by Garrett Johnson
Finally, a follow-up to Hurray For Now…thoughts or feelings?
Feels good. We’ve taken our time with these songs and hopefully you’ll be able to tell. Let it slow roast to a tender goodness.
Does the new recording have a name?
It’s called, Lovers, Lead the Way!.
How does it differ from past Viva Voce records?
It’s even more experimental for us. However, listening back to it, there are always things that should have gone “further”, but it differs in many ways. It’s very much a Viva record, but different in its own way. We’re not really into making the same album over and over again.
Any fav spots on the record?
I haven’t gotten tired of the first 3 songs yet,….so maybe that’s the spot?!? “Fashionably Lonely”, the first track has this cool banjo line picking the whole way through, always makes me smile!
What label is it coming out on?
It’s a joint release with Asthmatic Kitty Records and Amore!Phonics.
Labels aside, you seem to have a loyal following of Viva lovers…?
I dunno. I guess so. Labels are important only in the sense that they provide the vehicle to get it to people who haven’t heard your music yet. We’d like to let everyone hear this record!
Speaking of the fans, if you had to stereotype a Viva Voce fan, what would one look like?
The coolest one in the bunch 😉
What influences does Viva Voce draw from the most? After hearing your version of “Manta Rae” on Salutations, it seems like Viva is trippier…on the edge…of something. Spill the influence and the quirkiness…?
The influences are really broad and often don’t have any bearing on the music we’re currently making. I’ve found that music that flows in the opposite direction often pushes you toward something else. Example,….the more “rock” you’re jammin’ on makes you want to go softer, the more mellow makes you want to “rock harder”, etc. We’re always busy recording or playing out or something,…so it’s really hard to get bored musically. The pendulum swings wide with us!
Kevin, please explain your side-project and what it’s all about?
The newest one? It’s called The Beloved Vibes,….and it’s very new. More of like what fraNcis was live as opposed to recorded. Very loud, noisy and gutteral(?).
Where or how far do you think fraNcis will go?
I think it’s gone as far as it can go. Since we’ve moved, we’ve turned many a new page and have basically restructured fraNcis into The Beloved Vibes. With fraNcis,…we just needed to exercise a few demons, with TBV we’re honing it into something alot more defined.
Being husband and wife, it must make it both challenging rewarding to make rock records together…?
yeah, both. Most married couples have something they do together. Ride bikes, play cards, plant a garden. We make music, that’s all. Whether its Viva Voce, The Beloved Vibes, or whatever…..we’ll be a part of it together. It’s what makes it fun for us both.
What is the band dynamic? How does a Viva Voce song/record come about?
Hardly ever the same way twice. More often, its usually someone bringing an almost finished idea to the other and embellishing it until its done.
You guys are in the middle of relocating to Portland. Will this affect the rock n roll?
I hope so….in a good way!
Your web-site makes references in an updated news section that Viva Voce will be undertaking big things in 2003…or something to that effect. Would you tell us about this big mystery?
Ah. The Tape Op Conference! It’s a big deal to us anyway. I’ve been asked to be a part of the producers forum and lead the panel on Nuendo, the program we mixed the record in. We made this record in the linear and non-linear worlds and being asked to be a part of the conference is a big honor to me. I’ll be alongside producers like Steve Albini, Mario C., Jason Lytle, Dave Fridmann and a slew of others whose shoes I’m not worthy to tie.
What have you been listening to this past week?
Nothing really. Except for The Beloved Vibes rough mixes,….we’re finishing up an ep that’ll be out soon.
What is the most embarrassing record in your collection?
None of them are embarrassing to me,…although a lot of people don’t like my Curtis Mayfield collection.
Can you guys even go to a grocery store without being mobbed by la Viva rockers?
Surely you’re joking.
Thanks for the interview guys. Here’s your chance for a closing comment…?
Thanks….hope you enjoy the rekkerd!