Morgen ist Heilig Abend und dann die beiden Weihnachtsfeiertage. Jetzt habe ich vor diesen Festtagen noch ein Interview mit der neuen britischen Band VEGA für Euch! Die Band brachte am 03. Dezember ein starkes Debüt in die Plattenläden. Im Interview geht VEGA auch auf einzelne Songs ein. Viel Spaß beim Lesen.
Hi, I am Michael and welcome to Melodic-Rock-Inside.com. Thank you for having time for the interview. I have some question for you.
1. Could you tell us please what are you currently up to?
We have just finished a couple of gigs with Danny Vaughn and we have had a whole load of press and promo to do. This afternoon I am being brave and hitting the shops to finally do some Christmas shopping!
2. Could you take us through the songs on your debut album “Kiss of Life” (such as ideas behind the songs, songwriting process)?
INTO THE WILD
I was channel hopping one night and there was nothing on (as usual), then i stumbled on to the film “Into the Wild” which is based on the true story of Chris McCandless. He let go of all material possessions and went native. Throughout the film it had Eddie Vedder doing his “folk” thing which was nice, but I thought it deserved a “rock” contribution! Lyrically it is based on the film’s message and musically we discussed having a Billy Idol style rocker. Written July 7th 2009
KISS OF LIFE
This was the song that we are most proud of. It just ticks all the boxes for us. We love the atmosphere of the verse and the BIG chorus. For us, it was always going to be the centre of attention for the album (hence the album title). The “Kiss of life” can be anything that gets you out of a hole you can sometimes find yourself. It can be a person’s actions something someone says or you just wake up one morning and say “enough of this shit, let’s get on with living”. Written JULY 15th 2009
ONE OF A KIND
Haha. Tom and Jim were my inspiration on this one. They live life in reverse. Throughout the years they have taken a lot of shit from people for being the way they are. But here’s the thing, Tom and Jim don’t ever hide who they are and how they live or have lived their lives. If you come in to their backward lives they will be honest from the start so you know what you are getting in to. It works great for us though because it means VEGA is active 24/7. Dan and me run the day shift and Tom and Jim run the night shift. For this track we just wanted to do a Def Leppard inspired song. We always talked about how good it would be to hear a crowd chanting the chorus..........can’t wait. Written August 25th 2009
STARING AT THE SUN
I remember being on the phone to Tom when I heard Jim playing the riff in the background. I think Jim was just tinkering with ideas and I said stop tinkering that sounds great. It didn’t take long for the backing track to arrive. There are quite a few different subject matters through-out the album because quite honestly there are too many “hearts beating as one” lyrics out there lol, but this one is about a dysfunctional relationship. Sometimes you can’t avoid the pain that goes hand in hand with love and there are something’s you just don’t want to know about and would rather bury your head in the sand. Written August 13th 2009
Too young for wings
As usual this one started out as a conversation about the kind of song we wanted to write. We had written a big AOR ballad called” A wing and a Prayer” but it didn’t really fit with what we were doing. Once we decided the vibe we wanted T and J set to it. The next day when i got the backing I knew instantly what it would be about. The music is really beautiful and full of emotion and didn’t deserve a lyric about lost love etc. My inspiration was my daughter. Once you have kids everything changes and you spend the rest of your life worrying about them. In the cd booklet we dedicate the song to the VEGA kids (Dan has been busier than me and has 3, haha). Written August 17th 2009
A N OTHER
I would say this is the heaviest track on the album. It was not what I expected the guys to come out with so i was pleasantly surprised when I got the music. I thought they were going in to WAR PIGS at the start! Lyrically is was inspired by the front pages of all the newspapers showing pictures of the hearse’s driving through the streets with the soldiers lost in Afganistan. It seemed that everyone was questioning what was going on and how things were being handled especially when Gordon Brown wrote his letter of condolence to a family and spelt their sons name wrong. We can’t expect our leaders to know every soldiers name but these men and women need to be more than just “another“ soldier. Written August 20th 2009
I think of all the songs on the album, this one has the potential to cross over to mainstream. We just wanted a really hooky pop/rocker. We wanted to verse to be very mellow and then big up the chorus. I pictured a film in my mind when i wrote the lyric. It would be great to do a video for this. Written October 8th 2009
HEARTS OF GLASS
We originally intended to write this as the album’s opening track. There is so much going on in this musically. I think this sums up Tom and Jim really well. Jim put in some great keyboard lines (some are even a bit “dance”) and Tom adds some great guitar nuances that you may not notice are there but you would notice if they were taken away. Once again, when we go out live I can’t wait to hear the audience sing this one back so c’mon guys and girls, all you gotta do is sing “hey hey hey” lol. Written August 17th 2009
STAY WITH ME
My old mucker Steve Newman will claim to have come up with this title first but I say bollocks.....The Faces did! Haha. This was always going to go on the album. Just a real bright, fun rock track. We recorded the album in two stages. We did 3 songs together in August so we could seal the deal with Frontiers and then we did the rest in November. Tom and Jim wanted to do this in the original 3 but Dan and me pushed for “Here comes the Rain”. We did “Rain” but that ended up as the bonus track! 1-0 twins. Written July 13th 2009.
