Metal Army America is happy to announce a new recurring blog, written by the none other than TOMMY VEXT. VEXT has performed as part of DIVINE HERESY, SNOT and other bands while developing his vocal skills. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!
What’s up fellow Metallers. My name is Tommy Vext. I have been lending my vocal abilities to an array of bands over the past 14 years including Dino Cazares’ DIVINE HERESY, NYHC act VEXT & Santa Barbara Punk/Metal hybrid SNOT.
Over the years I have developed and infused many different styles of vocal expressions from Classic Rock, Metal, Hardcore, Death Metal, R&B and Punk. Some of my biggest influences to date include Phil Anselmo, The Beatles, Lynn Strait, Al Green, Busta Rhymes, Sia Furler, Anthony Martini, Layne Staley, Mariah Carey, Jesse Leach, Brandon Boyd, Fiona Apple, Jens Kidman, Rob Flynn, Notorious BIG, Carly Coma and Mike Patton off the top of my head.
I began performing hanging around NYC’s Hardcore scene at the age of 14 at venues like CBGB’s , L’Amours, Coney Island High and the Continental.
Screaming was the beginning for me the transition into wanting to sing didn’t come till around 16/17. I initially had taught myself to sing Metallica and Pantera’s more melodic tunes which graduated to Incubus, Alice In Chains & the Beatles. But problems began to arise when I started blending the screaming with singing and pitched yelling. Often my voice would get horse after a few songs or I would loose it completely. Voice cracking and register breaks followed. I became light headed during the set and was incurring terrible head aches from sustaining notes weather they be sung, yelled or screamed.
At age 20, I got signed with VEXT to an indie deal and my publisher introduced me to Melissa Cross. I came to her with all my questions/problems and we began the long journey of unlearning all I thought I knew about being a vocalist. It was the start of developing the correct techniques to execute the sounds, notes & style I wanted to create without doing any damage to my instrument (my vocal chords).
In this series of blogs I am hoping to give back that which has been given to me. The tools to be a professional front person for whatever genre you favor.
If you’re a new or old vocalist out there or if you’re just curious about starting your own band, please feel free to post up your questions on this site and I will try to give solutions to the best of my ability.
I will be using are developed from the Melissa Cross ‘Zen of Screaming’ DVD as a reference point during this. I cannot express how important it is to pick up this DVD. It will change your life.
That’s all for now, next time we’ll begin with warm up exercises.
Tags: Al Green, Alice In Chains, Anthony Martini, Brandon Boyd, Busta Rhymes, classic rock, Death Metal, Divine Heresy, Fiona Apple, hardcore, Jens Kidman, Jesse Leach, layne staley, Lynn Strait, Mariah Carey, Melissa Cross, Mike Patton, Mikey Doling, Notorious BIG, Phil Anselmo, R&B, Rob Flynn, Sia Furler, Snot, Sonny Mayo, THE BEATLES, The Vext Method, Tommy Vext, Vext