In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with VANISHING KIDS. Nikki (singer/ keys) and Jason (guitar) did the interview – marked below!. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
(J) We started the band in the year 2000 so the vision and sound has inevitably changed over the years. We started as a post punk band with metal, prog, psych and shoe gaze influences. Now I feel we are more of a hard rock/ doom metal band with psych, post punk and shoe gaze influences. So we have mostly the same ingredients with different amounts added to the stew.
(N) Also, when we were younger, there was more of an indulgence in our creativity and dabbling in our varied influences, but now that we are older, there is absolutely more of a vision. We are crafting and cultivating sounds, moods, songs in a more deliberate way. Hoping to create some catharsis for others with emotional, deep but interesting music.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
(J) Possibly, but it might also be an advantage being from someplace with maybe a more unique local music tapestry. Although I don’t think we sound much like most bands in Madison, WI.
(N) Conversely, there are also advantages to being from a smaller scene, and a lovely sense of community and contribution that comes with that.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
(J) Our newest album “Heavy Dreamer” has gotten some great feedback but we don’t intend on repeating ourselves ad nauseam. We have a lot of new songs in our minds and some could fit in with the last album and some are new, expansive ideas.
(J) We do want to connect with an audience. Bands that say they don’t care about this aspect are probably being untruthful. Of course the first person(s) to impress/ satisfy is ourselve(s) but we want to relate to others in humanity.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
(J) I would say the biggest challenge is getting the right tones to work together in the right way to adequately communicate our message. Also getting the right takes recorded with genuine emotion and feeling. If you play parts too many times you can lose that. We want a human element to our sound. Most albums these days are too perfected and robotic.
(J) Our recipe for songwriting is unique ingredients mixed with hooks and pop sensibility. We want to do something new and different while not being so weird that it alienates an audience. Another answer would be to be open minded with your listening and don’t be afraid to combine genres/ non traditional elements into songwriting.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
(J) I saw that doc too. It was good. We have recorded analog, I still have some old reels from various places. We recorded our first album with Larry Crane in Portland at Jackpot studios. He also does the magazine Tape Op, all about analog recording.
(J) Analog has a warmer, more natural sound than digital. However nowadays there’s so many recording programs that I feel you can get great recording on either platform. And really 99% of the audience isn’t going to know the difference.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
(J) We are extremely excited to have “Heavy Dreamer” out in the world! Also very excited to be part of the Svart records label. It was a lot of work over a number of years and It think we got it right. It’s been great to hear the positive feedback.
(J) When we put something out that we believe in and feel we’ve done our best, how it’s received doesn’t reflect on how we feel about the work. But of course we want people to like it and connect to it as we do.
(N) When we do; however, get heart felt responses and people reaching out to us personally, it really means the world.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
(N) Lyrically in the past, the theme has mostly been about fleeting youth, making the most of your time on earth. These themes are continued on “Heavy Dreamer,” but there was a lot of sadness, and darkness in the process..Many songs were very cathartic and are a myriad of depression, desperation, but also hope…I actually hope to keep the personal ideas sacred and hope others find there own connections, and wrote the lyrics specifically with that in mind. Sharing a personal sadness, if you will…
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
(N) I think the art is very important. It needs to connect with the music. Since it is often the first impression of your band, it needs to make a strong image that speaks for the music. We picked Daria Hlazatova after discovering her rendition of Kate Bush online, and the piece instantly spoke to me. It precisely emulated the feel of this album.. literally and metaphorically. Also her work with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins was super great. Watching the art come to life during the process was so exciting and the finished product felt like destiny. She is so perfect (The Heavy Dreamer woman on cover).
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
(J) Yes, it seems to be growing! We are gearing up for a U.S. tour so we will see how people react to this new album!
What do you see in the future?
(J) In the near future we have a video coming out for the title track “Heavy Dreamer”, the U.S. tour and hopefully some European dates. We are also collaborating with the mighty Thor on a track! We have another full album in our heads, so there will be more to come!!