I don’t have anything against the X-Factor as an entertainment show, but please don’t call it a talent show!! The whole set up is fake, fixed, whatever. That’s what this is about, fake people, fake lives and “fitting in”. The music we love is not en-vogue right now, but we have to stick to our guns and do what we love otherwise what’s the point? Written October 8th 2009
WHAT IT TAKES
This is as AOR as we get and we love it! I guess this is the BIG ballad of the album but it still rocks. I love Jims intro on the piano, very haunting. I’m sure we could have tried to make this sound more current, but why? It is what it is and we are very proud of it. Written September 3rd 2009
When we first demoed this we thought it was great but it would be the bonus. When we recorded it, we were blown away at how it turned out! It sounds huge and it was one of the moments in the studio where we all had massive grins across our faces on playback. Loads of stuff going on (John Greatwood had fun mixing this one, ahem) and all held together by the rock solid Dan Chantrey on drums. Dan really is an unsung hero on this album. He has the ability to go mad all over the songs but he doesn’t. He plays for the songs and I think that is a rare trait in drummers these days who tend to want to sound like they are juggling drums all the time. Written September 9th 2009
3. Have you been pleased with the reaction to the debut album from fans and reviewers?
It's been amazing. We weren't sure if it was gonna sit well with fans of pure AOR but it seems that they are all liking the the different spin we have put on it and I think they have found it refreshing. You can never please everyone though so I am sure the negative reviews or fans will soon rear their ugly heads LOL.
4. How did VEGA come together?
Tom and James had the go ahead from Frontiers to put together a "project". They approached me in early summer 2009 and asked if I would do it and I said I would give it a go. After we had written the first 3 songs we knew that this was more than a project and decided to give it our undivided attention. VEGA is 100% a proper band now, not a project!
5. Are there any plans for live dates in Europe or specially in Germany and how easy/hard is it to get a decent run of tour dates?
Our Agent is looking at a few things now so we hope to have some Euro dates next year. We have a few things lined up but we really want to hit the festivals next year. Getting tour dates is tough because it cost's money haha. We just need to pick and choose the best gigs so we can make the most of it.
6. You are releasing this album on the Italian label Frontiers Records – how did you hook up with them?
Tom and James have had a relationship with them for years now and they have been writing songs for Frontiers artists. I think they finally decided that they wanted to have an album out themselves. lol
7. How hard/easy has it been to get yourself and your music known? How do you view downloads – do they help or hinder new artists?
Fortunately Frontiers has a good PR machine so people are aware of us and our album. As for downloads......well it's good and bad. We all use to tape our friends albums in the old days didn't we? Downloading is just on a bigger scale. I guess at our current level it doesn't affect us so much because we don't expect to make any money off "kiss of life", so any exposure is great. Howevr, down the road it will be an issue.
8. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?
I have a beautiful daughter who I spend as much time with as possible. I love the escapism of watching a movie but even in my spare time I still like to be doing something musical.
9. What really gets on your nerves and really annoys you at the moment?
The student riots in the UK. If they believe they are so right why do they feel the need to cover their faces? Bunch od fucking free loading pricks!! Only annoys me a little bit. haha
10. Message to your fans...
Thank you for buying/downloading Kiss of life, we hope to be able to play it to you in person next year! All the best.
Thank you and I hope we will see us at tour in the future in Germany. I wish you good luck with your debut album “Kiss of Life” and I wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!