Emptiness, trepidation and indignation are a few words that come to mind when jamming Jacksonville hardcore bluesers Vices’ newest release “Volume None.”
The band’s second LP feels like the soundtrack of a post-apocalyptic world that a cowboy trying to close the gates of Hell is cursed to live in. It makes sense, especially because Vices released it on June 6, 2016 (6/6/16).
Vocalist Daniel Strickland and guitarist Shane Kelley answered some questions about the album, which can be purchased and streamed on their Bandcamp.
The lyrics, vocal melodies and instrumentation seem to come from a very sorrowful, dark place. What’s the inspiration behind the creativity on “Volume None?”
DS: We’ve always tried to do our own thing when writing music. There’s too much recycled garbage being played everywhere you go. We’ve just tried to do whatever we want, regardless of what people think about it and in all honesty. It’s what has made our band what it is today. Lyrically, I’ve always used this band as an outlet. Depression is no joke, and I feel like writing has been an easy way for me to say things without actually having to say them, and sadly people relate.
SK: I was (still am) listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath while writing riffs for this record, so that definitely played a big part in the music and writing. Lyrically, we thought it’d be cool to make the songs all about different horror/suspense stories.
I noticed an acoustic guitar in the second track, an organ on the third and samples throughout the others. Did you do anything else experimental in the recording process of this album?
DS: These were all spur-of-the-moment things. The acoustic track was suggested by Corey, who is the engineer and producer of “Volume None” and engineer of “New Breed.”
SK: While we were taking a break listening to the play back, we heard an organ coming from a few units down. I’m a huge Deep Purple fan and we’ve always talked about having an organ solo, so we all got psyched. We asked Corey if he knew the dude and he did. He took us down there, we asked the guy if he’d rip something on the record and he played it first take. He played it on a Hammond B3 with a Leslie so it was legit.
Do you consider “Volume None” to be a live record or a studio record?
DS: I would definitely call it a live album, with a few tricks. Anything that we ever record, we do our best to make it sound exactly how we play it. We don’t spend a bunch of time in the studio trying to change things. If we can’t do it live, there’s no real point in recording it.
SK: We pretty much just went in there and laid it down naturally. I played along with Andrew on some songs while he laid his drums down. Other songs, he just nailed on his own. Most of Dan’s vocals were done in one take. Most of the guitars done in 2/3 takes, including solos and layering. Overall it has a live feel, which is exactly what we’ve always gone for.
Are there any plans to tour or play shows to support the release?
SK: Not at the moment.
As artists, how much do you think your music has evolved since the release of “New Breed?”
DS: I feel as musicians, we’ve come a long way. When we started this band we just wanted to play fast, short, angry songs. But as we grew as musicians, we started actually writing fully structured songs.
SK: This band, like most bands, has constantly changed and grown over time. It’s definitely different than the previous record, and the previous is different than the previous. We’ll probably do the next record with Lou Reed.
Which activities would you recommend people do while they listen to your new record?
SK: Do whatever you do when you’re listening to music, just turn this thing up LOUD. That’s the only way to jam it.