Heck Vektor are a two-piece Industrial band from Youngstown, Ohio. The band is made up of vocalist & programmer, Samuel Austin, who is taking a hiatus from the project, and guitarist & synths, Rick Polo. The band formed in 2019 after Rick had met Sam through a mutual friend in a studio while he was recording an EP for his other band, Baroque Monody, “In the studio, he showed me his initial demoes and ideas for what was to become Heck Vektor… I Love Industrial Music and I hadn’t played it for a decade at that point, like straight Industrial. So, we pretty much formed in late 2019, put out a few singles, booked a few shows, then 2020 happened… But because it was the two of us, we were able to navigate that year and the nature of the Music being electronic, we were able to keep it going, keep writing, recording, and releasing new Music throughout that year,” said Rick.

When Rick was twelve years old, he had talked his Dad into seeing Nine Inch Nails in concert with A Perfect Circle opening for them in 2000, he knew that was when he knew he wanted to be a Musician, “it was just mind blowing. I was only 12, I didn’t even know who Tool was at that time. My introduction to Maynard was A Perfect Circle. That show was just like, ‘Oh my God’ the visual, the energy…That was one of the first shows where I was like, ‘yeah I want to do this, this is awesome.'”

As a teenager, some of Rick’s favorite Artists were Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, then later getting into Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Joy Division, and The Cure, “As I dug deeper and started learning Music, started learning instruments because I kind of began in Punk and Hardcore. I really just wanted to figure out how a keyboard works; how electronic beats are produced. It always appealed to me.”

Fan Facts: Rick’s first Industrial band where he played bass and keyboards, was called The Denial Stage and they were active from 2007 to 2009.

Spiderthoughts is the second full-length album Heck Vektor released on October 28th of 2022 following their self-titled debut in January of 2021, which was more of a compilation of singles they had done throughout 2020. The cover of the album was created by Samuel, “It’s simplistic, it’s a little bit provocative, thought provoking… You’ll look at it, and will think one thing immediately, but then you think on it a little bit, and maybe make more sense when you listen to the Music. And the goal is to keep you coming back to it and get something new out of it every spin,” Rick elaborated.

The songs on Spiderthoughts are about Humanity and the way Human behavior and interaction was seen from the last several years. The title is an homage to the films Dead Ringers, Scanners, and Body Horror by film director and screenwriter, David Cronenberg, “The other half of it is, when you think of a spider, you think of a creature that is very individualist, but also cannibalistic and predatory to a point where it will kill its own kind to succeed. A very beautiful animal, very capable of creating–look at their webs, look how intricate, but also a very cannibalistic individualist, and a predatory beast. It’s sort of the look of Humanity through the eyes of that.”

Heck Vektor released an EP titled Doing Fine [In The End Times] in September of this year, as a tease of what was to come with Spiderthoughts. The EP features three songs that were already released, and even recorded a raw live version of the song White Fright, which was on their first album, “We also did it for Bandcamp Friday, because those are really cool opportunities for Artists, and a lot of times you can link up with charities with those. We saw an opportunity with a Bandcamp Friday, and album lingering. Here’s a little taste.” Rick continued, “It’s a cool way to interact with your fans and put out cool B sides and interesting little covers and things like that, it’s very direct stream like with the fans, and it’s very supportive of smaller and independent Artists.”


Pushing Through the Static is a song that came about in a dream for Rick, “You know when you have a close nostalgic feeling, but over time that memory kind of fades and becomes something else, and distorts and becomes like static… In this dream, I was sort of shifting through the static to try to come across memories like you’d shift through a television to come across a channel. And just the idea of how time distorts things and how memories fade. It’s very depressing, but it’s also very interesting. Looking back on the last several years, it’s almost really easy to distort what things were like, what Life was like before that, what Life was like before the pandemic. And now in 2022, we’ve kind of jumped back into real Life. It’s different, it’s distorted, it’s confusing.”

Rick feels this time around the Music was more veered off in different directions, stating that the last batch of songs they created were very in the moment, “These were a little more drawn out. There’s definitely a lot of immediacy on this record, but there’s also just a lot of things that have been channeled and piled up. The Music really had time to gestate and really give those lyrics a time to shine.”

When it comes to connecting to the Music with self-producing an album, like Heck Vektor did with Spiderthoughts, versus connecting to the Music on a record label, Rick shared his thoughts, “I’ve been on the other side of that with my other projects where it’s more of a band situation and we enter a real studio, with a producer, and go from there… With this one, with Heck Vektor, there is a particularly intimate feel to that approach because it’s been through so many little hands and so many little features. It is what it is. It really is pure to what it is. That’s not to say in the future that could change. If evolution takes its proper course…There might be more collaboration on that front. But right now, it called for immediacy and intimacy. It is directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.”

In today’s day in age, with the state of the Music industry, Rick chats about how it can be hard to keep your head above water as an Artist, “I think for right now, it’s easier to pump it straight out and see what happens. I think it’s a crucial first step.” He continued, “If your goal is to write and release Music, having a working knowledge of how recording and mixing, and general things like that work will help you down the line, because when you do work in the bigger leagues, it’s kind of easy to get pushed around or put in your corner. As an Artist, you have to speak up and make sure you’re represented how you’re supposed to be. I think having a multi-faceted pallet these days is essential to make any kind of statement.”


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