INTERVIEW. Talking Tunes, Knitting, and Ray Romano: Getting to know Vertigo

Knitting and Ray Romano may not seem like central parts of the typical band, but the lads that make up Vertigo are not typical. They may not be a household name yet, but they are definitely on track to being so. In less than a year of performing together Vertigo have become a mainstay of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley precinct, known to pull large crowds on days when everywhere else seems to be dead.

Through this live exposure Vertigo managed to broker a deal with The A&R Department, known for their work with Harts, Meg Mac and SAFIA, and ultimately grab some studio time at Airlock Studios to record a few tracks for their upcoming EP ‘No Feeling is Final’.

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We had a chance to sit down with singer Hamish, and guitarist James, to talk all things Vertigo. The lads, who met at high school, with the exception of bassist Hugh, have recently released their lead single ‘Get Away’. The track begins with an energetic guitar riff, joined by rapturous bass and the powerful drums of Nelson, before settling down into the bass driven verse of the song. The vocals of Hamish fit exquisitely amongst the distinctly heavy instrumentals of this tune, which is akin to ‘The Hunter’ by Slaves with markedly better vocals.

The lyrics of the track, written collectively by the boys, are quite poignant, pleading a friend to leave a corrosive relationship. Despite the subject matter of the song, Hamish told us that while the realism of the song makes it appear to be based in personal experience, it was not. James then said “We were writing it like it was a pretty generic human experience.”

Get Away’ was one of the first tracks the lads wrote when they were first starting out, back in March 2015.  As Hamish quipped, “Our writing has definitely matured a lot since then”.  They credit this maturity to having performed live.  According to James “they were writing really elaborate, debatably self-indulgent music” prior to performing live. The experience of gigging on a stage has taught the boys how to work a crowd, using the reception of each song to adapt their set list.

The lads opened up about playing a private gig at a 50th, and how they managed to cater to that very different audience. “We played a 50th the other week… for this big country family. So we were like ‘we should probably learn some Johnny Cash. So we learnt ‘Ring of Fire’. When we were learning we were like what the fuck are we doing. What has Vertigo become. But then we whipped it out live and the crowd went wild… We played it twice and it went off even bigger the second time.”

Johnny Cash may never be heard again, at least not from these blokes, but it highlights the emphasis that Vertigo have put on performing live and creating a great show for their fans.

Vertigo not only care deeply for performing, and for their fans, but they also have a deep bond amongst themselves. Hamish highlighted this when he said “It’s like being in a relationship with three guys.”

ray-romano-covered-with-silly-string_pn016918The boys clearly get along.  My afternoon of sitting with Vertigo was filled with laughter and jokes, often at the expense of themselves and their hobbies. Hugh spent the weekend they recorded ‘Get Away’ learning how to knit, since he had recorded the bass early and had time to kill. Or at the expense of those surrounding them. Prior to their first gig at Rics, James’ Mum ignited the bands light obsession with Ray Romano, often referring to the Brisbane venue as Ray’s. This collective joy of their creative process bodes extremely well for future performances and for their upcoming EP ‘No Feeling is Final’. They are definitely a band to watch in the future thanks to their collective drive to make great music, and have a good time while they do it.


They will be playing at The Brightside’s Homegrown Battle of the Bands in Brisbane on March 15th and at Blackbear Lodge of April 23rd.

Keep an eye out for their upcoming single ‘Velvet Revolution’, and their EP ‘No Feeling is Final’, both coming out later this year. You can also keep up to date with all things Vertigo here

 

S.M.

 

INTERVIEW. INHEAVEN ahead of Debut Album – “We always made sure we never compromised our creative vision”

After taking the UK by storm last Summer, the DIY, dream-punk quartet INHEAVEN are continuing to create funky sounds and getting people hyped for the debut album coming next year, with hit single ‘Treats‘ already sweeping up a positive reaction after being premiered by Annie Mac this month. We got to know guitarist James and talk idols, festivals and what remains important to a band such as INHEAVEN despite rising up in the world.

Hey James! What would you say is the main message of your music? 

We think music should make you feel free, so we try to create songs that evoke that feeling.

 

Do you guys have a specific creative process when writing?

It’s weird but we can never explain how we write a song, it just happens! It is really something that happens completely in the moment.

 

Since you have emerged onto the scene, you have gained the seal of approval from many ‘royalty’ fans such as Wolf Alice and Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), you even released your debut single on Mr Casablancas’s label, Cult Records! How did that come about? 

