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Eighteen Visions Reunite and Learn to Cope Without Fallen Bassist Mick Morris

(Image credit: Michael Garcia)

One of the pioneers of Cali-metalcore, Eighteen Visions formed in 1995 and released five albums before breaking up in 2007. In the years that followed, guitarist and songwriter Keith Barney became a graphic designer and started a software company. But he still reminisced about playing with the group.

So, in 2010, he wrote some new songs and called his ex-bandmates to see if they were interested in working with him again. “I just said, ‘I miss doing this kind of shit and wanted to see what you thought, even if it’s just for us.’ Everyone was open to it but we couldn’t coordinate it.”

Then tragedy struck. In 2013, Eighteen Visions bassist Mick Morris died from a sudden heart attack and the demos went back on the shelf for another three years. That’s when Barney caught Eighteen Visions vocalist James Hart performing in his current band Burn Halo, and became re-inspired. He wrote some more songs and traded digital files with drummer Trevor Friedrich. Some of the new songs were as melodic and alt-rock driven as 18V’s 2006 self-titled record, while others feature more aggressive riffs and screamed vocals, bringing to mind the band’s early, more caustic albums.

“I listened back to all our records and went, ‘What did we do well and what sucked? What do I feel is the real core of who we are and what our strengths are? And I wrote everything from there.”

In December, Barney, Friedrich and Hart started tracking 10 songs at the Barracks in Huntington Beach with producer Mike Kenney (of Anaal Nathrakh). Barney tackled both rhythm and lead guitars because second guitarist Ken Floyd is busy working as DJ Zedd’s tour manager; Stick to Your Guns guitarist Josh James will replace Floyd on tour. Barney also played all the bass lines on the album but to honor Morris, there will be no bassist when 18V hit the road. Instead, a bass and cabinet will be set up next to a lit candle, and the bass will be generated through a keyboard.

“Every time we look and see that empty part of the stage it will remind us of him,” Barney says. “And I think that will elevate our live performance even more.”

Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson Les Paul Custom
AMP Guitar Rig 5 modeler on a 5150 setting
EFFECTS Guitar Rig 5 chorus, reverb and delay setting
STRINGS Ernie Ball