KALTBLUT MAGAZINE: VIET CONG

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Setting the tone with an industrial feel and a nod to post punk, Viet Cong have touched on a range of different elements with their latest self-titled album which will be released later this month. The album is a follow up to last years ‘Cassette’ EP and they are showing no signs of slowing down. 2015 will see Viet Cong touring across the US and Europe. We have seen the release of their single ‘Continental Shelf’ teamed with a carefully crafted video that dabbles in a dark and arthouse-esque vibe directed by David Yoonha Park. Now sharing their latest single ‘Silhouettes’ I’m sure you will be counting down the days until the album’s release via Jagjaguwar on the 20th January.

KALTBLUT: What was the idea behind the name Viet Cong?

No real master plan. We played around with a bunch of names for a few months until we finally booked a show and our drummer Mike just yelled it out at practice and we all liked it. In retrospect it maybe isn’t
the most sensitive name and we’ve gotten a few emails from people that are kind of upset about it.  Looks like we’re stuck with it now though…

KALTBLUT: Do you feel the album resonates an industrial feel throughout?

Yeah, I guess so.  We didn’t really set out to make an industrial record but on the tour leading up to it and during the recording process we were all listening to lots of early Goth and late 70 post punk type records and so we definitely we channeling some of those drum and guitar sounds.  Plus we’ve been digging on the synths lately too so I guess we ended up with the elements of industrial music a bit unintentionally.

KALTBLUT: Your musical journey has been an interesting one… Do you feel these experiences come out in your music or is it just what it means to be a part of a post-punk band from Calgary?

I do think that our experiences come out in the music for sure! All the times we’ve spent together as a band effect our playing and writing as well as all the music that we’ve listened too individually and together.  I think that we all bring different things to this band from previous groups that we’ve been in as well. I guess one thing that we all have in common though is that we’re all from Calgary so that for sure influences us.

KALTBLUT: Can you fill us in on what we might be able to expect from your album tour in 2015?

It’s gonna be pretty busy I think.  We already have a leg in Europe booked in February as well as a USA leg booked in March. Then in May and June we kind of go through some of the same places again. I’m not
sure what’s planned after that beyond a rough outline but I know we’re gonna try to squeeze in some studio time to start another record in there if we can. Then back on the road again in the fall I think.

KALTBLUT: Is there a theme behind your new album or did it come together naturally through life experiences and influences?

Pretty naturally I think. Me and Matt just started getting together to write and record demos and all before “cassette” was put together. After we’d recorded 15 – 20 demos of stuff we kinda had a pretty good idea of what was gonna be on the full length and what wasn’t. Then we went on a pretty long tour with our friends freak heat waves and played a bunch of the songs live and that kind of helped us to figure out what was what so when it was time to go into the studio we were pretty well prepared.

KALTBLUT: It’s so easy to be categorised and placed into a particular genre but how would you describe your sound?

I dunno. When people ask I say we’re a rock band?  I guess post punk if you wanna get into that kind of naming.  Whatever “this heat” was called is fine with me.

KALTBLUT: Your track ‘Silhouettes’ was described as Joy-Divisionesque is this where you would place it? Do you have any particular artists you draw inspiration from?

Yeah, we all listen to that kind of post punk stuff so I think comparisons of that kind are fair. We listen to a lot of other stuff too though that I’m sure comes through in our music. In the van we listen to lots of rap and all kinds of world music. Mike studied tabla in India for a bunch of years so there’s plenty of Indian
classical music and all. I listen to a lot of free improvisation and noise stuff. I think it all works it’s way in there.

KALTBLUT: What do you get up to when you’re not making music?

I record other bands and produce records. I also have a part time day job delivering cupcakes. Mike DJ’s a bunch. Danny’s the head designer at an architecture firm and Flegel kinda picks up stuff here and
there. Him and Mike paint houses in the summer when we’re not on the road too. I think this year I’ll be busy enough that all those kind of things I’ll just get eaten up with touring though.

KALTBLUT: Your new self-titled album has quite a dark side to it. Would you describe yourselves as dark?

Not really. I think we have some pretty dark humour in common though. I’d say that’s kind of the underlying theme of the record actually. That the worlds a pretty dark place but you have to be able to laugh about it all.

KALTBLUT: If you were to pick any artist to support who would it be?

The Cure maybe? That’d be fun.

KALTBLUT: What else can we expect from Viet Cong in the near future?

Just a bunch of touring. We’ll have another record at some point too but realistically that’ll be another year or so off.  Just getting in the van and heading out.

To read my original post from Kaltblut please click here.

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