Posted on May 18th. 2017

Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM

Jason: Hello there Brett and welcome to metal To Infinty, could you please share wit our readers where you are originally from and what was the music scene like there when you were growing up?

Brett: Thank you, I’m very glad to be here with you! I was born and raised in Kansas City, on the Kansas side (it’s one metropolitan area split over the border of Kansas and Missouri). I wasn’t really there for it, but throughout the 80s and 90s we had some cool metal bands from the area like Banshee, Darkside, Menace, and Mortal Reign. When I came to the age where I would start going out and checking out the local music (late 2000s), we had bands like Ancient Creation, Meatshank, Stonehaven, and then very shortly after that, Vanlade was formed.


Jason: How did you meet the other members of Vanlade and come to form the band? What year was the band first formed?

Brett: I met our ex-bassist Nikky in first grade, and I met Zach (guitar) early on in high school, so the connections go quite a way back! Vanlade came together in its very first incarnation around 2006 with Nikky, Zach, and a few other friends from our school. I ended up jumping on lead vocals around 2009.


Jason: How many albums has the band released to date?

Brett: We have had two full-lengths, “Iron Age” (2012) and “Rage of the Gods” (2015), and one EP of cover songs, “Wayward Sons” (2016).

Jason: What was the point in your life when you knew you wanted to take a shot at being a professional Musician?

Brett: I’ve been really into music since the time of middle school. I think I became truly obsessed when I first got into Ronnie James Dio and his music.


Jason: Could you tell us the story of how you came to name the band: Vanlade?

Brett: Yes, the name was actually “Vampyre” originally and there was a logo that included a really intricate “V.” Basically, once the name was scrapped, the goal was to find another “V” name that fit better so we could keep the emblem! Funny enough, the emblem was scrapped pretty quickly too. Vanlade is a man from Norse mythology with a pretty cool story, but more than anything, we liked the way it sounded and felt.


Jason: Who were the band’s Musicians who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up Brett?

Brett: The first handful of music I got into were bands like Boston, Foreigner, Rush, Van Halen, Ted Nugent, etc. That stuff was responsible for really starting me off. After that, I heard Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, which got me onto the heavier side of things. My all-time favorite would have to be Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow!


Jason: Could you tell us the story Brett of how you got your nickname “Blackout” ?

Brett: I would tell you but I don’t remember! But for real, haha, back when we started off we had the idea to come up with stage names for the back of one of our first demos. It was kind of inspired by the Scorpions album and the alliteration of “Bobby Blitz.”


Jason: Your long time Bassist: Nikky Poffinbarger recently left Vanlade.  How surprised were you when he told you and the rest of the band he was leaving the band?

Brett: It was definitely a shock! He’s my oldest friend and has been a major member of this band since day one.


Jason: I have to ask now that Nikky has left the band what do you feel he brought to the band and do you have any special memories that stand out to you Brett when you look back on his time in the band?

Brett: A pretty tough question I’m sure to answer. Well, the dude was a monster bass player and a big contributor of our music early on. Like I said, I’ve known him since we were about 6 years old so the stories are endless. He’s the guy that believed enough in me to get me in the band. He will be missed, but we also have a mutual understanding that both parties must move on and continue to grow.


Jason: You have chosen Jonathan Tennant to replace Nikky.  Talk a little bit about Jonathan…How did you guys hook up      with him?

Brett: Jonathan has been a friend of the band for several years. We met him in through a mutual friend of ours that went to our high school. Within the last couple of years he started working with our drummer, Nolan Weber, in his other projects, Garoted and Verräter. I think I first saw him play bass at the “Kansas City Black Death Fest” in 2015 and was immediately impressed by his musicality and stage presence.


Jason: I understand that Jonathon is someone the band already knew…With that being said I have to ask did he have to audition for the band still or because you guys knew him did he get the gig on the spot?

Brett: We had him join on at first in sort of a trial membership. We already knew what he is capable of, but we wanted dedicate a little bit of time to jam and make sure the chemistry was right. Once we saw that everything was falling into place and that he is dedicated and, most importantly, everybody enjoys working together, we made it official.


