We catch-up with Voodoo Vegas vocalist Lawrence Case ahead of the release of the band’s debut album ‘The Rise of Jimmy Silver’…
What are you currently up to?
Hey Jason, we’ve been really busy promoting ‘The Rise Of Jimmy Silver.’ We’ve been getting some excellent early reviews for it and we want as many people to know about The Rise Of Jimmy Silver as possible.
Jimmy Silver has risen and it time to take over!!
Could you take us through the excellent debut album ‘The Rise Of Jimmy Silver’…
The Rise Of Jimmy Silver is quite a few years in the making. We’ve spent our time playing shows and touring around the UK and Europe.
One thing I thought before we went into the recording process is I know people like these songs live and I want to record them the best we can. Plus after spending all the time playing the shows for myself there were never going to be any half measures on this album, everything was going to be the best we could possibly make it.
Here are the ideas behind some of my favourite songs on the record.
What I Pay – This song was written after the band had a not so good experience with a management company. Like the lyrics say, they promised us all the world but it all depended on what we paid.
Lost In Confusion – This song is about a bit of a terrible time I had in my personal life, it was a letter I wrote to a ex girlfriend that me and my buddy Si Genaro turned into a song. It’s also a highlight of mine because of the backing singing by Stevie Vann Lange, and the piano and sting parts by Stephen Green.
King Without A Crown – King was a lot different before Pedro got his hands on it, he has added much more of a grove to it. Plus I love the acoustic guitar on the song, I’m not a guitarist but it was really cool for me to be there when Meryl and Nick were experimenting with the guitars and amp sounds for each song. Plus all of the experimenting Pedro and I had done with the backing vocals and percussion was a lot of fun.
Jimmy Silver – This is where it all began, the first song I ever wrote with Nick. At first we were not to sure about putting this song on the record, but after talking with Pedro and the idea’s I had for the album’s title and artwork (drawn by Jim Boswell) it had to be on there. All of my lyrics on the album are personal to me, about good and bad life experiences. This song is the about what every rock fan has, their love of rock ‘n’ roll, and to anyone who doesn’t like rock, just listen to the lyric ‘I raise my fist and I sing to you, I’m a rocker you can be one to’
How did you hook up with producer Pedro Ferreira and how did he help shape the album with the band? Plus what was it like recording in the historic Rockfield studios?
One of my favourite albums is the Tokyo Dragons album ‘Give Me The Fear’ which Pedro produced, I loved the songs, but I also really loved the sound of it. Ever since that album was released I’d always thought I would love a Voodoo Vegas album to sound like this.
We managed to get in contact with Pedro and we met him back in March last year to talk about recording the record. He was our first choice and we were all real happy he liked the sound of the band and wanted to work with us. Pedro helped shape, I would say a more mature sound for Voodoo Vegas, cutting out some solo’s and chorus’, adding different drums beats and groves, he has really helped change the sound of the band and its all for the better.
Once most of the details were sorted, Pedro said we would record the album at Rockfield Studios, at the time I didn’t know anything about Rockfield and its amazing history, but after looking it up online and seeing what bands had recorded there the recording couldn’t come sooner enough.
Rockfield is an amazing place, it certainly helped us with the recording, the history, the vibe and all of the staff at Rockfield, the town of Monmouth, we all loved it. I would certainly recommend any band to go and record there.
You used Pledge Music on this album. Has this worked well for the band as you read of some runaway successes like Ginger of the Wildhearts fame? Is this is way music will go or do record labels still have a major part to play?
I think Pledge Music is fantastic, when we first started our campaign I remember talking to Meryl saying I didn’t know if we would hit our target, but amazingly we hit 100% of our target in 24 hours, by the end of the campaign we had hit an awesome 344% of our original target. It’s awesome to know the Voodoo Vegas fans have that much faith in us.
Pledge is a great way for bands to raise funds for recording and to help the future of their band, a concern I have about it is that if more and more bands run a pledge campaigns it might turn into a Myspace type thing. I’m not saying it will happen and hopefully not, as proven by us it can be really successful, but people might get a bit fed up of bands running pledge campaigns, the more and more bands that run campaigns, the harder it will be for bands to raise the money. Although saying that depending on what happens with this record we could very well run another campaign to record our second album.
On record labels, I do think they are still important, they can help you get onto the big shows and tours, help with promotion, help with all the things a band by themselves cant get. As it is with most things in life it’s all about who you know, and the labels still know a lot of people.
How important is it to have a video available on YouTube in getting the band’s music more known? How easy/hard was it to make the video for ‘King Without A Crown’?
I think having a strong online presence is very important, and YouTube videos are included in that. It was really important for me to get the King video filmed and out there. It was a way for people to check out a track from the album before it’s out.
The video was pretty easy to make, we filmed it at The Talking Heads Venue in Southampton during our Pledge Music album release gig. I want to say a big thank you to Mike and Gary from Fuelled By for helping us make the video. I think the video certainly captures the live feel of the band.
What was it like performing onstage with a former member of Guns ‘N’ Roses Gilby Clarke?
That will always be a highlight for me, I’m a huge G’n’R fan. We were booked for two shows with Gilby last year, one in Ipswich and one in Sutton In Ashfield. Gilby was a great dude, we got talking at the Ipswich gig, he liked our band, and he also liked NFL as do I and that night me and him had a good chat about the Superbowl which was taking place that night.
The following Thursday came the Sutton In Ashfield show, we were chatting and I asked if I could go and sing with him, he said no. I was gutted!! But when he was on stage he called me up I was totally unprepared but it was awesome to sing a G’n’R classic with him. I was buzzing for days about it.
We also gave Gilby a lift back to Gatwick from Sutton In Ashfield, that again was awesome, hearing all the great stories about G’n’R an advice he gave us. Although next time we see him he owes me a coffee!!
Ideally who would the band like to tour with and why?
I would love to go on tour with Aerosmith, they are and always will be my favourite band, that would be the ultimate dream come true.
We’ve always wanted to go out on the road with The Answer, I know for sure they would be killer gigs. I really hope with all the good press and reviews The Rise Of Jimmy Silver is getting we can get on some more profile tours and festivals
‘The Times’ newspaper reckons heavy metal and rock music will be big this year, although as all us rock fans know rock music never goes out of fashion! Have you seen more new, younger bands coming through like yourselves in the UK? Is the live scene capable of supporting these bands?
I’m not to sure what The Times knows about heavy metal and rock music, their not normally my resource for my rock news and views.
A band I like is King Lizard, they also recorded their latest album ‘A Nightmare Living The Dream’ with Pedro, we’ve got some shows in London, Andover, Bournemouth and Nottingham coming up with them in the next few months which I’m looking forward to.
I’m sure if people keep supporting new rock bands the venues will be capable of supporting us. If not maybe The Times can give away free entry vouchers to all the gigs.
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