Violens - Interviews - Soundblab

Violens

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

So many bands right now are making such a hash of referencing mid-80s pop (hello, Hurts) that it can be easy to miss a band you get it exactly right. New York's Violens are such a band, although thankfully their reference points stretch far beyond New Order, The Cure and The Smiths, taking in dub, 60s psych pop and the current chillwave wave. Anyone who's heard their excellent, pounding single 'Acid Reign', released in July, will know this is a band to keep an eye on, but that's only half the story. Wait 'til you hear the dreamy melancholy of 'Space Around the Feel Station' or the utter, Kate Bush-esque pop perfection of 'Never Let You Go'. Violens could easily be your new favourite band.

Formed a couple of years back by members of art and music collective Lansing-Dreiden, the band are now preparing to release their debut album, Amoral. Soundblab chatted in a virtual fashion with guitarist and singer Jorge Elbrecht about the joys of being in a straight-forward rock/pop band, why producing your own album can do your head in and why modern hip hop is rubbish.

What inspired the band to form and how did it come together?

Lansing-Dreiden was going into a slower schedule for music releases and I had a lot of songs on the backburner I wanted to share, so I created Violens.

What are your influences?

Vocal harmony groups like The Association, The Flamingos, The Mamas and the Papas, guitar pop bands like Slowdive and Chapterhouse, "metal" bands like Summoning, Xasthur, Ulver, Necrophagist and Krallice, punk bands.

How does Violens differ from your other project, Lansing-Dreiden? Is the intention to be more of a straight-forward rock/pop band?

Yes, exactly. Violens is a straight-forward band, while L-D is a brand, and overall art company.

What can we expect from your debut album, Amoral?

The idea was to make an album that somehow combined the aggressive delivery of our favorite punk and thrash bands (Crass, Minor Threat, Misfits) with the darker synth sounds of bands like OMD, Legendary Pink Dots, Dead Can Dance, using these sounds to ultimately create vocal-based pop music. We want the album to operate as a sort of audio ride.

Is it right that it's totally self-produced? What was that like and why did you make the decision to do that?

Yes, unfortunately (for my eyes). It was a long and interesting investigation into different production techniques - most of which, initially, failed to produce interesting results. I am obsessed with recording and producing songs, and kind of know how to do it, so it made the most sense. But, honestly, there were many hats to wear along the way and I probably wouldn't do it again if I had the choice. I'd like my focus to be singing and playing guitar for Violens on the next record. Maybe just producing on top of that, but no more engineering, editing or mixing.

You guys created the soundtrack to a fashion show last year, didn't you? Any ambitions to get involved in other projects - for example, film soundtracks?

Yes absolutely, that would be really fun.

There's a dark romanticism to your songs. What inspires that? Is it drawn from life?

I suppose it wouldn't be very dark or romantic if I knew the answer to that. But I'd say that yes, if I think I know what you mean by that, that it's definitely drawn from life.

What bands should Soundblab readers check out?

Krallice, Necrophagist, upcoming Chairlift record!, Nite Jewel, Pablo Picasso, Roman Orchids, Class Actress, Beige.

What's annoying you in music right now?

Hip Hop, I'm sad to say. These days it's really redundant, stale and boring. Almost every chorus I hear in current hip hop songs sends a cheesed-out chill up my spine. I feel like no one knows where to go. Someone should invent a new musical instrument or something.

What's next for Violens after the album release?

WORLD TOUR STARTING IN PARAMUS NJ

Amoral is released on September 28 in the UK and in October in the US.

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