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INTERVIEW: Vexine

"photo by PJ Sykes"

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re doing great! Thanks for having us!  We just released our newest record, “Little Sin”.  It has been getting an amazing response.  So, thing are really good.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Empty Hole”? 

Sarah: Sure! Here is the long verison…‘Empty Hole’ is about facing disappointment square in the eye and moving forward. The song describes a scenario where what was promised was not delivered. Instead of treasure, you find ‘just an empty hole.’ The song ends with a childish taunt, forcing the protagonist to break away from the idea of entitlement and to realize that what you get is not always what you want. We’ve all heard the promises of the American Dream when we were young. Promises of a bright future, happiness, job and a comfortable life are made. You expect to get these things. You are told if you work hard, you can expect the ‘treasure’ will be there. But what if you do all the work, everything they told you to do, and nothing happens? What if there is no treasure? No job waiting for you out of school…no perfect husband or wife; no perfect anything.”

(Paul): I found myself longing for an arrangement that mashed together Garbage with Fleming and John, aka, 8th notes of distorted guitar driving that groove right over the cliff. It was a Tuesday and nothing good was on television

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? 

Sarah: Actually, it was inspired by an article I read that talked about milennials having it so rough because they come out of college and there are no jobs waiting for them.  It was a whiny article, and it pissed me off a little. I’m a Gen X’er. If you don’t  like the way the story ends, write a different story.  Make your own destiny.

Any plans to release a video for the single?     

(Jorge): We’re currently filming footage.  We plan to work with a London based videographer to release a video by September.

The single comes off your new album Little Sin – what’s the story behind the title?

(Sarah): “Little Sin” is the name of one of the songs on the record.  The majority of the songs on the record all seemed to be the result of bad decisions.  Little Sin just seemed to fit.

(Paul): Every waking moment of every human being is made up of tiny failures and white lies. So it was with making this record

(Sarah): Damn, Paul, you are dark.  Have a glass of Little Sin to wash down your sinful sorrows…

*Fun side note: we teamed up with a local brewery, Center of the Universe, and they created a beer in honor of our new CD.  The beer is called “Little Sin”.  It is a black ale brewed with oats and rose hips.  It is flipping amazing.

How was the recording and writing process?

(Paul): Sarah I write songs all the time. Only a few make it through the laborious selection process of the Vexine rehearsal room. There the floor is splattered with the gore of songs torn apart and left for dead. Repetition is the task master that takes us from a guitar and a pen to the magnificent result that is Little Sin.

(Sarah): To translate: Paul and I have a fun process…I’ll hum something in my phone, or he will come up with a guitar rif.  That is usually how it starts.  We have no shortage of lyrics.  When we are happy with what we wrote with a take it to Jorge and Mike and then it becomes a Vexine song.

(Paul): We recorded the record in three sessions: one at my home studio The Shed, and two more at Montrose Studios in Richmond VA.

Does Richmond plays a role in your music?

(Jorge): It does.   “Tantilla Gardens” is an example of how Richmond influenced the subject of a particular song.

(Sarah) Yes, Tanitlla Gardens was a dance hall built in thw 1930’s in Rochmond.  Once called the  “South’s Most Beautiful Ballroom”.  I grew up hearing sotries of its grandeur form my grandmother,.  It had a retractable rooftop that rolled away, and you could dance under the starts with the scent of gardenias in the air.  It fell into serious dispepait in the late 1960’s and was raised in about 1970.

(Paul): Vexine reflects the rotten southern grandeur of our fair city…minus all those tattoos and the vaping.

(Jorge)Additionally, music scene in Richmond is rich with talent and we’re invigorated by the center of creativity in downtown Richmond.

(Sarah) The heart of our city is an art school. I went there back when it was still gritty and FULL of sin.

What sins get to inspire the songs and lyrics on this record?

(Paul): Lust, Micro-aggressions and fuzzy morning-afters with the Walk the Shame in which you swear to never-ever-ever do that again, but will anyway.

(Sarah): Let’s see…we start out the record with divorce, move onto addiction/Zombies, lust, decay, murder, entitlement, more breakup stuff, more addition stuff….then you get a lullaby…then a maniacal love affair gone wrong, then back to Zombies and lust…I think we covered most of the sins in there somewhere.

Any plans to hit the road?

(Paul): God willing. Somebody tells those clubs in DC to return our calls.

(Jorge) … hopefully, a northeastern tour in the October time frame.

(Sarah): We worked really hard and released this record (as well as the other two) on our own record label, ZAP Records.  We played tons of local shows to pay the bills and make it happen.  I think we are ready to stretch out to parts unknown (or just DC, dammit, call us backJ)

What else is happening next in Vexine’s world?

(Jorge)Headlining one of Richmond’s premier music venues, The National, on August 20th.

(Paul):You should fly in. The National is grand place.

(Sarah): ..AAAAAND…We’ve already started writing the NEXT record.  We aren’t known for being patientJ

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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