Miss Vincent are going places- having released their second EP Reasons Not To Sleep earlier last year, they’re writing music once again, as well as being out on tour at the moment with FVK! We caught up with the whole band, which consists of Alex who provides vocals and guitar, Owain on bass, Jack on drums and Lawrie who also plays guitar. We covered super old horror films, playing some new songs live and how drunk some of them got at last year’s Takedown Festival…
BM: How’s it going so far with FVK?
Alex: Amazing! Absolutely amazing, the shows have been fantastic. Everyone has been super nice, it’s been super chilled, such good vibes every night. The main thing that has been a problem for us is our van, we’re only on day four of tour and it’s already broken down twice. Bearing in mind we’ve been round the UK in it countless times and we’ve never had a problem with it before.
BM: Maybe that’s the problem…
Alex: Well maybe it is, but basically it’s betrayed us. Twice. So we’re hoping everything is going to be alright now, but the shows themselves have been unreal.
Owain: Betrayed is a very good word to use, betrayed by our own van.
BM: You’re writing new music now, how’s that going and what’s your process?
Alex: It’s going amazing, we’ve been demoing new stuff and the process is way longer now. We’ve spent a lot more time working on the songs themselves rather than just hashing it out and then recording it.
Lawrie: The general process is that Alex will write the song like the skeleton and bones of it, then we’ll all sort of chip in and say what we think.
Alex: You know ‘this is shit’, ‘replace that’, ruin my soul, make me feel unloved…
Lawrie: Just kind of mess things around- where we live we aren’t too close to each other so we have to do most things by the internet. So we’re sending demos back and forth and things like that. So it’s good when we finally get together and get to practice the songs, rather than having to just send things all the time.
BM: It’s good that you can still make things work that way though!
Lawrie: It just makes us work harder!
Alex: Well I don’t know… we have to work harder because of it, I don’t know whether it makes us work harder. It makes us quite lax because unless we really make the effort, nothing happens because we’re so far apart and we’re basically just trying to live, pay the bills and stuff. But yeah, the new songs are really much more us- we’re finding our identity even more and it’s really exciting.
Owain- It’s a lot of fun too. It’s always fun.
BM: Have you been playing new songs on this tour?
Alex: We’ve been playing one new song! We were going to play two, but then we decided to just play one for various reasons. But it’s been going down really well! It’s one of the highlights of the set for me, I really look forward to playing it.
Owain: It’s one of the fun points for me as well.
Alex: I dunno if you can tell, but we’re all about the fun…BM: Reasons Not To Sleep was your EP last year, what did it mean to you then when you released it and what does it mean to you now?
Lawrie: It felt like a massive gap between the first EP and the new one, and it was quite a relief to have that out- we’d been sitting on some of that material for quite a long time, so to put that out it was a massive relief to finally have it in the public eye. We went a big step forward from the first EP to the second, it was nice to finally have something new out after such a long time.
Alex: We started finding our identity a bit more, which upon reflection has helped us continue on that path. So, I mean the songs were a lot darker than the first EP. Not necessarily intentionally, but we did end up going ‘ok we like this more, we feel comfortable doing this, this is much more us and things come a little bit easier’, and it all just went from there. So looking back at it, it was all just the first step in carving out our identity.
BM: So is the new stuff you’re writing going to be even darker?
Jack: I guess more thematically than musically, I mean we’re not going heavier or anything like that.
Alex: Everyone always associates being dark with being heavy, but we’re not a heavy band at all. We don’t have like break-downs and stuff, I would say thematically it’s even darker though, and musically it is more varied but definitely more us. Which is completely contradictory but somehow makes sense in our minds…
BM: You released a single Lonely This Christmas, and for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, how come you decided to do that and chose that specific charity?
Alex: Well I suggested the charity because it’s really near me, and they do amazing work in my community, and I’ve been involved with stuff with them since I was a kid. So that seemed like the really obvious choice to me, it’s just ten minutes from me and I can really see that the money does good. That was the charity thing. The Christmas thing was a little bit more iffy…
Jack: Originally we were just going to do a cover, but we decided against that for lots of reasons.
