The Formative Years: Vman’s Heavy Metal Roots Are Planted in the Outskirts of London

Words by Jenna DePasquale

On a recent installment of the exclusive Twitch series, Defender Of The Riff, host Daniel Dekay of respected thrash outfit Exciter welcomed the bass-wielding, masked mad man in VMan, aka Alessandro Venturella for an in-depth discussion about his musical pedigree, his veteran status in the field, and he role in collective Slipknot.

With the encouragement of his parents, he began playing the clarinet and piano, which laid the groundwork for understanding music theory. At just 11 years old, Vman made the fateful transition to classical guitar, which marked a major turning point in his music career as he began to take his hobby more seriously. As he journeyed through school, Vman linked up with other rockers, although he favored the technical aspects of classic heavy metal over the burgeoning grunge movement.

It was ultimately the work of Guns N’ Roses that would serve as a gateway to the greats for the budding musician.

Vman thrived in the local Watford scene where he took inspiration from watching bands like Fear Factory as well as other local musicians perform. This spark ignited countless hours of practice at home, which would pave the way for the formation of his early band, Incoherence -- a post-hardcore outfit he formed with his classmates. Vman would share his love for riffage on stages around the area.

A desire to delve into more technical aspects led to the formation of his next endeavor, Cry for Silence, with whom he performed until 2008.

The compulsion to purchase a Marshall 9000 Power Amp after using the equipment with his local guitar teacher sealed Vman’s fate in becoming a bona fide gear god. Discovering and rediscovering the vast potential in amps, pedals, and cables would unlock a guitar tech position with Architects, Coheed and Cambria, and more.

Vman wraps up his introduction by picking up an eight-string guitar for the first time in 10 years to demolish a track Cry for Silence’s 2008 record The Glorious Dead. Catch a preview of the first segment here.

Fans with VIP access can steam the complete first segment between Dekay and VMan on the latest Defender of the Riff episode available now - PART 1 AVAILABLE HERE