Interview – Vendemmian

By on 11 May 2011

‘Shine On’

Vendemmian are a long established duo that have come to the fore again in the last two or three years . They seem to be on a bit of a rollercoaster and things are looking good both for them and the music scene in general. They’re due to release their new album ‘One In A Million’ and spoke to Dominion about the rejuvenation of todays scene and where they’re at now.

The UK scene is finally recovering from the slump of the 90s slowly and surely, Dave said ”the UK scene seems a little bizarre at the moment, there was something akin to a black hole at the end of the nineties, but with the new life the scene now has it’s like we’ve jumped back a decade and got a scene again now. A lot of bands seem to have hit a good point at the same time in the UK. There’s a nice matey vibe between everyone too which is cool. There’s also a good back-up of people in the scene now who aren’t directly in the bands. By that I mean DJ’s, promotors, radios shows, mags and sites etc. I’m not sure where we fit into all this except we are having the time of our lives at the moment.” When Vendemmian made their reappearence in 2008 Mark felt the scene was all a bit stale ”but in the last couple of years things have really started to take off again. You can even go to good gigs in England which is a novelty.”

 

 

Vendemmian have now signed to Echozone/Sony so one of the highlights of the last two years was the Sony logo appearing on their new CD,  the other being their Wave Gotik Treffen gig where they played to a huge crowd, both Dave and Mark agree that it’s been ”an insane rollercoaster of fun.” The duo have now also signed up with Static as their booking agent so are looking at a busy time ahead.

Dominion recently asked its readers their thoughts on the old chestnut – a drum machine or real drummer? Bearing in mind that the intrinsic sound of many 80s bands came from a drum machine and that Vendemmian don’t use a real drummer, but drum samples, we thought it fair to ask them what they actually prefer. Dave said that if it were practical they’d use a session drummer but as people take up space and money they’ve found that the use of samples makes life a whole lot easier. Mark says that after trying to work with other musicians, Vendemmian, in reality, work far better as they currently are. To that end they’ve spent a huge amount of time studying drummers and how they play, watching out for feel and movement and then trying to replicate it within the programming. The last two albums were done this way but they accept that it’s not the same as having the warmth of using a real drum kit, the upside being that sampling doesn’t go out of time.

 

 

In the good old days – or the bad depending on your outlook, we music buyers had a relatively limited choice of how to buy our music with vinyl or cassette being the main and dodgy recordings onto a C90 casssette being the way we shared music. With releases being on Cd and by download, with more coming out on vinyl again, with the general complaint that there’s very little money kicking around within the scene, along with illegal file sharing issues and all the rest, we wondered if Vendemmian’s fans were parting with their cash and were happy with the way the band are putting out their music for sale.

Dave said that they weren’t having any trouble shifting units. In the main, they offer a physical CD and a download. ”Ask the woman in my local post office – she hates me. And we are still shifting big amounts at shows as there’s still a certain element of people who want something in their hand so to speak. Downloads work well but they’re an addition to what we had before. It’s not really a generational thing either, at least not for us”. Mark puts the healthy sales down to Vendemmian having been around a long time and they’ve managed to retain their old crowd, and acquire a new ‘babygoff’ fan base.

Band merchandise is obviously a big thing with various pieces of merchandising becoming a highly prized treasure, and most of us own some. Vendemmian’s trademark ‘Drunk And Stupid Goth’ T shirts can’t be printed fast enough. These shirts, now in their sixth version, ran out on the third day of their last set of dates and are a reflection on  Vendemmian’s tongue-in-cheek attitude.

 

 

The new album ‘One In A Million’ lyrically contains the usual love, hate and vengeance themes, Mark says that ”each song is about specific situations I’ve either been in or observed. Musically, an evolvement from ‘One In A Million’ I think, some more danceable stuff, some more aggressive,” Dave firmly states that ”we just tried to make the best album we could. We’ve been working at a certain level up to now and we finally got the chance to move to a bigger label. We concentrated on songwriting rather than just trying to be Goth or whatever. We believe its the best thing we’ve done – some agree and some don’t. We’ll see where it takes us.”

Vendemmian are still on tour at the moment and will be touring on and off until the end of the year, they’re still adding more shows and working on the promo video for ‘Shine On’. They’re currently basking in that glow of inspiration that has come from the positive reaction that Vendemmian have had to their new work and say that ”it’s not difficult to be inspired at the moment, the reaction comimg back at us will keep us going. We’ll keep doing it until nobody cares or we don’t enjoy it .. whichever comes first.”

Vendemmian recently hosted an album launch party and prepared for it with good old plain hard work. There’s in in-crowd joke about Vendemmian’s drinking contests, drink-offs etc but in reality this masks the bands effort and determination to do a good show. Dave says ‘that ‘most people just see us as a pair of drunks but it takes a lot of hard work to do what we do live. The music is the most important thing for us but so is the fun and the crowd interaction. It takes a huge amount of preparation to make insanity seem effortless. Try playing when you’re getting battered with inflatables and the stage is covered in all sorts of crap and drunks.” Mark however, has a different view of the preparations and simply states ‘alcohol’ as his method of preparation.

Vendemmian on Facebook

Vendemmian on My Space

Vendemmian Merchandising

Book Vendemmian

 

 

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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