Vulgar Fashion

Vulgar Fashion - October 2012

Vulgar Fashion Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: September 15, 2012
Posting Date: October 1, 2012
Artist Hometown: Denton, TX
Links: Facebook
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Krystal Tears
Night Yacht
Cold War
ONE: How did you develop your retro sound?
Andrew Michael: I don’t think it’s retro sounding. I mean, I think there’s like…everybody’s influenced by whatever it is they listen to, and so I can understand, definitely, a lot of the associations with music that we’re inspired by, but I think that ‘retro’ makes it a little novelty, and I think that, if anything, I think that we’re pretty grounded in something that’s happening right now. But, I mean, naturally, in a band like ours we are going to get a lot questions and associations about ‘retro sound’ or ‘New Wave sound’ or whatever. ‘80’s sound.’ Well, we like that music and we dance to it, so I’m sure a lot of that is going to show up in what we do, even though we— I don’t think we consider ourselves any type of retro or revisionist group at all.
Julie McKendrick: I kind of think of what we’re doing more like a soap opera or something put to music. Or like it’s…it’s kind of…extreme. Like, some of the lyrics are just sort of like gushy, gross, emotional…like maybe too…like a soap opera. I mean, that’s the easiest. Right?
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, definitely, it’s like a—
Julie: But they’re real feelings. They’re real things that you go through. It’s kind of focusing in on when you are…for me anyway, a lot of when you’re at your lowest, and you are acting like a complete…teenager or emotionally affected or whatever. It’s sort of like you’re stuck in that emotional state or something.
Andrew: I guess, from a sound perspective, I can understand tags like ‘retro’ or something, but like, I don’t know, it’s more, for us, just more like a visual— like video-type story line that kind of blurs the line between our real life and other things. But, I mean, structurally I think we have more in common with metal. We listen to a lot of metal. So, a lot of our songs kind of follow…or inspired by a certain form that different metals can have—
Julie: Like copper and steel…
Andrew: Yeah, copper and quartz. Magic rocks.
TWO: What is your creative process like?
Julie: We wrote these songs like four years ago and we keep playing them. We don’t have any new ones.
Andrew: We sort of have some new stuff, but it’s so like…it’s so future. I mean, they’re listening to it in Ethiopia, but not here, because it’s 2005 in Ethiopia.
Julie: That’s true.
Andrew: One of our friends just got back from 2005.
Julie: That’s crazy. That’s true. But…what was the question? Because…
DJ: How do you write songs together?
Julie: Oh yeah, right. Sometimes I’ll…play music on them, and we record them…
Andrew: We usually just come up with a bass line and a drum part, and we jam on that forever, and just sit around in a circle and tell jokes and write out lyrics of little weird scenarios in our head, and then play it back on tape and just play it over and over and over. We listen to it all the time, just on…I don’t know. We just sit down and play it.
Julie: Yeah, a lot of times we’ll write the lyrics together, and then the music, he’ll already have some stuff already put together, and it’s usually magic, so I don’t—
Andrew: Yeah, it just kind of happens like [snaps] that.
Julie: Because everything he does, I like, and so I like everything we do. I don’t think we ever have a problem.
Andrew: No. It’s more like we like all of the same foods, and so we’re just putting those foods on a big table, and then we can just eat and make whatever, and it’s fine. It’s just how we—
Julie: Yeah we…we have similar aesthetic things that we like, but…yeah, and we don’t, we usually never have a problem with it.
Andrew: No.
Julie: Like, in other bands you’re usually like, ‘Oh, I don’t like what you’re doing.’ But you can’t or you don’t know how to say it or something like that. But every time it’s just like, ‘Oh my god, you’re so awesome!’ We, I guess…have similar interests.
DJ: Does your live show impact how you write music, or can the live show and your music exist separately?
Julie: You mean like recordings? And then live?
DJ: Yeah.
Julie: We’ve recorded some songs, and it took us a long time to be happy with them, and now we’re…almost completely happy with them, but I think— for me anyway, with the live, there’s definitely something that’s very hard to translate or to have that live experience, I guess, on a…on some sort of listening, like, tape or whatever. I mean, actually putting our songs out on tape cassettes helps in a way, I think, because you do have weird…because live, it’s not always the same. When you have a CD or digital copy or something like that, it’s like there’s never really any…it’s too clean or something, like, I don’t really know how exactly to describe it. I’m trying to think if there’s something I’ve listened to and then I’ve seen them live and it’s way awesomer or something…more…it’s like communication, you know, too. You can’t communicate if your body’s not there, or something. Completely. The essence is missing, maybe. I don’t know.
