Velvet Acid Christ (VAC) is an electro-industrial band based in Denver, Colorado USA. They mix electro-industrial/EBM music with classic acid techno elements and Erickson's harsh vocals. VAC was formed in 1990 as a recreational complement to the emotional frustrations and drug experiences shared by its members, though it has since evolved into a form of social expression and commentary that is maintained by longstanding member Bryan Erickson.
The band gained limited popularity in Europe's underground nightclub scene during the mid-1990s and was introduced to North America as well as other continents shortly thereafter.
Bryan Erickson, a resident of Westminster, Colorado, has been the lead vocalist, musician, and producer behind Velvet Acid Christ. As one of the band's founding members and its primary influence, the outspoken and occasionally controversial individual has been synonymous with VAC for most of its existence. Consequently, most of the band's praises, comparisons, and criticisms have been aimed at Erickson, and the direction of the project has been altered at times to reflect his own developments, leading him to establish an active presence on the Internet as the band's spokesperson.
Along with Erickson, several other musicians have been credited with contributions to VAC. In the group's early years, its contributors held more permanent roles; after a number of roster changes due to personal and creative differences, Erickson began consulting outside talent on a per-need basis. This process has shifted, and guitarist Todd Loomis and audio engineer Dan Olson are now credited as band members.
The band has completed ten original, full-length albums and currently enjoys a level of global recognition within the goth and industrial subcultures.
Complete History of Velvet Acid Christ, by years:
The VAC concept is born out of a band called cyber christ. Name concept generated in the head of Disease Factory, front man of Cyber Christ, while on a cosmic journey in psychedelia. Cyber Christ made minimal pissed off skinny puppy wanna be music meets the pink dots avant guard noise scape stuff.
VAC creates about 3 90 minute tapes full of music in the span of 1 year and a half. This music is rough, but a few of the tracks were good. The band was really close and partied a lot in these days experimenting with all kinds of strange things in the process. It was the love of 16 bit computers that led to the formation of VAC. The Atari ST and Amiga 500 were very pivotal in the creation of VAC and Toxic Coma. During this era, Cubase ST(midi sequencer: VAC) and Audio Sculptur (tracker: Toxic Coma) were used on the Atari ST. These were the fun years of VAC, mostly no expectations, and a lot of parties. Toxic Coma was an ongoing joke band. The VAC members would try to write the worst songs that would really mess with your head when you were high. It was like a competition between the members to see who could really make people leave the room and scream ?No more!?. VAC was the serious side of Disease Factory's Distain of the world. Close friends made up the projects. But it was one who produced and pushed both projects, the leader, Disease Factory, usually composing 80% of the music, and 100% of the lyrics. In the end, VAC Disbands after this period.
VAC is born again through Toxic Coma indirectly. Members of Toxic Coma infuse into the band called Vortex. This eventually turned into Velvet Acid Christ all over. Inspired mostly by Aphex Twin and The Black Dog. New gear is infused into the project. A couple of analog synths, some guitar fx, cheap mics, mackie mixer. This era was mostly instrumental music. Between The Eyes, Volume 5 Covers the first two years of VAC and these projects.
It was during this Era that the Church of Acid/Between The Eyes ? 2 thru 4 are created. 3 LPs in the span of a year and a half. Disease Factory shunned the clubs and social stuff, sat in the basement plotting away. Occasionally working with the two other members at the time. This is where the real heart and soul of VAC formed. When the music really got better and started to make sense. Showing that they could be super diverse and cover all kinds of musical ground and fuse many styles together in new ways. Fate, or Between The Eyes 2 is very goth, very dark wave and atmospheric with a very really aggressive tracks. Pestilence aka Between The Eyes 3 is where the vortex vibe got infused with vocals and trance music like Juno Reactor and Orbital. Neuralblastoma aka Between The Eyes 4 is where metal, being pissed and psychotic really reared it's head fusing itself with the past elements of VAC. VAC sold these cds in local shops, and sold hundreds and eventually sold them through Isolation Tank mail order music store. Even with out a real label (VAC was on EDT Records at first, though) towards the end of this period, there was a lot of friction in the band. The band members would leave after this, and yes again, VAC IS DEAD after this era.
The year VAC was signed. Despite the band being broken up. Disease Factory was still selling the old VAC cds and gave some to Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly (a big influence on VAC in the beginning days) which lead to the press guy on the FLA tour getting his hands on the first the BTE series material. The press guy was Thorsten Stroht (former Klinik vocalist) and at that time one of the main people at Off Beat Records in Germany. He fell in love with VAC and demanded that it be signed to Off Beat or he would quit. At the time Off Beat did not have Internet. So they had no way to contact VAC because there was only email on the CDs at the time. Throsten knew a girl in Colorado who knew a girl that knew Disease Factory. He somehow got the girls to give Disease Factory the phone number for Off Beat. Disease Factory called them for over a week and got no answers. On the last attempt, because Disease was thinking this was a BS joke, A voice answers ?Hello, Stefan Herwig here?, Disease almost fainted (Off Beat was on vacation during that time). That was that, record deal happened. Disease Calls up the old members to tell them the good news. The band reforms with the same line up as 1994-1995. The Church of Acid is born, the first major label record release. This was a best of compilation of the tracks from BTE 2 thru 4 + one new one remix and a new track. Then Calling of the dead is born, the first demo of this CD was rejected by Off Beat, this led to band fighting. Money issues reared it ugly head, and the band was torn apart again. One member left permanently. Disease carried on with others from the Toxic Coma line up to re-write half of the Calling of the dead demo, and turn it into what it is now. VAC is alive again!
