Interview: Luce Vee

Luce Vee Hooded Priest

On stage with Hooded Priest

Luce Vee (also known as Luther “Findlay” Veldmark) is the voice of Hooded Priest and King Heavy and formerly Witchsmeller Pursuivant. His bands all have a cult following in the heavy metal and doom scene and Luce is well known and respected by both bands and fans alike. He was kind enough to take part in this interview a couple of weeks ago.

You are best known for performing vocal duties with Witchsmeller Pursuviant and Hooded Priest. Were you in many bands before these? What is your musical background and how did you get into Heavy Metal?

Hey Steve, Witchsmeller Pursuivant is the first band I played live gigs with. Been rehearsing with a band before that on guitar, a more punkrock orientated band…Like a lot of people I started listening to records of my older brother, AC/DC and Van Halen. Through Ted Nugent and Motörhead I discovered Iron Maiden, Saxon…With the magic year 1983 and the release of Slayer’s Show No Mercy, Metallica’s Kill Em All and especially Mercyful Fate’s Melissa more or less carved my musical taste in stone forever…

What are some of you influences? Name some of the classic bands that inspired you and maybe a few of you all time favourite albums.

No surprise that those three aforementioned albums will be in that list, three very different releases but all very special on its own… The album I have played the most in my life is Count Raven’s High On Infinity…Other fave stuff is Celtic Frost, Tiamat, Cyriis era of Agent Steel, PileDriver, Cathedral…In the beginning years of Witchsmeller Pursuivant we played a lot of Iron Maiden covers alongside own material…I guess those covers where a huge influence on how I explored my own way of singing since I’m not a tenor at all 😉 I certainly learned a lot from singing in tune by doing those covers.

You recently toured South America as vocalist with the band King Heavy. How did this come about?

Sending back and forth music across the ocean, recording an album…it just naturally evolved in touring plans. For our first work ‘Horror Absoluto’ we opted to tour in Chile (the country of the royal court of King Heavy). Extra gigs were booked in Peru and Ecuador.

King Heavy

King Heavy

You have also recorded an album with King Heavy. Did you record your parts in Europe or was it recorded while you were in South America?

Horror Absoluto’ was recorded and released before the tour. I recorded my vocal parts in Europe together with producer Peter Maene who owns a studio near my art studio. He really helped to create a kind of band feeling without having met all band members in reality at that time. The recordings were sent to Chile where Pablo Clares recorded the instrumental parts and did the complete production, integrating my vocals. The result is as if it is all recorded together.

Do you plan to take things further with King Heavy, for example do a European Tour in the future?

We start recording 6 new songs for our next release (mid 2015) which will be promoted by a tour in Central Europe and possibly some other gigs in Europe. It would be great if we were able to play a couple of gigs next year in Chile as well.

One last question related to King Heavy. How can people buy a copy of the album?

Drop a line to kingheavydoom@gmail.com for details of how to order the cd, patch, splitvinyl and shirts when there is a new design.

Do you have any other musical projects on the horizon?

There’s always the temptation to work together with other musicians that I’ve met throughout the years. However I’d better stick for a while to the three bands I’m in already…

Heavy metal has changed a lot in the last few years and is divided into a seemingly endless amount of sub-genres. What is your view of the current underground music scene? Do you think the higher profile that doom metal is currently enjoying is a good thing, or could it have a negative effect on other styles that are no longer perceived to be fashionable?

Well, it is how one views underground music, I guess that for instance doom metal is almost entirely a kind of underground music and for sure with an underground spirit. 10 years ago when I was only involved in one band I spent a lot of time going to concerts in the Belgian underground and the north of France. Cool spirit, great bands and gigs. I hope others still carry the flame! It’s cool to see bands I shared the stage with are getting more appreciation nowadays.

Following on from the last question, have you seen any benefit in the popularity of your own music in the last few years? Do you think that the wider appreciation of heavy music has had any benefit on underground bands or is it just a hipster fad in your opinion?

With time passing we get more and more bands, it’s more democratic nowadays to buy instruments, take lessons if needed and to record. With internet it became easier to spread your music. The drawback is the story of the trees and the wood if you know what I mean…

People may not know that you also paint.

Painting really gives me piece of mind, while I paint I’m not present on this Earth anymore, which is most of the time a great feeling. I have sold some paintings and it’s cool that people have some of my works integrated in their home and life.

Aside from music and the painting, what else do you do with your free time? Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

No, apart from that I try to find time to raise my kids and earn a living in function of giving them shelter and an upbringing. I hardly go to see concerts nowadays. I use free time to write, rehearse, record, touring and painting and exhibit my art in general.

Is there anything you would like to say to close the interview? I will let you have the final word.

Well, my best Spanish I learnt so far is CTM WN !

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