Tuesday, 26 February 2013

An Interview with "The Vietnams"

Before Christmas I was lucky enough to get an interview with the band “The Vietnams”. For some reason this post doesn't feel like being co-operative and won't load when you try and view it. Because I think the band are so great I thought I should publish it again, but hopefully this time it will work! When I did the interview they had only released two songs, they now have an alubum out. They are definitely going places fast!

First of all for the readers that haven’t come across your music yet, what other artist(s) would you compare yourself to?
That’s a tough one. All five of us bring different aspects of different genres to the table, and we all have our own influences. If you could image a mix of folk musicians like Fleet Foxes, The Band, The Lumineers, The Last Bison, and so on, with Indie like The Kooks, The Smiths, Razorlight, etc. and then bring in the prettier more acoustic based stuff like City and Colour, Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran, and even a bit of Beirut, that should give people somewhat of an idea of our sound.

And if you were to sum your style up in three words…
Cohesive, subtle, and multigenerational.

When did the “Vietnams” begin, and how did you all come together?
This is a random story that I’ll try and keep short. I, Sean, have known Brent for a while. We met through other bands when we were in high school. He and I decided to get together one day this past summer and mess with some music of our own. That day we wrote and recorded the demo of “Oh Miss Deceiver” and haven’t looked back since. Jake is an even more random side story that takes a bit more to explain, but basically we met him a couple weeks after and found out he played the banjo and was epically amazing on the guitar. We brought him in and the three of us wrote most of our album from then on. Byron and Seth have been good friends of mine throughout high school. Byron and I have jammed before and from that I knew he could sing and play ukulele, which fit perfectly with us, and Seth is a legend on piano as well as being pretty talented with music all around. Those guys joined us recently and made us a full band. And that’s the basic story behind how we came to be.

Your name really sets you apart from other artists on the scene, what made you choose it?
We get asked this a lot and we really don’t have too much of an answer. All I can say is that we saw a few upsides to it: it sounded cool; it had a bit of a controversial vibe to it (which makes it that little bit more memorable); it resonates a bit of nostalgia; and it wasn’t taken. But to be honest, it doesn’t have a meaning behind it, nor any intentional ties to anything.

You’re currently based in California; does this have an influence on your music?
It has to in some ways. We aren’t the stereotypes of the “Cali life” by any means, but where you live has to have an impact on your musical tastes and inspirations.

What inspiration is behind your songs?
We draw inspiration through our lives, things that are happening in the world, things that have happened in the world, and love… and not just the people we love but the things we love as well.

What are you all currently doing at the moment?
Well I, Sean, work with Byron. We own a design company here in California. Brent and Seth both attend local colleges and hold down jobs. And little ol’ Jake is still in high school, but is graduating this year. As far as right this second, it’s Thanks Giving here in the US so everyone is with their families.

What are your next plans? Are you thinking of coming across the pond any time soon?
Depending on how the Kick Starter goes for the album and how much money we manage to make, we really want to tour anywhere and everywhere. Being from England myself, I wouldn’t mind coming home and playing some gigs, so touring the UK is in the cards for the near future also.

Have you ever been to London, and if so where are your favourite hideouts?
I lived just north of the city a few years ago, grew up there in fact, but I’m the only one who’s been. I can’t really say if I had any favourite hideouts but the place is my home, and I can’t wait to tour there with the guys someday.

And finally, whilst we wait for more releases from you, what other songs or artists do you suggest we check out?
The Last Bison, those guys are awesome! If you like folk, you have to check them out. And read about them. Their story is really cool. They’re signed but not that well known yet, so check them out!

Thank you so much to the band for their time, and for more information, and release dates, check out their official website: www.thevietnams.com

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