We set up a website before we changed our band name and were called ‘Blossom’, and just used to put up weird videos and music on a daily basis. We ended up taking the whole thing down, but months later we got an email from Rory Atwell (who mixed our demos) forwarding an email from Cult Records! They said Julian and the label loved us and wanted to put out one of our songs. But yeah, it was one of the best feelings ever, it’s not everyday you get an email from one of your idols. 

 

What has been your favourite gig so far and why? 

Reading and Leeds, we grew up going to those festivals so it really felt like a coming of age moment that we will remember forever! The best story from that year was probably us and The Magic Gang getting chucked out of a party for running up on stage and playing someone else’s drum kit.

 

INHEAVEN are known for having a strong DIY ethic, what is it you guys enjoy so much about that and why is it so important for the band to stay true to that even as you progress and grow in size?

We never set out to be a DIY band, we just did everything ourselves and never stopped even when we got signed. We always wanted to have complete control over everything we do, the only way we felt we could separate ourselves from every other band was to make sure we never compromised our creative vision.

 

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Debut Album ‘TREATS’ out in 2017

Do you think anything changes once a band has signed to a record label and starts to grow in popularity and size? 

Nothing changes, it just ramps up a gear. We are our own little creative hub, so we could be on any label and it will still always sound and look like us.

 

What have you guys got in store for us in the near future and what are you most excited about right now? 

We are off on tour with Blossoms in December, and our Debut Album will be out next year. It doesn’t get more exciting than that really!


INHEAVEN are going on tour with the lovely Blossoms next month, buy a ticket here

You can also check them out on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

Baker out.

EP REVIEW. The Strokes – ‘Future Present Past’ a sign of their times?

This EP is the band’s first musical release in three long years. And the title of it is no mistake, so first let’s assess the Stroke’s interesting history before envouring the contents.

 

 The Past

The Strokes made such an iconic name for themselves in the indie underworld of New York, with ‘Is This It‘ (2001) commanding people to stop what the they were doing and reassess their current tastes and groupings. They have been running from it eversince (devistatingly for long-time fans).

 

The Present

Littered with mediocre solo albums, (Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young and Albert Hammond,  Jr, ¿Cómo Te Llama?) and arguably half-hearted reunion appearences after the glow of ‘Comedown Machine’ calmed. guitarist Hammond, Jr hinted at new Strokes material while simultaniously sounding tentative and almost apathetic when discussing the various solo projects being endevoured by other leading members.

 

The Future

After the release of this daring collection of expressive hits in the form of this EP, are they…could they…should they go onto do a new album? Are this band going to settle into their corner of nostalgia over their hey-day after this small peak of excitement? Are they going to go too far and ruin our adoration for their ability to impact everything from underneath? Or are they going to go on to get it just right?

 

 

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Image + Feature image: cultrecords

 

The title of this release may be a reference to the struggles this band face in regards to time and their evergrowing repitour of indie-rock seronaders, but each track here takes the time to answer some of our questions. 

Drag Queen‘ opens up the EP with electronic Joy Division vibes that The Strokes dabble in sometimes when feeling adventerous and Casablancas explored in more depth in his solo work. With dense layering of sounds, falcetto vocals and the muffled guitar lines we are so lustful over with The Strokes, this track represents what their plan of attatck is, and it is looking to be a good one. ‘OBLIVIUS‘ is a more light-hearted tune, if only in guitar riffs. However it is brought right back down to Casablancas‘s level with his iconic drowningly pessimistic vocals. The chorus of this song it huge, with all members coming together to step up the energy levels. Casablancas said to Annie Mac (BBC Radio 1) on her show that a full album could be happening “if the collective will could be summoned and caroused” but I predict that this is already on its way to happening by the sounds of the lyrical hook “Watch out” in this retro-progressive hit. ‘Threat of Joy‘ sees Casablancas saying “Okay, I see how it is now, you don’t have time to play with me anymore…fuck the rest” before going onto sing about the romantisised dangers of enjoyment. Is this a sign of acknowledgement of the past? Or a warning of the adventerous to come in the future? Either way, the EP commands us to remember, and listen up.

Strokes’fans reaction to new release after hearing three tracks were summed up perfectly on twitter as one fan wrote “The Strokes are back, everything is right.“, other reactions included relieved praises such as “I remember why I love the Strokes so much“. Hopefully this is a teaser for what is to come, rather than a brief moment of giving into our relentless demands for a nostalgic Strokes throwback.

 

Rating -★★★★☆

Past Present Future‘ is availible to stream now on spotify and will be physically released 3 June 2016 via Cult Records.

Pre-order the EP here

 

Baker out