Vultures Of Venus
According to shock-rock impresario Rob Zombie, Mars is in desperate need of women. Yet the Red Planet, in Hoodoo Gurus' opinion, needs guitars. Women and guitars - surely these are two things that every planet needs. I'm assuming Mars' comely neighbour Venus, has these items in spades, judging by the music of local space-synth-glam rockers Vultures of Venus. Infused with a heady mixture of Brit-pop, fuzzy guitars, spacey synths and in possession of an innate knowledge of where the interplanetary party is, Vultures of Venus are a burgeoning powerhouse on the local scene. Their energetic live performances, which are equal parts sheer and unadulterated rock 'n' roll and fantastical burlesque, have begun to become the stuff of legend.
Jefferson Morrow [vocals, guitar], Simon Quinn [programming, synths], Craigus McVegas [bass, vocals] and Byron Holmes [drums] have been very busy boys for the last year, after the release in 2009 of their debut self-titled LP. I'm on the phone with Morrow, Quinn and McVegas, discussing the recording of their new EP Your Planet Or Mine, the fine art of filming videos whilst drunk and scantily-clad go-go dancers.
They have been quite busy, haven't they? Has the writing process gotten smoother for this record after their first? "Yeah, absolutely," declares Morrow, "we've gotten a lot better at [the writing process], and the production's gotten a lot better as well. We actually stopped playing gigs for the last year and we've just been writing a lot of songs and sort of discovering what we like about music again. So we've written thirty tunes - of which 5 will be on this new EP. We'll probably release the rest of them at some point in the future; we're thinking more EPs. Yep, EPs are good!"
Quinn agrees wholeheartedly. "We've been going on a total space theme, with a bit of a glam thing, and certainly heavier than [debut Vultures Of Venus], but we definitely have gotten a bit more psychedelic I think!"
"It was pretty cool when we were coming up with the name [of the new EP]," McVegas interjects. "We were sitting around the kitchen for hours, just coming up with the dirtiest titles - I couldn't repeat them, actually. And then when my girlfriend said, 'Hey, how about Your Planet Or Mine?' it sort of hit the nail on the head, and it was like, oh yeah, there you go."
On November 4, when Vultures Of Venus release their EP to the world at the Cherry Bar, they're also going to be releasing three video clips from the record. I ask the boys about shooting these films, one of which, the video for Outer Space, can already be seen on YouTube. McVegas is eager to explain. "We've done not only Outer Space, but also two more, which go with this EP. We filmed them in two days, one of which was a fifteen hour day, and we weren't gonna get drunk. But by twelve o'clock when the slabs arrived, we got a little bit into the alcohol and if you watch the film clips you can see that we're getting progressively more drunk throughout the songs. We were on a rooftop for Outer Space and in a basement, and by King Moon we were quite drunk! We were lucky they were cut together so fast; especially that Outer Space song would have looked really odd I reckon if it were put together any slower.
"We're known for our vulture-like behaviour when it comes to drugs and alcohol," he adds with hearty laugh from his band-mates.
Fans of the children's novel Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Voodoo Vultures From Venus might be disappointed to learn that no, Vultures Of Venus did not crib their name from the book by Dav Pilkey. Morrow sounds surprised when I mention the work to him. "Wow, didn't know about that! I gotta check it out. No, didn't get [the name] from that. It just popped in my head a long time ago; I knew I wanted to start a band, and I had that name."
"Yeah," agrees Quinn. "When I heard that name, I was like, 'Yeah, I'll jam with you!'" The three blokes laugh heartily at this; I can tell they're good friends and get along quite famously with each other.
One question I'm dying to ask regards their live shows, and the scantily-clad women who dance onstage with them. Quinn responds, "Oh yeah, we had this residency at a pole-dancing club on Smith Street called Cherry Bomb. We had some friends there who were pole-dancing, so we got them to [dance onstage] during our set. I call them The Venus Man-Traps and yeah, it was really cool! It was a really cool six-month residency thing."
"Yeah, they really enjoy our music and they dress up and dance during the sets!" pipes in Morrow.
BY THOMAS BAILEY
Get ready for onstage dancing shenanigans from outer space when Vultures Of Venus launch their EP Your Planet Or Mine at the Cherry Bar on Friday, November 4. Cameras will be rolling, so be ready to shine! Tickets available at the door.