Laughing About The Energy Snake: Vuvuvultures Interview

2 Nov

While we try to put across an air of professionalism when writing at Alphabet Bands, we are in reality just music fans and as music fans we can get very excited about certain acts. One band that has thrilled us a number of times this year is Vuvuvultures. We raved about their debut EP, VVV and both of their videos, for ”Pills Week” and ”I’ll Cut You”. It should be no surprise to learn then that we were practically foaming at the mouth when we found out they would be playing live at Norwich Sound & Vision (they blew us away by the way) and almost instantly we dropped the band a line asking to meet up.

To our delight they said yes but as the time drew nearer, trepidation began to set in. We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but when the cover is all you have, it is hard not to. So it was with Vuvuvultures; the cover we were looking at was dressed all in black leather and giving off something of a dark and ominous vibe. Their videos are sinister, visceral affairs with a sexual undercurrent permeating throughout, their music pulsating with attitude, creativity and a whole lot of not-giving-a-fuck-about-what-you-think. Frankly, the more we thought about it, the more we fretted over how disinterested they would be when we met.

We needn’t have worried. While they may present the image of people you would cross the road to avoid any confrontation with, Harmony, Nicole, Paul and Matt are actually more like people everyone gravitates to at parties. They are a genuinely lovely bunch who like to amuse and joke with one another and who present a real and heartening sense of camaraderie between them. Our conversation is easy and peppered with laughter as they answer questions and finish one another’s sentences.

They are humble too, the reach of the VVV EP took them by surprise; fans contacting them from places like Canada, Brazil and Mexico had not been expected. It’s success and the positive response to it does not inspire arrogance, more appreciation and reassurance that their faith in themselves, their vision, is justified.

“Vagina Laser”

It is a vision that has been shared by the directors of their videos as well, as Nicole explains. ”We just immediately connected on an ideas level with both [the directors] so it was like, ‘this is awesome, we bounce ideas off each other and then you guys just do whatever you want’.” Well not exactly ‘whatever you want’, despite being extremely open minded, there are limits and Harmony drew the line at having a ‘Vagina Laser’ in the video for “I’ll Cut You”. Was that too far beyond the realm of taste and decency even for them? “More like my Dad will kill me!” they laugh.

They laugh again when we discuss how they came up with the name, Vuvuvultures (pronounced va-va-vultures) having originally been christened ‘Bunny Come”. Nicole’s explanation that they “were looking for something that was kind of devoid of meaning as much as possible so that you could give it its own kind of identity with the music” quickly descends into a recollection of rejected names (including ‘puberty conference’ and ‘oil in bowl’) and the possible future uses for ‘Energy Snake’. Word to the wise, as awesome a band name as it would be, Harmony would be pissed off if anyone stole it.

Having fun is clearly a massive part of what Vuvuvultures are about and no opportunity for hilarity is missed. Even when writing and recording, samples are given names that are either ” the first thing you think of when you hear the sound, or trying to make someone laugh when they’re going through the folder”. It was the folder that produced the name of the EPs first track, the amazing “Ctrl Alt Mexicans”, as it was originally just the name of a loop they would later use for the song. Not, as you may otherwise imagine, a blatant attempt to curry favour in Central America, though that is a strategy they are willing to consider. ”If that works” says Harmony, ”we’re just going to start naming songs after countries we want to go”.

A couple of new songs make it into their set that night (not named after countries) and writing for an album, as well as a couple more videos, is very much their immediate focus. The plan is to have videos done by the end of the year and to make 2013 about the album (to be titled ‘Energy Snake’ we hope) and to raise awareness of the band. Following the success of VVV and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to their live shows, they could be forgiven for having high expectations for the future but they have the same modest outlook that was on show when they discussed the reach of the EP.

“I feel like charts are kind of more relevant for the industry than the actual general public”

They are pragmatic too. We discuss measures of success and what will have the biggest impact in increasing their audience. There has been a lot of talk recently about the proliferation of online music distribution services and aggregators, as well as the continuing relevance of the official charts and which of them would do more for an artist. It sparks possibly the most serious part of our entire conversation without any real concrete conclusions being drawn. “I feel like charts are kind of more relevant for the industry than the actual general public”, Harmony suggests. “Because the general public that listen to chart music aren’t really deciding what they listen to, they’re just being told what to listen to”.

”Ask us again when we’ve charted!” laughs Nicole.

The free cider may have had some part to play (unlikely unless they are each even more of a lightweight than we are) but our original fears about the band being uninterested in us were entirely unfounded. Vuvuvultures, are collectively warm, engaging, generous, articulate and funny. What is also clear is that they genuinely enjoy just hanging around with one another and having fun. Once their set is done the beer will flow, their laughter will be heard around the streets of Norwich and their dance moves appreciated by Deaf Club and her audience. For all their unapproachable and intimidating image, they are relly just a group of friends having a good time who also happen to make some incredible music.

5 Responses to “Laughing About The Energy Snake: Vuvuvultures Interview”

  1. The Recommender November 2, 2012 at 22:23 #

    A seriously good article. Insightful, pulling quotes and showing insight exactly where it was needed. This was a joy to read. I like the band, was interested in the Norwich event, the band’s commentary, and enjoyed your take on it. Utterly brilliant blogging. Thank you. x

    • Adam H November 3, 2012 at 13:18 #

      Thanks Mike.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. It means a lot to read such nice words from a blogger I have a great deal of respect for.

  2. name not supplied November 3, 2012 at 22:31 #

    I though the energy snake was something Haribo had experimented with, thought they’d trialled filling jelly worms with MDMA…ah well.
    Good interview though.

    • Adam H November 6, 2012 at 23:08 #

      Thanks, glad you liked it.


  1. Watch: Vuvuvultures – “Safe Skin” | Alphabet Bands - May 23, 2013

    […] Given their propensity for more off the wall visual accompaniments to their songs, each new Vuvuvultures video release is beginning to feel like something of an event. What on earth will they have come up with this time and will Harmony have been browbeaten enough to consent to the inclusion of a vagina laser? […]

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