ReverbNation Artist Spotlight: Voice of Addiction
Chicago-based Voice of Addiction is a prolific punk/rock fusion band. Founded in 2004 by Ian Tomele, better known as Johnny X, the band has performed over 700 shows in seven years and has released five albums so far. Through it all, Johnny X has piloted this ship. X is to thank for the multitude of genres merging into one another cohesively.
VoA’s most recent release was in August 2013, with the album ‘Modern Day Meltdown‘. Skope magazine referred to it as “strong and in-your-face.” With only four tracks, this album left me wanting to hear more of the same, it’s their best work in my eyes. X explains that this was supposed to be part of a four-album project but, without sounding like Behind the Music, there were some band disagreements. X remains vigilant, and has recently returned to the studio for recording with the help of Scott Fritz and Stranded on a Planet, a boutique recording house in Chicago.
“You cannot tour as a band without becoming close like family. Everybody will have their up and down days and as a whole you have to collectively keep the morale up. So when this much is invested, both time and (money), and members abruptly leave, it does cause a similar rift. VoA. has always been a three-piece, and I have had over a dozen members in the group. It isn’t easy. I can only think of one that left on proper terms and with notice. Every time it feels like everything you have worked for was all in vain and you are starting back at square one. Every time is also a re-birth and rejuvenation,” says X.
To better explain what I enjoy most about the music of VoA, I’ll reference the song Mother off of the album ‘Reduce, Reuse, Resist‘. This song illustrates the chugging guitar, snappy drums and pleasingly gruff vocals that I personally love in my Punk music. A mellow breakdown quickly builds into a cathartic finale.
Another great example of the talent behind VoA is one album later on ‘Modern Day Meltdown’. The titular single opens the album up with a rev of guitar. This is my favorite song of theirs, concerning the polish of production and a great introduction to the album, X and Fritz have a great handle on what makes a good single. To close the song, a slightly wailing guitar solo peels out behind the chorus of “’cause we’re all going down in the end,” which is just music to my ears.
To get down to brass tacks, the band churns out music in abundance and does so without sacrificing quality in the process. X strives to provide fans, new and old, with whatever they may want from the band; signing with a myriad of labels and production companies allows for pressings, shirts, CDs and other merchandise. Currently, they’re associated with Wrecking Ball, Canadian American Records, Blue Pie Records and Go DIY Records.
Their loyal—and notably enthusiastic—fan base doesn’t need to worry about missing out on shows or upcoming albums. X continues to lead VoA with new songs and finds stand-in musicians for live shows. When it comes to the future of the band, X had this to say: “As far as the future we want to keep putting out as much music as we can, touring as long as there (is) rubber on the wheels, and hopefully taking our circus overseas.” He’s doing a great job holding things together, because considering the tumultuous year, the comments from fans are as satisfied as ever:
“Great show! It may have been just another show but it was an unforgettable night..,” says a fan in retrospect.
“Sure enjoyed you at the 806 in Amarillo! You guys were just what I needed to hear,” says another fan just after their album release in 2013.
“You can expect more topical political songs where we keep trying to push ourselves in rhythm, melody and harmony. I never wanted to sound like just another punk band. Something had to make us stand out. We find this not only in our message but equally in song-writing and musicianship,” X explains, with high-hopes for the future of VoA.
The four-track album ‘Modern Day Meltdown’ is available on the band’s website, along with three others, available for a free listen. With admirable album art to hook the eye, and a tight production with punk assault, the discography of VoA is both consistent in quality while varied throughout.
X is currently planning to tour through the Summer, and is looking for a guitarist for the road. Once X finds the right fit, we’re hoping to see them take time and swing by Charlotte. Visualizing them at a venue like The Milestone isn’t hard, and I’d love to have a chance to hear them live.