Here we catch up with Vega members Tom Martin and Nick Workman, as they discuss their new album ‘Stereo Messiah’ (out now on Frontiers) and touring as they get ready to support Down ‘N’ Outz…
What have you got planned for the next few months e.g. recording, touring, etc.
We have a tour with Joe Elliot’s Down and Outz throughout the UK and Ireland and we have just finished a four date tour of the UK.
Recording wise we will be writing stuff for album no.4. We already have done a few tracks and they sound awesome. One of them will be the title track of the next album. We have the DNO tour in December and then we plan on hitting festivals. But that’s easier said than done.
Could you take us through the new album ‘Stereo Messiah’ e.g. ideas behind the songs, song writing process
Most of the songs on Stereo Messiah we’re written last year except ‘Wherever we are’ and ‘All or nothing’ (they were kinda’ last minute) There was no particular style in mind when we demo’d them – most of the music can be inspired by an advert, film music, tv soundtracks.
I would normally send nick a backing track and he would send me it back, most of the time they sounded great, some of them took a bit more work, like, ‘The Wild the Weird & the Wonderful’ – we had about three different choruses for that song before we we’re happy. Musically most of the music has New Wave synths and pounding drums and bass, heavy guitars and sing along choruses.
Normally Tom and James write the music and then I write all the melodies and lyrics. We demo songs a few times each, making changes that we all suggest along the way. Then presto it’s in the list of 25-30 songs in contention for the album.
We don’t write to a recipe, we just go with what comes out. We look at the songs and then decide if we need a rocker, a mid-tempo or a ballad in the mix. Do we have enough light and shade etc.
You are back on Frontiers label again. How did this come about and does it help more having a label like Frontiers backing you?
We had a real shit time with Nine Tone in Sweden, they didn’t promote us and we couldn’t get WTH in any other territories – (Frontiers have re-released it worldwide now) – we just sent Serafino a few demo’s and he loved them, we signed a three album deal with them. Frontiers are very supportive of us and I think we have a great relationship with them nowadays.
We recorded the first 6 songs on the album and sent them off to Serafino. There was never any issues between us and the label. They respected our honesty when we said our gamble failed. They didn’t make us jump through hoops. Serafino loved the songs and the deal was done in a day. It’s amazing to be working with them and things are going great. Long may it continue.
Your currently playing a few dates with Newman. How has that been so far and booking wise how easy/hard is to avoid clashing with other rocks gigs in the same town/city? Your London show is the same night as Motorhead at Wembley.
Yeah the tour was pretty good, Nick got a throat infection on the last gig in London so we nearly had to pull it as he couldn’t even talk! but we managed to blast out seven or eight songs, it was pretty gutting as we we’re really looking forward to the London show, we hope to make it up to the fans on the DAO tour.
Motorhead isn’t really in the style of Vega so that didn’t bother us too much!
Our London show sold out, so it looks like we don’t have the same fans as Motorhead. Who knew?!!! Haha. We were going to be clashing with bands whenever we played so we just booked the dates and went with it. It was a very successful tour for us and now we are chomping at the bit for the DNO tour.
How did you get involved with Joe Elliott as he has a song of his on the album. What sort of set will you be playing supporting the Down ‘N’ Outz? Will the new album feature a lot and do you ever consider doing a cover given that some of the audience will be unfamiliar with the band’s music?
Nick is quite friendly with Joe and he mentioned about us covering ’10x Bigger than Love’ obviously this was a no brainer for us! as we are all massive leppard fans, we sent him the backing track and he added his chorus vocal. I think he really liked how it sounded in the end.
We will be playing about eight songs, a mix from the three albums.
I got to know Joe through a mutual friend. I was invited into a football predictor league and proceeded to bombard Joe with emails haha. On the DNO tour I think we will be getting about 40 mins a night. So we will lean more to the new stuff but also chuck in a few from the first 2 cd’s. The only cover we will do is the Def Leppard track Joe gave us.
You have HRHR AOR next year, although Firefest sadly no more. Has the UK melodic rock/hard rock scene increased in popularity at all as there seem to be a lot more bands about and actually playing live. Or with Firefest no more do you think the opportunities to play live will decrease?
To be honest, it’s a lot of the same people that turn up and support you live, we know a lot of the faces that turn up to our shows. I think rock is alive and well but more people need to come out and support this style of music, we never take any money from the gigs so we do it for the love of music, even though FF has finished, there is still great festivals happening like the HRH and Frontiers festivals so it’s not a big deal really, even though we did enjoy going to FF.
Firefest was great but it was one weekend. I’d like to think the scene is bigger than one weekend and bands that don’t play it have a chance. It makes sense to avoid booking a gig when Firefest is on though. Haha.
I think people still like and buy/download the music but getting people out of the lounge and in to a venue with horrible toilets is getting harder. Like I said, we did well on the four dates we just did, so Vega will keep on pushing forward and doing our best. We enjoy it so why not?
Do you see new fans discovering the band’s music from watching the band’s videos on YouTube?
To be honest, not really, it’s mainly the same faces, like one big family!
Yeah. This is the flip side of the internet and technology. Technology had allowed people to get music for free but it also puts your music in peoples’ front rooms in every country in the world.
In an ideal world who would the band like to tour with and any festivals you’d love to appear at?
We’d love a gig with 30 Seconds to Mars, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Billy Idol, Sixx AM – Anybody of status really and similar to us.
Download, Sweden rock – anything over a few thousand people would be great…
It’s a wish list that isn’t at all realistic but here goes. I would love to tour with Leppard, Whitesnake, Slash or Bon Jovi. I would love to play Download or Sonisphere. Will we get to do that? Probably not, but it will be fun chasing the dream.
Message for you fans…
Thank you for the continued support,Buying our records and coming to see the shows – we’ll keep trying to produce music you dig.
Thanks guys. Keep coming to see us play at venues with shitty toilets and spread the VEGA word.
Album review (Stereo Messiah)
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Power Plays w/c 21 January 2019
GUN RUNNERS Bleed (indie)
PUPPET KINGS Age Of Austerity (indie)
MATT MITCHELL & THE COLD HEARTS Black Diamonds (indie)
GIN ANNIE Damage Is Done (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
ELECTRIC MARY The Way You Make Me Feel (Listenable Records)
CATS IN SPACE Thunder In the Night (Harmony Factory)
Featured Albums w/c 21 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 WAKE THE NATIONS Heartrock (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLOOD RED SAINTS Pulse (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 FERNANDO PERDOMO Zebra Crossing (2018)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
LUCID FLY Building Castles In Air (2016)
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