27 Oct On Air with NRG: The Vitals
This month we’re joined by post-rock, dreamscape, psych and punk band The Vitals performing their song “Purple”. Formed in Los Angeles, CA, in 2010, The Vitals raw sound comes from the collaboration of friends and founding members, Kate Strand (vocals, guitar), Henrik Linde (guitar), and Dylan Howard (drums). As a trio with no bass player, The Vitals fill sonic space in a way that you wouldn’t expect. With their experimental, ambient, and often brash guitar tones, moody vocals that range from angelic highs to a guttural low-rocking belt and dynamic drums that simultaneously kick you in the gut and kiss you on the cheek, the threesome is a true experience.
The Vitals signed to Los Angeles based record label Org Music in 2012 and released their debut album ‘Qualia’ in November 2012. “Qualia” was released on colored vinyl, CD and digitally. To support their debut album, they toured Brazil where they played the acclaimed venue “Cine Joia” in Sao Paulo as well as a short stint in the states including SXSW in 2014. Returning in 2015 with their EP “Gold Night”, The Vitals expanded on their sound by recording four songs live to tape in attempt to capture the intensity of their live show. Following the recording, they toured the US West Coast. “Gold Night” was released on ORG Music digitally and as a limited edition LP. In support of “Gold Night”, The Vitals toured throughout the UK, opening for Australian rock band “Tracer” in 2015. In June 2016 The Vitals recorded a gritty cover of Duran Duran’s classic “Come Undone”. It was released digitally and is available everywhere online.
We’d like to thank the Vitals for coming in and shooting with us. Due to the amazing response on our On Air section we’re doubling down on resources and pulling in bigger artists. Thanks for tuning in and stay tuned next month for an exclusive On Air section with Chris Ayer. If you missed our previous one you may check it out here.
Below you can find a short interview we did with The Vitals right after her performance of “Purple”:
How and when did you guys get your start?
Kate: We got our start about six years ago. We’re actually coming up on our anniversary this Halloween, that’s when we did our first show. Before that, we were friends for years. Henrik and Dylan had been in bands together and Henrik and I had played music together I was just craving having a real “band band”, a family that isn’t temporary. We all got together six years ago made that happen.
Henrik: Kate had some songs written and when we all got together there were some riffs and jams floating around. We started tracking the first album which was the very first thing we did and along with that came some live shows as well. It all came really organically to get into a room and start experimenting.
Can you tell us about why you guys don’t have a bass player?
Henrik: We don’t have a bass player. Not really for any reason besides the fact that we’re so close and we sort of evolving together so beautifully. We are still very early on in our career and just didn’t want to disrupt that. Because of that, we ended up where we are now, where Henrik will fill in low-end stuff and make sure we’re not really lacking anywhere. Mostly it’s because of that it seemed like really strange to add another person when things were creatively flowing so well. It’s also incredibly fun trying to fill out space with all kinds of other things. It’s like the best and the worst thing.
Can you tell us about your intricate pedal setup?
Henrik: The lack of a bass player made a lot of room for experimenting. With all of our loops and samples and all of that kind of stuff, we all really enjoy different textures and music. We also try to like incorporate different sounds and experiment in general.
Kate: I got sick of just kind of relying on venues for effects. So I started using my pedal board. It’s mostly lots of slapback, reverb, detuning and a little distortion. Dylan now has a drum pad, which is a newer thing.
Dylan: It’s basically just run a bunch of sounds boom’s clicks, insect noises that kind of stuff. Everything on my end of things in terms of the kit is pretty much standard. Now with the pad, we definitely get to incorporate those types of sounds and I think the band has grown so much since we first started, so it’s fun to incorporate it. I’m still just keeping up with Kate and Henrik.
What does the future for the Vitals entail?
Kate: We’re currently making a new record, which will be out early next year. We’ll also be releasing some other stuff in the meantime so we won’t wait that long! We’ll have new stuff by the end of the year and once that’s out then we’re definitely going to be going on tour. We have been meaning to get back to the UK and to Brazil. We had incredible tours in both places and we want to go back and play for the people that have followed us and been in contact with us since we were there. It was such a great experience and so we definitely plan to go back there and tour for this record.
What’s your experience of working with our engineer Daniel and NRG?
Kate: It’s pretty amazing. We kind of go way back, we actually toured and recorded together before. This hierarchy’s pretty new and amazing. We’ve just been knocking them out. Everyone is just so enthusiastic and so passionate and that’s why we’ve lived here for years. It’s great to work on the stage here.
Any last shout outs?
Kate: Stay tuned. Keep watching. We’re about to start launching a bunch new stuff. It’s been a while since we’ve had new stuff out and since we toured, but we’ve just really taken the time to take the sound to the next level and our abilities to the next level. And so, we’re just excited to get out there again and give people the new material and see what they think. We’re excited about it and would love it if we could get you guys in here to see for yourselves.