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The GATRS Chat with The Vryll Society, SXSW Edition

The blog has been following Vryll Society ever   since  we heard their psych infused debut Deep Blue Skies. It was  probably the interview I looked forward to the most while at SXSW. It was also, the interview that was the most surprising to me. I had this preconceived idea of the band ( yes, stupid I know ). In all the pictures I had seen of the band, they were always so serious, also their music is much more mature than you would imagine for guys at such a young age, I figured the interview would be very cut and dry. Boy was I wrong! The guys in Vryll Society were the most laid back guys around. They were easy, young,  goofy at times, and provided us with one of the most fun evenings we had while there.

I met Mike ( singer ) in a  bar across the street from the venue they were to play later, we talked there briefly, before crossing the street to the alley next to the venue. I will also note, that it seemed as if everyone in Austin were lined up at the door, waiting to get in to see Vryll Society. (they were turning people away, including us, but we did manage to catch a bit of the show from the back door )

Is this the first time you have been to the US?

Me personally, no, but as a band yes

What expectations do you have of SXSW?

We just knew it was world renown, its a national festival. If that is the case, you know its going to be the business innit? I haven’t been disappointed so far. Happy to be here.

Austin is known to be a weird little city, what is the weirdest thing you have seen since arriving?

We saw a fellow dressed as weed once. Dressed as a full marijuana plant trying to get out of his car. Big weed plant having to get out of his car. To tell you the truth, we’ve seen a lot of strange things. I am all for it, being normal is boring.

What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone or iPod?

The most amazing song?

No. The most embarrassing song

Ummm, I haven’t got an iPod ( big laugh )

You can’t get out of this question that easily

Ummmm, probably  Shakira Don’t Give Up.  ( I am guessing he meant Try  Everything, it was what came up in a google search ) Great pop music. I put it on at a party and every one laughed at me, so yeah, probably that. Oh wait. I have a better one. There is this tune by Lana Del Rey, there’s a remix of it. I forgot what the tune was, but it is pretty cringey , because it is Lana Del Rey.

Every time I read any thing about you, they mention that you are….

Nazi’s? We are not

I was going with psych band actually. Do you consider yourself to be a psych band?

No. Cinematic Space Rock

When I listen, I do get a psych vibe, but I do not feel your in the same category as say, Temples. You have a much more rock sound.

We do so many things . We just don’t limit ourselves to psych. It is so easy to tag us as a psych band and that is what has happened.

Here in the US, most bands do not seem to gravitate towards that genre. Why do you think it is so popular in the UK?

Are you talking about the new stuff or the old?

New. I notice quite a few UK bands that are in that genre. Not tons, but it is more common to see a psych band from the UK than the US.

Right. It is a bit underground isn’t it? I think that got a lot to do with it. The sixties are a massive influence on everyone. You have the first half of the sixties that were all about the beat, and then the second half, into the seventies, which was all psychedelic isn’t it? So you gotta chose and the first half is a boring. If you take influences off the last half, which is a bit more Prog, I think that draws more people. It is not as generic. I think it comes down to our record collections being different also. Kids in America, their initial gateway music was probably different than ours.

What do you remember as your first….

The Beatles

Yeah. That is a given. Isn’t that a common answer from everyone.

Also Bowie. It’s a different culture really. In Liverpool ( where they are from ), there is a lot of psych bands.

Our blog covers a lot of up and coming British bands. There are massive amounts of small bands in the UK. I see you as one of the more successful up and coming bands. How long did it take you to finally get to this point?

2 years I’d say. Working, working, working. You have to be good to step out of all of that. You have to put the effort in. In the end different bands have more time to put that effort in and if they haven’t they fade away. I think you have to be one of the bands that stick out in the public’s minds.

Which songs do you feel connects the most with your fans when played live?

Deep Blue Skies, the first one, because the last few minutes of the song, its kind of like a rave kind of vibe. Gets people dancing. Our last single A Perfect Rhythm. The melody, its very catchy and everyone can sing along. They tend to be the two that connect the most

What is your favorite song to play live?

The new song called Shadow of The Wave. We will be doing that tonight.


What is your favorite junk food?
I fucking hate junk food. Like this morning, we went out for breakfast. Burritos and Fried Chicken for breakfast. Nonsense .
So what does your usual breakfast consist of?
Cereal and some fruit. Not fried chicken
You are in the South, if it can be fried, it will be fried.
Have you dabbled in any tacos since being here?
I kind of have like, acid reflux, so I can’t eat spicy foods. That kind of leaves me in a precarious situation in Texas.
If you were in a burning building and could save only three albums, what would they be?
Songs Of Innocence
Revolver by the Beatles
Tago Mago by Can
Lets hope that doesn’t happen
While here in the US, is there any place you are keen on visiting?
I wanna go to the desert, but it is like four hours away. Might have to get a taxi or something.
You would get a taxi to take you on a four hour drive to the desert?
Right. I am not even messing. We have a taxi driver named Aladdin  and he said he would take us for $400.00
Ok, but where in the desert, it is rather big
Just anywhere. I’ve got kind of a Jim Morrison kind thing, idea of the desert. We’re going to go and take peyote out there. Probably not. I will get there and go….ahhh there is a cactus….and then turn around and go home. It is quite a spiritual thing innit?
If you could play any stadium …
With any person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Beethoven. . He doesn’t have any vocals, but yeah Beethoven.
You should try that on your next album, put him on as a backing to a track.
It might be good really. It wouldn’t be that interesting to say Elvis or John Lennon would it? Beethoven meets Vryll Society. Fucking Amazing.
Where did you get the name Vryll Society?
It was a group of mediums in pre-nazi Germany, which is why I answered the one question Nazi’s, it is asked often. They would try and contact the aliens using meditation 
So weird question. Once I watched a show on HULU, it was a reality show about Liverpool girls..
Oh fucking no. Desperate Scrousewives.
Are Liverpool girls generally like this?
No. I am embarrassed you have seen it.
I am embarrassed I have watched it to be honest. No need to be embarrassed, we have the Kardashians .
My girlfriend is intelligent, but she watches that show. She knows they are idiots, but she still watches it. I feel five percent more stupid after watching it, I would rather read a book.
Oh you read. What are you currently reading?
Crime and Punishment, I am about half way through, God knows what is going to happen. But I do love the American guys, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
While in the bar, we talked about my favorite topic, English football. Who is your prediction for Premier League Champs?
This year? Chelsea. Unfortunately . ( I feel this on so many levels Mike!! )

About Teri (2505 Articles)
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day. If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc of vinyl.

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