Interview: Nico Vega
Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:40:48
Nico Vega Videos
"It's important to me that music evokes emotion," declares Nico Vega frontwoman Aja Volkman. "Lyrics have to be honest and true for me."
The Los Angeles trio has made a career out of that integrity. They make the kind of gritty and bluesy rock 'n' roll that cuts right to the heart. It's fierce, focused, and downright fiery. It's everything that rock music should be. Most likely, you've heard their clarion call "Beast" roaring over the Bioshock Infinite trailer, driven by Volkman's sexy snarl. However, you've got to check out their latest EP Fury Oh Fury for the full effect.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Nico Vega singer Aja Volkman talks Fury Oh Fury, movies, and so much more.
What threads the Fury Oh Fury EP together for you?
It's hard to say. The band has so many different personalities so every song we make sounds a little different. The hardest part is actually threading everything together. Our drummer Dan Epand is really good at listening. We're big on the way albums used to be like a journey from beginning to end so each thing flows into the next in a certain way. He's always been in charge of the song order because he grew up on tons of old records and his dad was really into music. Growing up as a kid, it was like a big deal for him to have something be like a musical journey. I think we all feel that way.
What's the story behind Lead to Light?
A lot of our songs, especially on this record, are either personal or social. They're either about my personal experiences or they're an empowerment song. The first record was all empowerment songs. That particular song is actually a mix between the two. It's like a personal song, but then it also has this bridge throughout self-empowerment. It's also about bringing people to the light by being responsible with the light that's inside of you and having a positive effect on people. It's so funny to break apart songs and be like, "And this one was about this time and…"
It sounds like that one was a particularly special one for you though.
All the songs are really personal and pretty special and they’ve all had blood, sweat and tears put into them because we just naturally as a band spend a lot of time crafting each song. Nothing is an accident. We revisit a song a ton after we've already written it. It even happens after the record's already recorded.
It's funny how well "Beast" fit into that BioShock Infinite trailer.
I know. It’s so weird. It's almost like we wrote it for that, but we really didn't. The song has been around for so many years and it was just a beautiful synchronicity between the two. I thought the same thing. Once I saw the video game, I had no idea.
When people hear a single like that so widespread does it change the way you look at the song at all or the meaning? How has that song evolved for you since it's been appropriated in this way?
It’s like if your child started doing well at the track meet. All of a sudden you’re a huge track fan and you want to root there on the sideline. Everything is super exciting, and that's kind of what happened with "Beast". It got in the video game and people started loving it. I felt like one of my children all of a sudden was this little star athlete and I’m rooting on the sideline so excited that my baby is doing so well. Funny enough, if you would've asked us before, "Beast" has always been the heartbeat of the band. We've played that song at every single show since we became a band as the closing number. It's a real performance piece and we built the identity of the band around that song. It's funny that song ended up getting heat.
If you were to compare your EP to a movie or a combination of movies what would be the cinematic equivalent?
Gosh, that's so hard to say. I don't even know if there's what I could even that's a question I'd really have to think about for a while…Fight Club. There's so much going on in that movie and probably that's why I would pick that one I because it does have a lot of story in it, but it also has a deeply emotional cover. I'm probably also saying that because that's my favorite director in the whole universe. I like David Lynch too a lot. It also has the political undertones to it, but it's never super blatant why they're doing the things they're doing. And our songs tend to be a little more social than political, but they definitely feel like they have political undertones. It's about just reigning things back in.
Check out their upcoming tour dates below!
Nico Vega’s Co-Headlining Tour Dates with Crash Kings
July 11 — San Diego, Calif. — The Griffin
July 12 — Las Vegas, Nev. — Hard Rock Café – Vegas Strip
July 13 — Salt Lake City, Utah — Bar Deluxe
July 14 — Denver, Col. — Bluebird Theater
July 16 — Kansas City, Ks. — Riot Room
July 18 — Dallas, Texas — The Door
July 19 — Austin, Texas — Stubb’s Jr.
July 20 — Houston, Texas — The Studio @ Warehouse Live
July 22 — Orlando, Fla. — The Social
July 23 — Jacksonville, Fla. — Jack Rabbits
July 25 — Atlanta, Ga. — Vinyl
July 26 — Columbia, S.C. — New Brookland Tavern
July 28 — Baltimore, Md. — Ram’s Head Live
July 31 — New York, N.Y. — Bowery Ballroom
Aug. 1 — West Chester, Penn. — The Note
Aug. 2 — Columbus, Ohio — The Basement
Aug. 5 — Nashville, TN — Exit/In
Aug. 6 — St. Louis, Mo. — Old Rock House
Aug. 8 — Chicago, Ill. — Abbey Pub
Aug. 10 — Cleveland, Ohio — Wendy Park
Aug. 11 — Pittsburgh, Penn. — Altar Bar
Aug. 13 — Syracuse, N.Y. — Westcott Theatre
Aug. 14 — Poughkeepsie, N.Y. — The Loft
Aug 16 — Cambridge, MA — The Sinclair
Have you heard Nico Vega?