Vices – Interview

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The five of ‘Vices‘ are a celebration of both vitality and soul. It’s a spirit that, like their sound, has developed in both boldness and charm, through five years of playing together. Their fresh mix of psycho soul, hip-hop and British Rock & Roll has taken them across both Europe and America, supporting breakthrough acts such as Band of Skulls, Everything Everything and Dry The River. We’ve been on this lot for a while now and are still flabbergasted (yep…you heard) at the fact they haven’t reached the big stage yet. Their debut album “The Wind I Walk Into” is as solid as you can get, and the live shows are quite simply amazing. So we caught up with Sammy Lea, the band’s frontman, for a quick chit chat on life, music and various other extremely interesting topics of discussion.

First off, when, why, and how did Vices all begin?

It all started from three separate circles really. Andy and I pissed around making music at school and house parties with Oaks and Ollie doing the same over the other side town. A while down the line of bands, gigs, girls and schools, Oaks and I met up again one summer, after 14 years of not really seeing each other and we drunk a load of red wine and wrote some songs. At the time a band Andy and I were in was falling apart so we came to a quick hot summer night decision to create something new all together. Then Rory was playing music and doing his thing in a different musical circle to us lot. We needed a drummer and a girl Andy knew put us onto Rory, who it turns out we had hung out with before, so went to see him. Obviously we were blown away and there we formed. It’s strange how it all came together as it was all on the edge of never happening, certain people not meeting and certain flights being booked, certain lofts being cleared out etc.

What inspires you as a band? Musically and other.

Everything that goes on internally and externally. I’m sure that’s what most musicians will say this but its true of anything creative, it all thickens the great broth. Our individual and collective memories go in along with music being listened to at the time. Recently its been black coffee, J Dilla, The Drive Soundtrack, BBNG, The Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See, Tom Brown, The Confederation of Dunces, new cologne, the rush from Macca after a day shoveling, the numbers crunch and the move to London.

Your sound has grown considerably over the years, how would you describe it?

We like to think of ourselves as tropical meats. Tough question that, some people say we are like The Doors but heavier. Each to their own really. I’d like to think I have an ounce of the class Harry Belafonte does.

How was it recording “The Wind I Walk Into” in LA with Jeff Saltzman ?

He was the hero behind that, Along with Marco Origel, Marc Needham and the rest of the team. It was bloody great. A lot was made on that trip, besides what is on the album. Plus back then we had three guitars so listening to that live, or on record, against our latest stuff really shows our progression. LA is a pulsating, colorful and utterly bizarre place and i think that seeped into the songs in a big way.

Touring Europe must have been one hell of an experience! Any tour stories?

They have been very very fun and eventful. We met a load of amazing people who helped and supported us, people that stay in contact with and some we see regularly now. Loads of stories. Blizzards, transvestite DJ daemons, beer, the Umbrella club, German police. Shit loads.

What is “Hotel Monsoon” all about?

It’s the name of a Hotel I had in dream. A deep, echo filled grey hotel that holds two 8ft sisters and one string bean man.

What’s next for Vices?

Well the album was out on March 3rd so now its promotion and touring the country really. The classics. We have some videos out now and one more in the pipeline, watch out for that. Last year was very quiet while we hid ourselves away writing and recording so this is going to be a pretty packed year. We have already started writing our next stuff so that may come into play toward the years end.

Final words?

Alchemy, burlap, Psychic early morning mist, pomade, Ottoman chests, bogus (that word needs far more airplay).

The band have just released their new self-produced EP “Hotel Monsoon” on March the 3rd, which you can purchase here. Make sure you catch them live and mark our words, they will blow you away.

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