10 Questions with | Red Vox
Red Vox is a New York City based indie rock band created by Vinny, Mike, Joe, and Bill in 2015. Beginning primarily as a two-piece, Red Vox would eventually incorporate the talents of all four members. All recordings have been done at Red Room Studios, engineered by Joe of Happy Anarchy fame. Somewhat aimless at first, the band came together in time due to Joe's production style and bass groundwork.
Though they don't necessarily adhere to one specific genre, takes inspiration from a number of classic and contemporary rock bands. Vinny has said that bands like Radiohead, Pixies, David Bowie and Talking Heads were influences. Some consider the music psychedelic, though not exclusively so.
According to Vinny, the name of the band came from a dream. This became a sort of theme for Red Vox as multiple songs have been claimed to originate from dreams. The band's debut album was released in 2016. Staying somewhat rooted in guitar driven rock reminiscent of the early 90s, 'What Could Go Wrong' would show signs of things to come, including a melody that would later appear on 'Another Light'. The 9 minute pseudo-prog song 'Stranded' and brisk acoustic album 'Kerosene' would follow. Red Vox is recently release their fifth full length LP, 'Visions' and 'Afterthoughts', a double album. Harry from Indie Boulevard managed to connect with the band’s frontman Vinny, and learn more about the band’s creative path, the new album and much more.
IB: Hello and welcome to Indie Boulevard! Today I have the pleasure of talking to the wonderful band Red Vox. Guys, you recently released your new, sixth album "Afterthoughts". We will definitely talk about the album today, but first of all, how do you feel about being back with new material?
VINNY: It's nice to finally finish our double album, Visions and Afterthoughts. Both albums can definitely be enjoyed on their own, but a lot of these songs were written and recorded around the same time. It's great to complete the thought, so to speak, and see that our audience enjoyed the finished product.
IB: I've been listening to some interviews with you guys to prepare a little bit, and one of the things I've been highlighting is that... I see Red Vox as a very progressive band, you have a very direct approach to creativity when it comes to music, you want to break the rules, and in each of your albums you can find experiments with the sound. When working on your new album "Afterthoughts", what are things you did there that were not playing it safe?
VINNY: We try to do some different things with each album. For the song Eminence we were playing around with different odd sounds and cutting up things out of order and placing them back together. For As Long As I Can Dream, we used two different tempos because it just fit the song better. For Playing By The Rules, we added dozens of sounds and then took away the ones that didn't work. We also worked with guest musicians this time around, like the composer of the soundtrack for the game Hylics 2, Chuck Salamone. As mainly a studio band, it's fun to create and experiment.
IB: "Afterthoughts" is the sixth album in your discography. How much has your art evolved since the release of your first album "What Could Go Wrong"?
VINNY: Some say my vocals have improved, but I think the writing and production have evolved the most. We're also trying new instruments and textures all the time. The band certainly feels more cohesive as well.
IB: "Afterthoughts" is a kind of continuation, part two of the previous album "Visions", which was also released in 2022. What were the most interesting processes you had to go through while recording the album?
VINNY: Choosing the songs that felt most appropriate for each of the two albums. We recorded several songs for Afterthoughts during the Visions sessions and held off until the time was right for them. In total we recorded 28 songs for these sessions, all of which will see the light of day at some point. For me, keeping the theming and sound somewhat consistent was more important than putting all our favorites together on one album.
IB: The track "Forgetter" and the music video for that song are crazy! I'm totally blown away by it. Your unusual and happy music is exactly reflected in the music video. Where did you shoot the video and who was involved in the shooting?
VINNY: Glad you liked it. Forgetter sounds happy, but lyrically it deals with the option or choice of forgetting something that may be particularly painful. Weirdly, I feel that pain is kind of reflected on Gnort's face in the video. We just took him around various locations in NYC and filmed him being him. We were happy with the results.
IB: What did you want to say to mankind with the music video? For me personally, this is a story about the lost souls of a big city, where everyone does not understand what they are doing in their lives!
VINNY: I think that's oddly accurate. The music and video are playful, but the bridge lyrics definitely hammer home that point. "It's all so small, from far enough." I'm just happy we have a song that's fun to play, but also has resonated with people lyrically, especially after a very difficult 3 years that we've all been through.
IB: How do you write songs? Are there any stories you want to tell that inspired you? And what comes first, the lyrics or the melody?
VINNY: Melody always comes first. For me, a strong melody is the thing I love most about music, and it's something I don't hear as often as I'd like (at least from my somewhat narrow vantage point.) A lot of my song ideas actually come from dreams. Those tend to be the best ones. Otherwise just noodling on guitar or jamming with the band leads to a lot of decent ideas. After the initial idea presents itself the work sort of begins, and making a whole song from start to finish is the goal. Joe, our bassist and producer is a great sounding board for this stuff and also a very accomplished songwriter in his own right.
IB: Are there any live performances planned? Maybe a tour in support of the album?
VINNY: No tours planned, but local NYC shows would be a nice goal. Nothing to announce at the moment though.
IB: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? And is there any advice or story in your life after which you changed your attitude towards the music and music business in general?
VINNY: The industry has changed, but you can make music at home that sounds nearly as good as a studio if you're good enough. So many tools and sounds are available to everyone, it's a lot easier to get started. Getting noticed and making money is harder though, especially since there's so much music out there and so many avenues for discovery now available. I'd say focus first on songwriting, then work on presentation. Also, if music is the ultimate goal for income, that may end up souring the experience. I don't have a good answer for getting to the next level, as we barely are, but do it because you love it first and foremost.
IB: And the last question. If you were told that you could send any of your releases into space in a capsule so that another mind in the universe could find and hear your music. Which track or album would you send to another civilization?
VINNY: Our song Stranded. It's nearly ten minutes long and is actually about being stranded in space (partly). Seems like a perfect fit.
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