You don’t have to be Scottish or play in In Flames to like whiskey. You just gotta like the finer things in life. Like VERMILLION WHISKEY. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-Our latest EP Spirit Of Tradition was just supposed to be a quick demo of our new songs. The album quickly escalated into a full on release. We are beyond thrilled how the entire process went. From the initial tracking, mixing, mastering, and artwork the album really took on a life of its own. We are very proud of the new EP and cannot wait to tour the record this year.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-Whiskey is the easy part to describe. There has never been a time we didn’t have a bottle of whiskey in the jam room or with us in the band trailer on the road. It is always a party at shows and most of our fan base drinks the bar out of whiskey at shows. Vermilion is a common word in South Louisiana and there is a river ‘bayou’ that runs straight through our home town of Lafayette, LA. The ‘Bayou Vermilion’ is dark and gritty as is most of our music. There you go Vermilion Whiskey.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-That is the best part about the press we have been receiving. There are a few reviewers that really get what we are about and really helps drive ourselves to keep writing music. Then there are our core fans that drive hours to see us play, ask us to sign merch, and sing along to songs. That has to be the best part of it all.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-We really don’t focus a lot on our band image. With a name like Vermilion Whiskey and the style of music we play that kind of takes care of itself. We are all hard working guys and take our time we put into the band seriously, but at the same time we just want to have fun and play shows. The groove and energy of our live set is where we find the payoff to all the other hard work.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-The imagery and artwork is always a big focus for us. Naming the record was really hard but once we had that the artwork started to take shape. We enlisted the help of new up and coming artist Mike Calhoun of Sketchy Intuitions of Dallas TX. We had seen his work before and knew he was the right guy for the job. He came up with the album cover and the total album artwork package came out stunning. We couldn’t be happier with his work and imagery around the album. We only wish we could have released on a big beautiful vinyl record. Hopefully we can re-release Spirit Of Tradition on vinyl one day.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-Social Media is a monster and both a blessing and a total nightmare. The internet is a great tool for us to get our music out there and to meet new fans. But honestly the music business is a dog eat dog world and is saturated with bands which makes it very hard to get yourself heard. You can’t expect to post a show or a track up and expect much to happen the way social media sites restrict posts. There are so many great bands we know that probably won’t ever get anywhere because they don’t see the value in social media. This is sad because people deserve to hear these bands. It has become a full time job when we would just rather be writing music than planning our next post on social media.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-YES. The best part about being in a gigging band is meeting people who are in the same fight we are in. Trading war stories, getting advice, sharing the stage, sharing beers/whiskey shots, and just talking about what music and gear we have been checking out lately.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-We can’t speak for every scene but here regionally there has been a big downturn in rock clubs as people do not support live music as much anymore. Everyone is so sucked into social media to get off the couch and meet real people outside of the internet. Get off your butt and go to a show!!!
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We live to play LIVE shows. That is really the true reward for all the hard work. We gig on the road as much as possible which is difficult with jobs and life kicking you down. We have some big plans getting into some new markets this year and meet up with some rad bands.
What will the future bring?
-Not sure. Still trying to find a flux capacitor. All we know is that we want to keep writing, play some kickass shows, and meet some cool people along the way. We are halfway through writing our next album with plans to hit the studio later this year. We are really pushing ourselves as songwriters and feel we really have a good grasp of who we are and what we are trying to do with our music, The first record ’10 South’ was an broad mix of sounds, Spirit OF Tradition is more organic, and the next record is shaping up to be the best one yet.
LONG LIVE THE RIFF