured me that he was one of the best things to happen to the band, in terms of him bringing his classically-trained opera voice to their hard-rock music, giving the band a completely original sound.
Vorasek has been around since 2009, with Evans and Simpson being the two that have been in it from the start.
“We’re on our second drummer now, which is Zakk, and on our third singer, that’s Mitch. It’s definitely the right lineup. We’re a solid group of guys, both onstage and off, even at practice,” Evans said.
Simpson, who became a part of Vorasek immediately after graduating high school in 2010, spoke of the emotional toll the lineup changes had on him and the others at the time.
“I think the worst part of the lineup changes was the personal, emotional stress. My passion forever has been music,” he said. “And when someone in your band drops out it’s just so disheartening. I really almost left after the first lineup change, I didn’t know how to take it.”
Vorasek insists that they play music as a reminder that rock and roll is ever-present in the music world and that it must be heard.
“I think we’re trying to remind everybody that rock and roll’s still here. It’s what everybody still needs. It’s a release, and it’s organic,” Simpson said. The other two added on in agreement, speaking of the relatable nature of their music and how important that is in connecting to an audience.
Despite having experienced seemingly one of the worst issues a band could face, each member is optimistic for the future of Vorasek, especially with the band’s newest EP The Last Ridecoming out at the end of July.
“We always say you can fuel each other’s fire. We’ll play harder, and the audience is going to enjoy it harder.”
Vorasek plays at The Mansion on July 31.
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