Los Angeles trio The Vitals have concocted a magical elixir of atmospheric rock infused with both dreamy and heavy sonic elements that make up their latest release, a four-track EP entitled Gold Night. When asked about what the band does in their time away from music, singer/guitarist Kate Strand divulges:
“There isn’t much time left after that! Music really is what our lives are all about, all three of us (referencing drummer Dylan Howard and guitarist Henrik Linde).”
After listening to the new music and chatting with Strand, it comes as no surprise to me that The Vitals have put forth a raw and heady effort here that is worth kicking back to, ideally while lying on your bed with your headphones cranked up. You can purchase Gold Night on vinyl and digital via OrgMusic.
Favorite Songs off the EP:
“Pigskin” picks up steam with massive energy and a deep groove. Strand’s lyrical wail of “get away!” prompts what I can only imagine would be a shout-a-long response from listeners, such as in a live show setting. The complementary music video (below) takes you on a colossal visual trip.
“Faithful” and “Wait” are slow, moody experimental jams that build up to equally explosive and face-melting climaxes. They leave me reminiscing about epic songs from ’90s grunge and ambient rock influences such as Pearl Jam and Puscifer. These songs could easily sidle up to them on a playlist.
We chatted with vocalist Kate Strand to learn more about the making of the new EP, their upcoming UK tour, and the behind the scenes scoop on the video for “Pigskin.”
GG: Please describe the new Gold Night EP in three words.
KS: Multi-dimension, honest and raw.
GG: What was the writing/recording process like for the Gold Night EP?
KS: The writing process for Gold Night was quite different for each song. “Dream Sequence” was an idea that Dylan had that we elaborated on together in rehearsals. “Pigskin” was a riff that Henrik and Dylan had been jamming, and that I hid away and wrote to like a hermit, going through different versions before ending on what the song is now. “Wait” was a noisy machine like rhythm that Henrik was drawn to from an accidental loop he had going with his pedals. We were sitting in the room together while he was trying to recreate it and the vocals came to me right then. “Faithful” I had written on my own soon after the release of our first record Qualia and together we spent a long time jamming, settling into parts and the movement of that one. We recorded the EP live on to tape and “Faithful” in particular we wanted to record with no click track. We wanted its tempo to fluctuate the way it does naturally when we let it slowly build to its explosive end. With this record we really wanted to capture more of our live energy.
GG: You guys are touring in the UK this Fall alongside Australian rock group Tracer. What are you looking forward to the most about playing abroad? Aside from playing shows, what’s on your must see/must do list while in the UK?
KS: We are incredibly excited to tour the UK for the first time. The guys in Tracer are great friends of ours and there’s no better way to tour than with people that feel like family. Traveling is really magical for music and creativity. You get on the road and it’s all about the art, the experience, the work, the movement, and you can let go of the distractions that are so present when you’re stuck in one place. We’ve all been to the UK before, Dylan even lived there for awhile. We love it there and I think we’re most excited about just getting our new music in to people’s hands abroad for the first time and playing live in a totally new environment – rooms full of new and different people to connect with musically.
We won’t have much time to sight see as we’re playing all of the shows back to back and driving over night to each venue but we will definitely be walking the streets, checking out where locals go to eat dinner or go drinking or buy groceries. It would be great to catch a show or two of local bands! That’s really my favorite thing to do first in a new place anyway, go become part of it on that level.
GG: You guys recently released a video for the single “Pigskin.” Tell us a little about the behind the scenes/making of the video:
KS: The video for “Pigskin” was made by Dylan (drummer) with the help of his brother Casey Howard. Casey is a mind-blowing artist. Dylan had this idea to rotoscope a video using live footage of our shows. About a year and a half ago he started compiling the footage and began to draw. He dedicated a huge chunk of his time to finishing his trippy vision and it’s awesome. Dylan is really into The Residents and Ralph Records imagery, so visually I know that has a big influence.
GG: After you return from the UK tour, what’s in store for The Vitals in 2016?
KS: When we come back from the UK the plan is to get heavily into writing again and get our on another tour straight away. We have a lot of new material that we’re working on but we also want to be out on the road with this EP. I think it would be great to write the next record while traveling. We toured Brazil a while back and that’s a huge priority for us, to get back to Brazil. We also haven’t had much time recently to play in LA so we are going to make a point to play a few good ones here too! As much as we love to tour, we also love playing to our people in LA. 2016 should be a really exciting and busy year.
Words/interview: Emily Saex
Watch the video for “Pigskin” below.
Watch the video for “Wait” (feat. Janelle Ginestra) below.
The Vitals’ Gold Night EP Track Listing:
The Vitals UK Tour Dates with Tracer
11/07 London – O2 Academy Islington
11/08 Wolverhampton – Little Civic (The Slade Rooms)
11/10 Newcastle – Newcastle Cluny
11/11 York – York Fibbers
11/12 Manchester – Manchester Academy 3
11/13 Glasgow – 02 ABC 2 Glasgow
11/14 Sheffield – Plug
No U.S. tour dates currently schedule but stay tuned to The Vitals’ website for upcoming show dates!