THEIR new single is in the can - and the boys are teasing…
it to the waiting world. I have been speaking with Cambridge’s Vulpine Smile about their new single, The Way It Flows, and what inspired it (it will be released to the waiting public soon). I find out - Josh shoulders the questions - how the band came together and what gigs they have coming up; the music that inspires them; what we can expect to hear on their forthcoming E.P. – some of the new artists we should check out.
I find out how Vulpine Smile’s music comes together and what motivates them; whether there is a trouble-maker in the ranks; how they spend their free time; the albums that mean the most to them – and if there is a special story behind that unique band-name.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are good, thanks. Been busy working and making new music and artwork for the band.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are a three-piece Garage-Blues-Rock band from Cambridge. Josh plays the guitar and sings; Matt plays bass and Jack’s on drums.
Can I ask where the name ‘Vulpine Smile’ comes from? Is there a special story behind it?
One day, Jack decided he wanted to become a tattoo artist; so he bought a tattoo gun online and, when it arrived, started tattooing his own body for practice. He then decided he needed to practice on someone else; so he asked me (Josh) if he could. Originally, I wanted an eagle - but it was too difficult to draw so I ended up with a little fox on my leg.
‘Vulpine’ is another word for 'fox' and it seemed to roll off the tongue…so we went with it.
The Way It Flows is your new track. It sounds like you are at your most confident. Do you feel at the peak of your game? What is the song about?
We’ve been gigging and making music together for over a year now, so we feel confident playing together. We feel that there is a lot we have to show people. The song is a satire on conformity…or maybe just a love song - we’re not quite sure.
Will there be a video for it? Any plans regarding a forthcoming shoot?
We are working on concepts for a video at the moment: hopefully, soon, we will have something interesting.
There will be an E.P., I understand. Can you reveal song-titles or inspirations? What can we expect from it?
You can expect a mix of dark, heavy riffs - like in Glass Machine - but also some pretty Folk songs to even things out a bit.
Cambridge is where you are based. Is there a busy and hungry music scene up there?
There is a good music scene and there are some great bands about. However, Cambridge is more suited to Folk singers and Jazz bands. Plus; it’s a small city - so we tend to play the same venues over and over (like The Corner House or The Blue Moon).
I am interested how you all found one another. Give us an insight into the formation of Vulpine Smile…
Originally, me and Jack were a two-piece playing Garage-Rock and Blues. We started writing more complicated songs and decided to start looking for a bass player to help us out. Me and Jack are twin brothers; so we have known each other since birth - but we were both friends with Matt all the way through school.
We hadn’t seen Matt in about six years - but we knew he was a musician - so we asked him if he wanted to play bass in our band. He said ‘yes’ however, at the time, he was just a guitarist and had never picked up a bass before in his life – luckily, he took to it pretty quickly and completely transformed our sound.
Do you all share music tastes? Which artists are you each inspired by?
We do share similar music tastes but we have also introduced each other to all sorts of music. I’ve always been very inspired by old Blues and Folk music: Blind Willie Johnson in particular; Bob Dylan and Damien Rice for lyrics and Hendrix for the riffs. Oh…and Jeff Buckley (Josh).
I think Pete Trewavas from Marillion would be top of my list as an inspiration...Justin Chancellor, also (Matt)
Jack White as a songwriter and drummer: complete genius (Jack Page).
IN THIS PHOTO: Screaming Females/PHOTO CREDIT: Farrah Skeiky
If you each had to choose the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
I heard The White Stripes’ debut album (The White Stripes) in my late-teens and it just felt perfect to me. I didn’t know music could be so simple, yet so powerful and beautiful. This was the first time I thought about making my own music and being in a band (Josh).
Dream Theater – Octavarium
This album remains one of my most-listened-to on my iPod I think I was sixteen when I first heard it. The twenty-six-minute song, Octavarium, still gives me goosebumps. Every track is magical (Matt).
The first time I knew I wanted to be a drummer was when I heard Jack White playing the drums for The Dead Weather on their album, Horehound. I was so obsessed with his drumming that I would watch the same Dead Weather concert over and over again every night (Jack).
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We are still adding finishing touches to the E.P. at the moment. Once that’s done; we will be getting some dates sorted. We’re always looking for gigs: we’ll play pretty much anywhere.
Looking back on your time in music so far; are there favourite memories that come to mind?
Last year, we played The Garage in London. We opened for a Chinese band Called Miserable Faith, who we’d never heard of, but, apparently, they’re massive in China - because it seemed like about two-million Chinese people turned up! They went absolutely mental when Miserable Faith came out.
It was a fun night!
Is there a standout member of the group who causes a bit of mischief – that ‘character’ that gives it an extra ounce of ‘oomph’?!
Jack is definitely one to watch...
He has a habit for spontaneous drum solos; losing his underwear and ranting on about obscure conspiracy theories involving aliens.
How do you all spend time away from music? Any hobbies or favourite ways to chill?
Jack spends a lot of time holed up in his room making weird art for the band. He also plays a lot of video games (as does Matt). We watch a lot of films; go to the cinema as much as we can and are obsessed with T.V. series Peaky Blinders and Vikings.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Jack White - Respect Commander
Anna Calvi - I’ll Be Your Man
Marillion - An Accidental Man
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