Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Vault Of Valor! It just rolls off the tongue so nicely. “[It’s] been a bit hard telling people the name,” giggles guitarist Max Mawby. How’s this for an explanation—at a bar somewhere stands Mawby, approached by some vague-minded individual wanting an education on his band. Storm clouds form over him, his voice changes demonically as he epically cries, ‘Vault Of Valor!”, the bar left cowering in fear. “We’re just normal dudes,” Mawby laughs.
Imagination can certainly be overpowering, folks. This particular vision of the band is more suited to a power metal band. Vault Of Valor are of course, decidedly metalcore. New single Plague of the Earth is certainly a plague of noise that embraces your eardrums, a great first taste of what’s to come in an upcoming sophomore release. Addressing the concept of an over populated planet and humanity being a sickness upon the natural earth, the inspiration for this song comes from an unlikely person—famed documentary filmmaker, Sir David Attenborough. “I’m a big documentary watcher,” says Mawby. “BBC Horizon docos, Neil deGrasse Tyson docos, lotta animal docs and stuff like that.
“David Attenborough put one out called How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth? and I was like ‘Phwoar, sounds good!’ I watched it, it was like, ‘Oh shit, I’ve ever really thought about that before.’ I just started researching after that and getting into the planet’s population, watching docos on oil and our supply of it, a lot of global warming documentaries. You go from one to another and it puts you on to another one. I was like, man, this is a massive thing.”
The chorus is actually a David Attenborough quote. We’d written the lyrics for the whole song but had no chorus.
[ Max Mawbt ]
Profound and heavy subject matter for a metalcore band, indeed. “It’s kind of the biggest subject I can think of globally,” Mawby continues, his tone more pensive. “You’ve got your separate issues but this one [documentary] envelopes them all into one. We had this new song written but had no vocals. I was like I reckon we should write about this and make it about over population I haven’t heard anyone doing it before, or heard this subject pop up in metalcore.
“The chorus is actually a David Attenborough quote. We’d written the lyrics for the whole song but had no chorus. It had to sum up the song, it had to relate to the overarching theme. I was like, it’s gotta be something heavy. We started googling and going through documentaries, listening out for a quote. I came across an article after he’d done the documentary and it said David Attenborough says, “Humans are a plague on the earth.” [read the full David Attenborough interview here] I said what about that? We looked at each other and said, ‘Yep, that’s it.’”
It’s an interesting concept, certainly, but do listeners really want to be told they’re a sickness on the globe? “I guess having a general conversation with someone about over population can be a lot more of a personal thing,” says Mawby. “But when you’re trying to put it out there as a piece of art, you kind of have to go hard and get your point across. You’ve gotta get your point across seriously and that quote gave me the confidence to give the song its name. I thought ‘Yeah man, we need people like him who aren’t afraid of telling it how it is.
“We haven’t been on this planet that long at all, when you take into consideration how old the planet is. We’re a little drop in the ocean of the Earth’s time.”