In keeping with the melting pot of diversity that is the city of L.A., local metal/hard rock group Void Vator are a band of friends and musicians who call L.A. home but are from different parts of the world, with the exception of California native Sam Harman, out of Burbank.
After Detroit-born, Hollywood-based guitarist Erik Kluiber met fellow guitarist/vocalist Lucas Kanopa around 2014, the duo hit it off and found a bond in music.
Kanopa, who was born and raised in Uruguay, came to the United States in 2013 with his childhood friend, musician German Moura. “We came in 2013 for NAMM, and we had some money saved up since we had jobs and were playing in bands back home,” he says. “We were able to stay for six months.”
Then the friends got another opportunity to come back to come back to the States, and they've been living here ever since. “When I met Erik in around mid-2014, we hit it off, and I called up German, and he, Erik and I just jammed and that’s how the band formed," Kanopa says.
Kluiber, who moved to L.A. in 2009 from Detroit, is a musician by trade and also teaches guitar professionally. “I was trying to make things happen in Detroit, and it wasn’t going anywhere — the writing was on the wall. I didn’t want to be a local band forever,” Kluiber says. “So I hit up this L.A. metal band, White Wizard, after seeing their ad on Craigslist seeking a guitarist.”
Kluiber got the gig by sending the band a demo of him playing and moved to L.A. for the job. “I was in that band for about a year, then I was able to land a gig in this band Gypsyhawk around that time,” he says, adding that he recorded one album and toured with the band for a few years. “Mainly I wanted to be a band that toured, because playing your hometown forever is not for me. After my time with Gypsyhawk came to a close in 2014, I started Ironaut and then Void Vator."
Kanopa says the band’s chemistry is organic and the lineup came together with Moura on drums and bassist/friend and Burbank resident Sam Harman. “As soon as Sam joined the band, things went to a different level. Shit started happening: We played the Viper Room for the first time ... we got all these music videos, shows and opportunities, and people started coming to our shows.”
“Sam was the missing link in Void Vator,” Kluiber says. "People like the band now more. And he's the only California native, which is cool for a band from L.A.”
Void Vator have toured parts of the United States, and done well for a band that blend melodic hard rock and metal riffs, playing headbanger-friendly, catchy music with memorable songs. They're currently working with legendary metal producer Bill Metoyer, who has produced some of the most iconic releases in the history of metal, mainly for Metal Blade Records. Metoyer has a track record of skills and a three-decade-plus career of working with artists such as Slayer, DRI, Morbid Angel, Armored Saint, Body Count and Six Feet Under.
“Working with Bill on this recording is easy as hell,” Kanopa says. “He’s hands-off, he records us and puts it together and is not intrusive at all. He is spot-on, though, and works in a very organic way. It’s been a painless process.”
“Bill will be honest when we ask his opinion but we get along. We got a good vibe we met him years ago and are friends,” Kluiber says. “You have to respect his track record with bands over the years. He is a legend and has worked with so many amazing bands. Plus he’s still doing things with new bands as well. It was a no-brainer to record this EP with Bill.”
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Though the band are L.A.-based, Kluiber says they don’t play here that often. ”We invest all our time and energy in touring, and we do pretty well,” he says. “At the moment, we are planning a new tour for late March and April. We're going to the East Coast, like New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and a lot of uncharted territory for us as a band. We can’t wait. We love being on tour and playing shows anywhere we can.”
In the meantime, for L.A. fans, Void Vator will be performing a special show on March 23, closing a battle of the bands at the Viper Room for Metal Assault’s Wacken Metal Battle 2019. ”We are happy to play that show — we support Andrew and Metal Assault. He’s been a big ally of ours,” Kluiber said.
Kluiber says Void Vator plan to release new music just before the band hits the road in the spring. “We are on our own schedule,” he says. “We don’t have to wait for a record label to tell us what to do. We bypass all that by being independent, so we will release it when it is ready but look forward to sharing it with fans on the road.”
Void Vator will play the Wacken Metal Battle at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the Viper Room.