The hype surrounding these Orange County natives has been colossal over the past few weeks. The likes of Metal Hammer and Kerrang have eaten up this tattooed, black clad ensemble, who are also straight edge to add to the boot. While they provide a stereotypical sight of everything that’s metal and coming out of the USA these days, they also provide kids out there that don’t want to smoke, drink or do drugs, with a band to idolise proudly and say “I don’t need intoxicating substances to have a good time”. If anything, Eighteen Visions have proved the truth behind that phrase.

Having toured with 36 Crazyfists last month, Eighteen Visions are back on our shores, opening shows for Lost Prophets to sold out crowds in London, Cardiff and elsewhere across the country. With all the attention they’ve been getting lately, one would assume that these boys have gotten either big headed or completely star struck, but a nice medium has been retained. Vocalist James Hart insists that they’re “not really famous” and other than the occasional fan asking for a photo on the street, the band remains unchanged from the media attention they have been receiving. It sounds as though this band truly are just a group of friends that get up and play music every night for a different crowd of kids in a different location. These crowds of kids do change though, as many bands in the past have described before, UK crowds have a reputation for being “crazy” in comparison to the crowds “back home” in the States.

“It really depends what kind of crowd you’re playing to, over here all the kids are really excited about the music and stuff like that, in the States different kids react differently to different kinds of music” James says, clearly wanting to stress the individuality of each fan at each show. Thankfully Hart isn’t completely ignorant to the existence of those other fans at shows, those ones that go and barely move a muscle but insist they are enjoying themselves.
“Some kids get into it, but some kids are stand-offish and don’t really want to get into the music because it doesn’t look cool, so they just sit at the back and watch so they can be the “cool kid” at that show”. Is the conclusion on these fans, not in anyway are the band bitter towards them, but more sad at the fact these kids restrict themselves in such a way.

Of course, every varying member of a crowd is in a different venue. Playing headlining shows in the States to 300 people in comparison to opening for Lost Prophets to 7000 people in Cardiff must be a surreal and scary experience for the band.
“They’re two completely different things and they’re two completely different feelings for me” James begins before expanding on the way controlling a crowd of thousands of people is an amazing experience, but also having a sweaty front row pressed up against the stage (as opposed to 15 feet away behind a barrier) is another of his favourite past times, and an experience he always enjoys. The mix of venue sizes is probably preparing Eighteen Visions for the future, and headlining shows to 300 people will soon be a thing of the past if the buzz on the street is correct, these boys will be performing to crowds in the Hammersmith Apollo by this time next year.

As conversation continues, the newest member of the band, drummer Trevor, starts to contribute to the conversation on the band’s beginnings in music. Trevor definitely has the best rock star story, in which he first picked up an instrument with his friends in an attempt by his father to piss of the evil neighbours next door. Not soon after Trevor began drums – every neighbour’s worst nightmare. Trevor, while being the newest member of the band, is gaining the biggest fan base, not for his good looks (okay, maybe partly) but for his addiction to MySpace, the infamous American profile website, where his account consists of several thousand friends, all of whom he personally has added back. This close connection with fans, some of whom indefinitely get over excited at the sight of a flashing “Trevor is online” sign, is what makes the fan base so strong, as do the frequent journal updates visible from the band’s official website.

It’s possible for anyone to list the positive factors the Eighteen Visions possess, but as you do so, there’s always the thought that appearance wise, this band is so stereotypical it will possibly lose them fans. It’s near impossible to pick any differences visually between Eighteen Visions and their fellow Orange County natives Avenged Sevenfold, but this hopefully shouldn’t put any restraints on the band, who are aware of the situation.

“We don’t put on a face for magazines and shows” Trevor says, sighing as he begins talking about the bands, which purely dress in black and makeup for shows and magazines, but if given the choice wouldn’t. Like Lost Prophets, Eighteen Visions are a band who dresses how they want, and if that happens to be what’s “cool” and “in” at the time then so be it, it’s not going to make any difference to them.
And so, it becomes obvious to me that Eighteen Visions is a band who deserves all the fame they are receiving and more. They deserve support for not only making some heavy metal hooks over heartfelt wails in their music, but also for just being genuinely nice guys. Definitely a band to check out when they return in March.