Interview: Five Minutes with Voodoo Bandits
Isle of Man residents(UK), as well as a four-piece indie rock band called Voodoo Bandits, have officially released their new single ‘Empty Swimming Pool’. The band has been featured in popular Youtube channels such as Fancy Melancholic and Sounds New Sounds Good. Their music has a collective streaming rate of under 140 000 plays. The band’s main source of inspiration for their overall sound comes from acts like Circa Waves and Hockey Dad for their uptempo atmosphere. We find out more about the energetic performers in our exclusive interview with them.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
Absolutely love music and everything around it! Always enjoyed artsy stuff, I find it very stimulating as a creative type. When it comes to being in a band I truly enjoy every single aspect, writing is my favourite part; but planning videos, logos, artwork, the studio and everything else is always so exciting.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
They tend to come hand in hand! I try to create a feel or ‘vibe’ with the music then keep it consistent, always tending to start with a rhythm guitar and strong idea for the rest of the instruments; knowing exactly how I want the end product to sound. So at the same time as ‘the idea’, ‘the sound’ is found… Rhyme not intended. I always bare in mind specific sounds we like to make, and how to merge them into ‘the idea’. You can always count on a fuzzy octave vibrato lead in there somewhere!
Does your material feature any collaborations?
What’s on your current playlist?
Always really into the Aussie stuff; forever favorites Hockey Dad are always in rotation. Loving Last Dinosaurs and Good Boy too, ‘Ya Mom’s ya Dad’ is a great song, but I can’t forget Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, an awesome band. Smashing the UK group Sports Team also, post-punk amazingness, fun, and characteristic, I listen to ‘The Races’ and ‘Margate’ very often.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
Being so new you can pretty much count the shows we’ve done on 1 hand at the moment, and it blows me away to see someone I’ve never met singing our lyrics in the crowd, and it’s a brilliant feeling. 90% of our set isn’t even released yet, so often it’s our fans’ first time hearing the songs too! We try to just let loose on stage more and more as time goes on and have fun with it.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
We like to try to get a blend of indie rock, dreaminess, and a bit of surfing sunshine. I chuck in some slightly different chords to jazz it up just a little bit, then play with effects. Mostly fans of fuzzy, octave vibrato/chorus leads. To us that is the ultimate fun-time lead and we try to create something that’s equally fun to play and listen to! We also love synced up parts where everyone plays on the same ‘hit’, emphasizing a rhythm, it feels so energetic.
We feel as though we have truly found our sound now, from ‘Empty Swimming Pool’ onwards, blending elements of our previous releases.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
Nothing too riveting! Drums up first, play in his ears, then build up from there! Tend to go in and do a casual three to four hours, here and there to record instruments/vocals, starve, then get a pizza on the way home. Afterward, it’s time to mix, where I have a strong idea of how I want it to sound, so I write a doc that’s a few pages long to try to get that track dusted off!
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
When I was about 17, I had been playing guitar for a couple of years. then I started writing my own stuff and I had “I can’t believe I made this” syndrome. I enjoyed it so much that the thought can be traced to back then. I think realistically it happened within the past year when we released our first track, when I learnt about business, built contacts, friends and gained a bit of experience in music. Absolutely love it, I’d hate to stop writing music.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Too many to name! So many sick artists out there, try to keep in the loop and check out as many out as possible!
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Good weather really helps, we don’t get it too often on the Isle Of Man though!
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
My pedal board is a bit of a spaceship at the moment, with about 16 pedals. It varies from old reliables like BOSS and electro harmonix, to a lot of boutique stuff, and then some real whacky stuff. The combinations I can use through this allows for a lot of creative expression. A notable tone would be the Meris Enzo synth pedal, saw wave, with Vibrato and whateverb (reverb), to create this genuinely amazing Tame Impala-esque synth using a guitar. Managed to get it used on our set too which is great!
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
The way people consume music nowadays by streaming has influenced the songwriting process a lot, and I also feel like I’ve come to grasp what works, for us at least, by experimenting with different sounds to get to where we are now. I’m grateful for the time spent to get to where we are now, and I do feel as though we have a stronger more focused direction than ever before with ‘Empty Swimming Pool’ and future material.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
Regular shows in the UK, festivals, and hopefully growth. As we try to play more live on the UK scene, with other awesome artists. There is definitely more music coming too, and soon after ‘Empty Swimming Pool’ is released!
Famous last words?
All my money is going to the dog…
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