In the midst of 2008’s lo-fi revival, Vivian Girls had people noticing their punchy, crunchy tunes and earnestly, sweetly at times, sung melodies. With their self-titled debut selling out in 10 days and a tireless performing schedule, the Girls rose from modest Brooklyn performances to sold out shows and intense internet buzz. Their most recent album Everything Goes Wrong, released September 8 on In the Red Records, takes the cuteness down a notch and ups the garage rock feel.
Despite their jam-packed touring schedule and recent complications such as passport theft, Cassie Ramone took some time out for an interview with Ca Va Cool, sharing her thoughts on touring, their sound, and the impact of internet hype.
Sabrina: Your new album Everything Goes Wrong has been rumoured to be “longer and darker than the debut”. How would you describe the sound?
Cassie Ramone: It’s denser and more expansive. Mike McHugh, the engineer, is a genius with garage recording. He was a perfect fit for us and together we were able to make an album that we’re really happy with.
Sabrina: This summer, you kicked off your first European tour. I caught your gig at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound, and you seemed just as at home in the Mediterranean as in NYC. How do the live experiences differ as you travel?
Cassie: At this point, we’ve toured so much that we’re used to playing different locales. The trick to keeping it fresh is to keep a positive attitude, and to learn phrases in the language of the country we’re playing so we can say them on stage.
Sabrina: You’re on the road a lot; currently crossing the United States again, then off on an international tour. How do you pass your time and maintain your sanity in transit?
Cassie: Listening to music either with headphones or through the car stereo, reading books, and planning for the future.
Sabrina: I heard that you surprised yourselves when you sold out of your debut album while touring in 2008. Was this the inspiration to start up Wild World, your band’s personal record label?
Cassie: We began Wild World as more of a one-off deal for the Surf’s Up 7″, but we liked the process so much that we decided to expand and try to make it more of a real record label. Our albums are still on In the Red, though.
Sabrina: I’ve read that you “relate most with 60’s girl groups, the Wipers, and the modern-day Brooklyn community”. Did everyone come together with similar music preferences?
Cassie: When we started playing we just had a few songs that I’d written and we each brought our own styles to the table. Our only goal was to play fast and loud. Then through playing together for a few months our sound began to develop.
Sabrina: Katy has a physics degree, Ali graduated in German and psychology and Cassie covers the artistic side with illustration. What do you guys talk about when you’re not discussing music?
Cassie: Pretty much everything. Mostly what’s going on in our lives.
Sabrina: What do you think about the influence of blogging culture on new music?
Cassie: Blogs are a new band’s best friend but a developing band’s worst enemy. With blogs there’s no way to do damage control, and they can be vicious.
Sabrina: Between constant touring and work on Everything Goes Wrong, I hear you have been musing ahead of time about a third album. Is it a fuzzy concept still, or is it starting to take form?
Cassie: The ideas are definitely taking form. We have a lot of grand plans for the third album. We’re going at it with a completely different approach than the other two albums.
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