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Viza love the UK fans
VIZA were blown away by a 'receptive and lively' UK crowd as they stormed venues in London, Birmingham and Manchester as part of the Serj Tankian tour. Here, in the second part of our interview with the band, Oud player Andrew Kzirian and percussionist Chris Daniel speak to Victoria MacFarlaine about their promise to return to our shores. The band are next set to play Hamburg.
How were the British fans?
Andrew: The UK tour was an amazing experience for us - even though we had played in London before, this London show with Serj was so special and full of energy. And Manchester and Birmingham were opportunities to connect with new fans who are so passionate about rock. All the audiences were extremely lively and so receptive to our music. We can't wait to return to the UK.
Do you have any rituals before a show?
Andrew: I get my instrument, and get in the artistic zone and just give it my all. It's pretty straight forward.
Chris: I like to think of a couple of things that make me angry and run out there. It gets me pumped.
Do you ever get nervous about going onstage?
Andrew: I don't know about nervous, but there's an excitement. An anticipation that's always there.
Chris: Anxiety may kick in. You don't know what to expect. As a group, as a unit we are all confident in each other. You look to the left and right and you know it's going to be ok.
What do you do after a show?
Andrew: when we were in Cologne doing press and stuff and interviews.
What are the German fans like?
Andrew: They are good, the fans in Europe. They are extraordinary.
Chris: The common similarities between the [European] countries is loyalty.
Andrew: They have a really sincere appreciation of rock and art. But there is a different way of expressing it here which is just amazing.
Chris: We really try to make it a point to meet every single fan and that's what we do after a show.
Andrew: I'm sure I speak for chris too - I enjoy that interaction. It's nice to meet everybody that saw it. It's giving them the respect, it's very important.
Who is the best band you've ever seen live?
Chris: it would be Tool.
Andrew: I never got to see Tool live. The best band I've seen live? The Roots - they are another hometown band and they are a hip hop band but use real instrumentation. They have worked with some big artists and live they are just incredible. Very talented.
Do you ever steal ideas from other bands to take on stage with you?
Andrew: I don't know about stealing... I thinks it's more inspiration. Everyone is a product of what they have watched and observed.
How would you like Viza to be remembered?
Andrew: As unique
Chris: As an experience, not a band.
Andrew: our website is experienceviza.com
What music do you listen to in your free time?
Andrew: It's two worlds. There's my heavy stuff I listen to. I grew up listening to Rage Against The Machine, Tool and System of a Down, it's heavy with a bit of bounciness - their music still has a message. Then I love the traditional music that I grew up with in my community [Armenia]. It's kind of like the blending of those two.
Chris: I have a blend of different artists, there's rock and classic rock. But I really love electronics. Dub step stuff is cool. And I love listening to a band called Ed.
Andrew: Two of its members are in this room!
Andrew: I love writing poetry and love to read, and writing.
Where do you start writing songs?
Andrew: We all bring something to the room.
Does it get heated?
Chris: Yes! Too many chefs!
Andrew: But once in a while it can make a damn good omelette though!
What's the best thing about a UK crowd?
Andrew: It's all the smiles in the front.
Chris: We have to spark off of them too. Sometimes it's tough, sometimes they aren't so animated. They can be like 'where the hell did you come from?'
But because it's a Serj Tankian audience, they get it? I saw so many parallels with Serj. You are catering for an audience that loves that style anyway.
Chris: We are so thankful to him for giving us the opportunity, he's the one that got us to Europe.