Brad Hursh was formerly in the band V Shape Mind that was formed in 1999 in Illinois. They released one album “Cul-De-Sac” in 2003 via Universal. The hit single off that record “Monsters” featured Chad Grey from Mudvayne. They toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000 as well as some other well known acts. I was fortunate enough to catch the band on tour with Mudvayne and it made me a fan instantly. One of the most in your face and quality sounding bands of that era. The catchy melodies and hammering riffs were just some of the things that made them who they were. There is no doubt that anyone who seen them live would walk away a fan for life. The band called it quits and played their last show in May of 2004 in their hometown of Decatur, Illinois. Since then Brad has done some solo work and has now formed a new band called “Love & Vengence”. The new band also features Vic Zientara who was in V Shape Mind with Brad. We were able to get in touch with Brad via email and talk about his new project and how much music has changed in recent years.
Metal Nexus: V Shape Mind released Cul-De-Sac in 2003 and toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000, What were the contributing factors to the band ending?
Brad Hursh: Yeah, we did a lot of touring that year with those bands and also got to play with some other killer bands during that time. One of the highlights for me was playing with Anthrax at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. That venue has some great history and Anthrax were one of my favorite bands growing up. There were lots of factors in the band breaking up, which are very common tales in the music industry. Our label telling us a lot of things that were just flat-out lies while doing next to nothing to promote cul-de-sac. We felt like we did everything they asked us to do and they chose to put their attention/money elsewhere. At the same time, finding out that our team of people we surrounded ourselves with, manager/lawyer/etc…weren’t the kind of people we needed to look out for us. There’s obviously more to the story but those are the main reasons we felt like we were back at square one, after busting our asses to get to the point where we were. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t really interested in “dancing” for the industry any longer.
Metal Nexus: David Bottrill produced the album, he has worked with some amazing bands like Tool, Dream Theatre, Mudvayne, Staind, and Flaw. How was it working with him?
Brad: David is an awesome guy and a fantastic musical mind. We were so stoked to have him involved. He was looking for a band to sign for his upstart label through Universal. Basically, he got us signed just from a 5-song demo that we did in Minneapolis. He was just amazing to work with, he knew how to get the best out of us a band and out of the songs I had written. Plus, I was already a huge fan of his work so I was completely stoked to be working with such a badass!
MN: Your current project is entitled Love & Vengence, The story is you had two shows booked before you had any material written and didn’t have a full band yet, How did that happen?
Brad: That is true. When I decided that I wanted to put this project together, I had mentioned it to a few people and a couple of shows were offered. I think I had 2-months time to put together a band and write a short set of material. That’s definitely not an approach that I usually take with a project, but I figured it would light a fire under my ass to make it happen. Deadlines can be a good thing, occasionally, since I usually don’t write at all unless I’m feeling inspired.
MN: The band has been formed since 2012, how has fans reacted so far to the music? When can we expect a release?
Brad: Love & Vengeance is a project that we (the band members) decide to do whenever we feel like being active. There’s no pressure that we put on ourselves for shows, etc. We may go a few months without even getting together to practice and we’ve actually only had 3 shows. We like to be picky about playing as opposed to just playing everything that comes our way. Recording an EP has been talked about for quite a while now but it’s just been a matter of everyone’s schedules lining up. That being said, I believe we’re gonna get that ball rolling very soon since it’s something we all really want to happen.
MN: The music industry has changed drastically and record companies aren’t always the best way to go anymore as I’m sure you would agree. West Virginia metal band Byzantine has recently had a lot of success with their album they self-released and are topping the charts on satellite radio. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of self-releasing an album?
Brad: I think self-releasing is awesome and the way it should be. I’m not a fan of big labels and the machine in general, so doing it yourself really appeals to me. Of course, it takes money, time and resources to do it yourself but you’re also in control at the same time. Major labels deserve the position they are in from decades of greed, so fuck them, haha! Bands now are making their own records, merch and booking their own tours. Once again, it takes money to make it all happen but at least it’s on their terms and that’s a beautiful thing!
MN: A lot of bands are turning to the fans to actually help fund studio time and production of a new album. How do you feel about Kickstarter and things like that as a way to help get money to make an album?
Brad: It goes back to the previous question/answer, but I think it’s great. Unfortunately money is what it takes to get things going and let’s face it, most musicians are poor, haha! One of the guys in L&V actually mentioned the idea of a Kickstarter-type of thing to help with making our EP. I’m not real sure how to make that happen but I’m not above asking for money…….hence the “most musicians are poor” comment 😉
If you haven’t heard Brad and Vic’s former band V Shape Mind you have truly been missing out. The greed of some record companies has cost the music industry a lot. There has been many musicians call it quits because of record companies wanting a larger share of the pie, and just micro managing them. We are highly anticipating the debut release of “Love & Vengence”. You can follow the band on their facebook here.
Here is V Shape Mind’s single “Monsters” featuring Chad Grey.