In our first of three features we get up close and personal with Midland grungey garage rockers VIOLET.
After falling for FEEL and in anticipation for Blogtober on October 21st, we thought it an opportune occassion to ask the Lichfield lads a few questions:
1. Hi guy. Your debut single ‘FEEL’ has the sound of a really established band. Could you briefly describe when and how VIOLET began?
“Some of us are related, some were born next to each other and a few of us went to school together at some point, so subsequently we met through a mix of circumstances. We’ve been together for just over a year and we’ve been writing tunes and going to the studio to record, so all that prep time has got us sounding pretty tight.”
2. A recent ‘Louder than War’ article described you as ‘combining influences that draw from 90s Grunge to Britpop’ and I would certainly agree that ‘FEEL’ mixes the heavier guitars of grunge/shoegaze with the focused lyricism of Britpop/indie. Which bands inspire you musically?
“We love the big soundscapes of shoegaze but it’s quite inaccessible in comparison to the catchiness of say Britpop so we like to put ourselves somewhere in-between. Some bands we take inspiration from include The Beach Boys, The Verve, Mansun and Elliot Smith to name a few.”
3. Likewise, which bands are you liking at the moment and do you like bands with a similar sound to you, or are your tastes more varied?
“Depends on who you ask, we all have our own individual tastes but they all kind of make up our sound in some form, like if you isolated some of our backing vocal tracks it’s akin to a Beach Boys track which is a band Luke loves but we’ve also got that whole wall of sound effect going on too which we’ve been inspired by a lot. We don’t just listen to bands that we directly take inspiration from either.
4. What were your experiences making that ridiculously cool video for ‘FEEL’?
“We clad the entire room with velvet drapes at a place called Still Ill Studios in Leicester. It was filled with old vintage furniture (like mad plants and retro arcade machines) that we could pick and choose what we wanted to decorate the set with. Patch was adamant about eating that strawberry and nobody really could justify a reason to disagree with it happening. We sent out a reference picture of the velvet room in Twin Peaks to see if anyone had a place that was similar and Still Ill Studios had a room almost identical which was sweet.”
5. You recently did a series of gigs at the likes of The Sunfower Lounge, Birmingham and The Cookie, Leicester. How were these and is it a challenge when playing live to capture the shoegaze aspect of your sound and at the same time not let it overpower the vocals?
“Making big sounds is easy and we’ve designed the songs to make sure the vocals can be heard anyway. We’ve thankfully got our own sound guy who knows our sound like the back of his hand, he rides big delay effects on the vocals so they blend right into the music. We’ve never really encountered any problems separating the vocals from the sounds before.”
6. How are you guys feeling for Blogtober Festival this month, and what do you think of Bryde and Babyteeth who you guys are sharing a stage with?
“Bryde is really wicked, her sound is beautifully unconventional and cool plus Babyteeth’s latest single ‘Siamese Twin’ is massive and quite garbage-ey, really looking forward to seeing them both.”
7. Aside from Blogtober what does the rest of the year have in store for you guys? I noticed that you are playing some more gigs, is more music on the way?
“Yeah some more gigs, recordings and ALSO another single very very soon, but we can’t tell you when… it’ll be cool though.”
You can catch VIOLET at Blogtober on October 21st, details available here.