Jason: Vanlade’s latest release was the 2016 Covers CD:  “Wayward Sons” Brett and I wanted to ask you if you’re at all happy with the way Vanlade fans have reacted to the CD and if you could talk about your decision to do a covers album?

Brett: Yes! We got a great response for that one! We wanted to do it as kind of a special treat for our listeners, and as a fun passion project for us. We were able to get it out pretty inexpensively, but we think it turned out great! The feeling we wanted to portray with this one was that we had a blast making it and we wanted people to have fun while listening, and I think it did its job.


Jason: Vanlade does a great cover of Black Sabbath’s “Never Say Die” on your latest CD. Talk a little bit about the band’s decision to cover that song? Great choice of a song to cover by the way!

Brett: Thank you! Actually each of the songs (besides “Carry on Wayward Son”) were chosen individually by each member of the band. “Never Say Die” was Nikky’s choice, as Ozzy/Black Sabbath were a major influence on him. We kind of honed it down to that song because it was a little more upbeat and easier to translate into our style.


Jason: Being that you covered “Never Say Die”  I’m sure you must have been a Sabbath fan but I have to ask if you were equally a fan of both the Ozzy  and Dio eras of the band?

Brett: Everybody loves Black Sabbath! I may get in trouble for this, but I would personally have to take the Dio era by a hair. That doesn’t mean I don’t totally love and respect the earlier material and its impact on music. I’m just a Ronnie James Dio diehard! After Heaven and Hell, my second favorite album would have to either be Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Sabotage.


Jason: Black Sabbath recently played their final Concert.  What do you think about Black Sabbath’s decision to call it a day?

Brett: Nothing lasts forever. That’s all you can really say! We could watch them die on stage but I think it’s better for everybody that they spend their golden years enjoying what they’ve built.


Jason: Brett I know that the band’s very first gig together will take place on May 20th @The Legions Of Metal Festival.  Talk a little bit about this event and how excited are you to be part of it?

Brett: We actually have a small tour ahead of the festival as well as a warm-up gig at Davey’s Uptown in Kansas City on April 28th. That will be our first show with the new lineup, but that doesn’t take away from how excited we are to play Legions of Metal! It’s a definite honor to play with such a great lineup! We get to see legends such as Diamond Head, Ross the Boss, and Armored Saint, as well as our good friends and peers of like Seax, Helion Prime, Knightmare, Avalon Steel, Substratum, and many many others!


Jason: How excited are you guys to play your first performance with your new Bassist?

Brett: We can’t wait! Jonathan brings something completely new to the table and we are very excited to show him off!


Jason: Another show you have coming is up is on April 28th at a Comic Con Convention after party.  Could you share with us how Vanlade got involved in this event?

Brett: Well, there is a band in Springfield, MO who are good friends of ours called Death May Die. They had members coming into town on April 28th for Planet Comic Con and hit us up about putting on a show. So we did!


Jason: As you may or may not know Brett a lot of Metal fans are also Di-Hard Comic fans.  Does that surprise you and are you at al a Comic fan?

Brett: That doesn’t surprise me at all! Vanlade loves comics!


Jason: A lot of Comic Book themed Movies will be coming out this year such as Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, Wonder Woman, Spider Man…Do you plan to see any of these films?

Brett: Guardians of the Galaxy and Wonder Woman could go either way for me, but I am super excited for Spider-Man! He’s a favorite of mine and I’m excited to see how they handle this new incarnation of him.


Jason: Is there anything else you’d like to say to all the Vanlade/Brett “Blackout” Scott fans out there?

Brett: Thank you all for your support!!! Catch us on tour this May and at the Legions of Metal Festival, and keep up with us on Facebook and Bandcamp, we love to interact with our fans!


Jason: What can Vanlade fans expect from the band for the rest of 2017?

Brett: Aside from the short tour and Festival appearance, we are neck deep in the writing process for our third album. I can’t give any more details on that, but keep an eye out!!!