The story of VIMIC might seem somewhat familiar to fans of GRAMMY® Award-Winning Slipknot co-founder and heavy music luminary Joey Jordison.
In fact, it actually starts with a group of extremely devoted, driven, and dedicated musicians—Jordison [drums], Kalen Chase Musmecci [vocals], Jed Simon [guitar], Kyle Konkiel [bass], and Matt Tarach [keyboards], Steve Marshall [guitar]—retreating to an Iowa basement in order to create music. It’s a place and process synonymous with his many successes.
Diagnosed with the often permanent neurological affliction Acute Transverse Myelitis, he spent three months in the hospital during 2012 and underwent intensive physical rehabilitation and training to not only achieve a full recovery, but to reach a new level of proficiency with his instrument. Emerging from this battle and returning to the stage for a string of festival appearances, Slipknot parted ways with him.
Finding a new strength and support from close friends and family, he put his head down and did what he does best.
“The riffs, lyrics, and drums of Open Your Omen will tell you a lot,” he admits. “I did this record when I was coming out of the Acute Transverse Myelitis condition. It’s literally what saved me and helped me get back to where I’m healthier than ever. These guys and this album pushed me to not only relearn how to walk, but to be able play the drums again. Open Your Omen is the rebirth of the rest of my life.”
In portentous fashion, the seeds became sown for VIMIC with Scar The Martyr. In 2013, the group’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut—featuring Simon and Konkiel—introduced listeners everywhere to a fierce new chemistry. As Jordison emerged from his fight with the disorder, he incited a shift in that foundation.
“Scar the Martyr was an amazing bridge for me in my career and led me to where I am now which morphed into Vimic, and I feel I finally landed home,” he explains. “It’s a really dark name, and it meant something at the time, but it didn’t register with the music I’m creating now. Through hard work and determination, we’ve made it up that hill which became Vimic. Open Your Omen is exactly that. It's where we are headed as a band.
He called up longtime friend Musmecci, whom he initially toured with in Korn, and the vision solidified. Holing up in Jordison’s home, the guys lived together, ate together, hung out together, and wrote countless songs together. The lineup would be rounded out by Steve Marshall [guitar] in 2016. They tapped into a style equally steeped in engaging and entrancing melodies as it is in unpredictable metallic technicality.
“There was a common goal,” he goes on. “With this record, it was complete honesty. It wasn’t trying to impress anyone or break down any doors. What we were trying to do was be true to our hearts and talent and give something back to the music that gave so much to us while we were growing up. It was about getting into the basement, grinding it out, being friends, and creating music.”
Heading to Sound Farm Studios, Jordison co-produced the record alongside Kato Khandwala [My Chemical Romance, The Pretty Reckless]. Dialing in every nuance, they crafted a deep, diverse, and dynamic soundscape.
“We really pushed each other in the best way possible,” he says. “Kato’s a killer producer and a great guy. He has a fantastic sense of humor, making the atmosphere really fun.”
The world got its first taste of the band when SiriusXM Liquid Metal premiered “Simple Skeletons” in May 2016. With its seesawing groove, mind-numbing drums, and haunting screams, the track immediately ignited buzz. Jordison would cover Metal Hammer Magazine and receive the prestigious Metal Hammer “Golden God” Award a month later, setting the stage for the record’s impending arrival. The first song he penned for the group “She Sees Everything” followed with its gnashing and guttural delivery and harmonic aural menace.
Now, the single “My Fate” explodes from a hummable lead into an unforgettable chant punctuated by focused, fierce, and fiery percussion.
“When people on the outside heard that song, their response was, ‘This sounds like everything you’re going through,’” he recalls. “There might be a possibility Kalen was thinking about it from an outside perspective for all of us. It became a calling card and a battle cry to let everyone know what we’ve been going through. It’s an emotional song. It was almost like our musical soul was speaking for itself before we could. That’s the beautiful thing about music and why I love doing it.”
Ultimately, VIMIC lays the groundwork for a very bright future. “I’m a firm believer in the other side and where the future takes us,” Jordison leaves off. “Sometimes, we hide things and bury them, but no matter what, there’s a destiny for all of us, and we don’t know what it is. With what I’ve been through and where I’m headed in life, this is my destiny.” — Rick Florino, September 2016