Disease Factory tours Europe with Ingo Bitez from Kalte Farben and Thorsten Stroht on keyboards live. With Suicide Commando as the head liner. Before the tour, Disease Started the next VAC LP, and even played some of the new songs on this COTD tour in Europe. Once home, a lot of problems started with friends and personal relationships. Things start to fall apart again, money issues arise. Disease kicks everyone out again. Starts over, and calls in a couple of people to help finish the new record that became ?Fun With Knives? again, Disease Factory does 80% of the music. A second greatest hits from the BTE 2 thru 4 LPs is released as Neuralblastoma.
Fun With Knives is finished and released. Disease Factory does the remix wars with Funker Vogt solo. Drug use gets out of control. Depression and social alienation take hold of VAC. Disease Factory gets hurt and his health was declining, threw his back out and could barely walk. This led to no tour in 1999. VAC Sheds all it's members again. Off Beat goes belly up, and Dependent Records is born. VAC, VNV Nation, Covenant, Suicide Commando, and Stefan Herwig represent the fingers on the Hand logo that Dependent still uses to this day. Disease Factory meets people in Colorado Springs, and hangs out with VNV and misses touring after watching VNV in the Springs. This is what lead to the famous dragging Mark of VNV out of bed naked down some stairs drunk incident. Really, Disease Factory was friends with VNV in the beginning. Yup.
Disease Factory starts the a new VAC LP, and calls in one old member to help, and recruits one new one. The old VAC member flakes out and leaves Disease hanging again. Disease Factory sets off on 3 exhausting tours this year. Two in Europe and one in the USA. The shows were good and the fans seemed happy with the act. behind the scenes, Disease Factory was falling apart and abusing drugs, all his relationships collapsed. He called in old Toxic Coma members to tour with VAC in Europe. Relations with Dependent soured over some pink VAC shirts which lead to low merchandise sales, which lead to VAC making no money. VAC leaves Dependent and moves over to Metropolis Records. Metropolis buys out the contract that VAC and Dependent had. Thorsten went insane on the European tour. In the USA it was Disease Factories turn to go insane. On stage in the USA, Disease Factory was really strangling himself on stage every show to Asphixia. He would break bottles and cut him self with those and barbed wire. After every show he was a cut up bloody mess, a complete drunk, and totally depressed over failing relationships. This led to the creation of Twisted Thought Generator. On that LP you can hear the collapse happening in real time. The LP had this super heavy sad vibe to it, mixed with this pure psychotic rage. This LP is released on Metropolis records. All tours this year were a financial failure, Disease Made less than 3000 on all the shows. Most of that was spent on the road eating and buying things. In the end, the band came home with like 800 US dollars. To this day has put off VAC from touring. When Disease got home form this tour, He took down his web site, and proclaimed ?VAC IS DEAD?. VAC dies.
After getting really sick this year, back troubles. and out of shape and totally drugged out. Disease Factory starts writing a new LP. During this year, he discovers Raw Veganism. He had been a vegan through the entire history of VAC. This transforms his health, and rejuvenates him. VAC is back!
Disease Factory discovers a new name and retired the name Disease Factory, His self destructive persona. Hexfix93 is born, The name invokes exorcism. Fixing Curses With Will. This is the new name for the head of VAC. A raw vegan, health nut emerges. One that works out and takes great care of his health and starts to be more positive. Hex angel is born. Hexfix93 works with a new artist and gets an amazing music video for the song Pretty Toy. There is no band, Hexfix93 did collaborate on a couple of tracks, but this was mostly a solo effort.
VAC goes Retro. Between The Eyes (all 4) come out this year making almost all unreleased and rare vac tracks available to the fans in all regions.
Hexfix93 takes on massive remixing. Mindless Self Indulgence, Mortiis, Darker Days Tomorrow, Emily Autumn, Brain Leisure all get remixed by Velvet Acid Christ. Hexfix93 Hooks up with some new guy, and goes crazy in the studio making Lust For Blood. Hexfix93 also was helping his new bandmate with his band that fell apart. This new member pursues his new solo project. LUST FOR BLOOD IS RELEASED! VAC LIVES!
Hexfix93 Starts a media blog magazine, and spends a lot of time reviewing music, games, movies, tv, models, and all kinds of cool art and photography. Alone, Hexfix93 starts the new VAC CD, which is mostly a solo effort again. Even though in the past, 80% of all the old vac was written by Disease/Hexfix93. This time, it is like 92%, The new guy is doing his own band now and is more like a studio musician on this new LP, only contributing about 7% total. More things isolate him, all friends and old Toxic Coma bandmates are long gone. VAC is a solo act now. The new LP (Title will be revealed later) shows his isolation. A man and his acoustic guitar alone. This theme permeates the new record that embarks on a new sound, mixing apocalyptic folk music, with dark wave ebm industrial acid trance music in a way never heard before. This will come out in 2009 fall. No doubts. VAC LIVES!