Andrew: I guess both are legit to me. I can listen to it or perform it, but I do like performing, and that’s why we still do it. It’s because it’s so much fun, and we like playing really loud, and we like making people dance and we like seeing people have a really good time, and sometimes we can accomplish that. Even if it’s only a few people, most people seem to really respond in a real fun way to what we do. And that’s the only reason we approach it anyway, to have fun and have a sense of freedom in life, because so many things are so— there’s so many obstacles to just being able to purely express oneself today without either falling into, like, some type of category or stereotype or something, and again, it’s not that we couldn’t be categorized. Categorize us away. It’s just that for us it’s more of a liberation, final freedom thing, and that’s the reason we still do it. So, live is immediate and you get to communicate and connect with people.
Julie: And that’s why we’re usually set up on the floor, too, because we…when you’re on a stage— There’s projects where I’ll be on the stage, but this project is totally different, right? And with him, there’s something really magical about playing with him that I feel when we’re performing, when we have people dancing and they’re with us, you know? And I can go with them, or you can just be part of it, or people can be part of what you’re doing, and come and, you know, dance real close. So yeah, that’s this project.
Andrew: I think a lot of the shows we came out of seeing, like, just in the past six or seven years, right? There was a time when all of us that make music together were connected to shows where it was always like that. It was always very immediate, it was usually in somebody’s house, for free, and for all the right reasons, which was just to hear music, experience art from people all over the country, sometimes all over the world, and just having that immediacy, on the floor, being able to connect with the artist. There was no barrier. I can appreciate the stage whenever there’s…when there is a theatrical component to it, and maybe that separation between audience and performer seems like it fits the context, but just in general what I think we’re really about is more like feeling and dancing and being able to be that close to people that we’re playing with. I see them less as spectators and more just as a part of the experience.
DJ: Do you think that connection you felt a few years ago is not around anymore? Do you think that ‘community spirit’ has disappeared from the local music landscape?
Andrew: Well, I think it’s mutated, but I think it’s definitely noticeable in there being less shows. House shows, I should say, or in non-conventional spaces where there’s not a business context set up around, where it really is just about the nurturing of expression. I mean, everything changes though. There’s always cycles, and I don’t really know what’s going on with anything at all anymore. I mean, even just anything in general. I don’t even know. I’m kind of losing—
Julie: Getting older.
Andrew: Time and like, ability to think about anything, because it’s just too much to think about. So, I just like cooking and making music and being with my friends and my girlfriend and my cat. Just trying to live life. Yeah. I think you’re kind of at the same place too, right?
Julie: Yeah.
Andrew: It’s all a very low key affair.
Julie: Yeah, you know, you get older.
Andrew: But Halloween is coming. Awesome.
Julie: Halloween is coming up!
THREE: What does the next year look like for Vulgar Fashion?
Andrew: We’re going to release some tapes. We want to release some videos. That’s the next thing, to make videos for all of the songs. We’re always collage-ing, like, oftentimes we’ll put out things where there’s only two or three copies or something like that, but I think we’d like to have maybe a little more availability of some of those things, and definitely make videos and play—
Julie: And go on a worldwide tour…funded by…someone.
Andrew: Virgin.
Julie: Virgin?
Andrew: Airlines.
Julie: Virgin Airlines. Yeah. We’re the next venture for…what’s his name? Branson?
Andrew: Branson. Well, they kind of want that band One Direction to kind of work with us a little bit and see what we can do with that.
Julie: No! But yeah.
Andrew: Make videos, definitely try to write some new material.
Julie: Yeah, there is some new material that we’re…
Andrew: There’s a new idea.
Julie: Yeah. It’ll be about maybe two or three years before that happens. We take things very slow.
Andrew: We do. It’s very, very slow, slow. But that’s fine. We have an idea of what new kind of sounds and things we want to do, we just…we’re still kind of experimenting and exploring. But, hopefully, just have more fun.
– Interview and transcription by Dale Jones