Vivian Girls

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.

Vivian Girls – Can’t Get Over You
Vivian Girls – Where Do You Run To
Vivian Girls – Wild Eyes

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.

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— , September 12, 2009    Comments Off on Vivian Girls

The festival concert is an interesting beast. They beguile you with their attractive band list (which look oh-so-impressive on the back of a t-shirt), their free-spirited collective nature between music lovers (slash, mass gathering of musical hippies/hipsters), and the promise of an excellent juxtaposition of genres. Although, there’s always another side. Between ferocious heat, growling crowds, and overpriced couscous, the three-day festivals bite back with a vengeance. Perhaps after a few different festivals, one acquires a sense of what they want over the course of the musical extravaganza, and not all of these expectations can be met. A few quick notes about Primavera Sound:

The setting: Fórum, by the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona, Spain. The gusts of salty breeze were refreshing, but didn’t compensate for the lack of luscious grass as at Coachella or the abundant shade at Chicago’s Lollapalooza. Pavement ground covered with empty beer cups and cigarette butts just isn’t the same. Although the side program held in Parc Joan Miró – in an oasis of palm trees and a more personal feel with the band – was a different story.

The timing: Aside from the side-program, the shows didn’t start until the late afternoon/early evening. Likely, this is to avoid the stifling heat of the midday. That, and the Spaniards do things late (DJ Medhi’s set started at 4:30am!). I have mixed feelings about this. While I prefer the nighthawk approach, I think it leads to a tighter schedule with very unfortunate show overlap. On that note…

The scheduling: Oh God, why? Why were The Pains of Being Pure of Heart playing the same time as Carsick Cars, who were cut short by My Bloody Valentine? Gang Gang Dance with Sonic Youth? (Sarah’s personal nightmare). Andrew Bird and Phoenix? Deerhunter with my only opportunity to eat during the night? Sigh. It happens every time.

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— , June 8, 2009    10 Comments