Hey, are you a fan of reverbed out vocals over tight hi-hats and fuzzy guitars? Because if so Violens are the band for you. Of course there are many more strings to their bow than that, each member bringing something new to the table. We had a quick chat with the band before the played their last lot of UK dates, but they’re back in November touring with The Drums so make sure you get there early if you’ve got tickets booked because you won’t want to miss out on this.
Hey, how’s tour so far – have you played some dates already?
Yeah, we’re just barely starting the tour but we did an in-store last night at Rough Trade after .
How was that?
It was kind of an honour to do a show after Von Oliver speaking, he’s a total hero of mine. Also the guy Allejandro, the guy who helped us with our album cover, really likes his stuff and he’s always going back and looking at those album covers so it was a little nerve-wracking to play after he did his talk.
How was the crowd? Were they there for you or for him as well?
I feel like it was maybe a combo; some people there to see him and some to see us, and then the people who were there for him stuck around and saw us. But yeah it was cool, it was a little weird for us sound-wise – just a lot of stuff to be plugging in on stage.
Cool, let’s go back to the beginning – you started in Brooklyn when a lot of other bands were coming out of there, was that motivational for you?
Well half of us used to live in Manhattan and half in Brooklyn so I don’t really think our start had anything to do with the whole Brooklyn scene thing that was talked about in the press, I think it was just circumstantial. I mean I had a lot of songs – I had this other project called Lancing drive in and at that point we’d decided to go really slow in terms of releasing music because we were an art company and we sort of wanted to work more within the gallery model, which is like every two years you have a solo show, so it’s a lot slower than the music industry. So we were thinking about doing that with our album releases and I just had all these songs that I wanted to get out, because it’s hard for me to write new ones if I don’t get the ones in my brain out, so I asked a couple of friends to help me play them live and Ido was one of them. But yeah man, it just went on from there, and you know, it’s evolved quite a bit – we’re working on new material all together now so it’s nice for it to kind of change over time.
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I had a listen to your summer mix-tape and noticed a lot of remixes, is there anyone who you would want to remix some of your stuff?
Yeah Aphex Twin man! We want to remix an Aphex Twin song, that would be awesome. I’m sure there’s a huge list, there’s endless amounts of people we’d want.
What about the remixes of your songs that people have been doing?
I feel like I prefer their versions to ours in some cases actually, so yeah it’s been cool to hear their take on it.
Sorry to go away from the band quickly, but I saw your Justin Bieber SGIN thing (google it, it’s an entirely new song set to a Bieber video so it looks like he’s singing) which is awesome, are there any plans to do any more of them?
I wish we could do them like twice a month but it’s just about finding time really. It was super fun though, it’s kind of more fun than putting a real song together, but yeah, hopefully we’ll get another one done soon.
Cool, I look forward to it! Also I noticed you were giving mp3s away for free, is that a reaction to the way that the industry’s going or just something you wanted to do?
Well they’d get stolen overnight anyway so we might as well give them away for free! But no I wouldn’t say we take a certain position against it or anything, we just have to kind of adapt to how it’s going.
Are you going to do the same thing with the album, like a Radiohead vibe, let people pay what they want for it?
No they’ve got to pay full price, if they’re going to pay at all that is!
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And it’s your debut full length isn’t it, how was the writing and recording process?
Just really long. Partially fun, partially tedious in terms in of doing things a million times and trying new stuff out; new effects and guitar tones or whatever. A lot of editing and messing around with the panning and mixing ideas and finding out it didn’t work and then re-doing it, that kind of shit.
Are you nervous about it coming out?
No I’m just relieved to be honest. I kind of see it as a document of my ideas at the time and all of our seperate input in to it at the same time, so yeah we’re just happy that it’s done.
How is it lyrically? Because I noticed some of your previous songs have quite dark content.
I mean, I kind of prefer to work where there are dark elements to it, but when they get tempered by other elements so you can’t get one real feeling out of it, so it kind of balances out and leans one way then leans another way and leaves your perception of it always changing.
Cool, and finally are you looking forward to the last leg of your tour? Have any of you played Europe before actually?
Absolutely, we’re totally stoked for that. I mean, I haven’t been to a lot of those cities that we’re going to be playing so it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’d love to play Japan at some point as well, but we’ll definitely be back in the UK at some point too.