Lawrie: So we had the idea for a Christmas song, and I think half of us were on board and half of us were on the fence. Alex came up with a small demo and we all listened to it and just got really excited.
Owain: The initial suggestion we were all very kind of ‘ughhh this is not going to work’, so we started brainstorming ideas.
Alex: It ended up being really fun but not in a cheesy way? Like Christmas songs you associate with being super cheesy, so we really tried to make it not cheesy, and put our stamp on it. I think we did it!
Owain: Lonely This Christmas fits with us as a band as well because we’re all miserable…BM: What kind of music makes you want to make music? Was there any particular point in the past whether it be at a show or even just a moment in a song that inspired you?
Alex: Oh absolutely! For me it was the first time I heard the Ramones, I lost my shit. I sat up all night listening to them, it was absurd. And the other one was, I was really into the Ramones, Green Day, Sum 41 and I went to see Green Day at Milton Keynes Bowl in 2005. Proper ‘holy shit’ moment, I just thought I had to somehow make music of some sort. I’d already been doing it casually, but this was when I became properly obsessed with it.
Lawrie: It was actually watching films when I was a kid, especially Disney films, I’ve always particularly liked the music, and I was always into music in school. It was a long time before I picked up a guitar, but the band that got me into wanting to play, and made me interested in music in general was Bowling For Soup. The first time I heard Girl All The Bad Guys want, I just thought ‘I need to play that riff!’ I remember getting Total Guitar, which had transcriptions in there and I played it wrong for about three years. I never realised they had one of their strings drop-tunes so I was playing it wrong like ‘YEAHHH!’ That was the song that made me think I wanted to play guitar, but when I was a kid it was Disney films that made me interested in music.
Owain: I had a weird transition, I used to play trumpet as a kid. As I was coming up to the end of primary school, my brother’s friend gave me The Art Of Drowning by AFI and I put it on and was like ‘I am going to put that trumpet down, and pick up a guitar!’ That was it for me. That sold it, and then I listened to everything by AFI.
Jack: For me it must have been Blink. I used to play drums before, but then I went off it for a bit. But then I heard Blink and just thought ‘I’m doing this forever.’BM: You played FVK’s stage at Takedown Fest last year, how was that?
Jack: That was a really good day, such a long day but a good one.
Owain: I think I had too much of a good time… I got taken home.
Alex: You had to go home at like seven didn’t you?
Owain: Well it was more like ten… I know I got taken home. I didn’t go on my own.
Alex: But aside from him getting smashed out of his face, that was one of the highlights of our year last year. We were fans of FVK already, but to have them pick us for their stage was amazing. It was the first time last year that we went out and spent the whole day at the festival- we just had the best time. We hung out with so many of our friends.
BM: What about your video for Disperate Desperate? Where did the idea for that video come from?
Alex: It was an amalgamation of all our ideas, Laurie had the idea to use a projector!
Lawrie: Yeah, just because someone reviewed the EP, and they said this song sounded like a flickering reel of film, like an old-school film. I guess it’s because there is a lot of spooky background textures going on in that song. So a reviewer said that, and that made me think about using a projector and just having weird things projected on us and on the wall, that kind of thing. So that’s how we came up with the performance side of it.
Alex: We were discussing projector stuff for a while, but we were just thinking what would we project, what would we put in this? So we looked around the internet for a while and we found a bunch of stuff that’s in the public domain, so it basically doesn’t have any rights. Laurie found a load of horror films and stuff, with really spooky shit happening where it’s like going insane and stuff like that.
Lawrie: I remember being on Wikipedia and looking at things that are in the public domain, there’s just a list of films that are now for whatever reason, whether they’re just so old that nobody owns the rights anymore, or no-one owns the rights for whatever reason. So I was clicking on them one at a time like ‘how fucking weird is this film?!’ and having to YouTube it to find the whole thing, just skimming through to find a weird shot that was like two seconds. So I’d be messaging Alex like ‘the bit at one hour thirty three seconds is really cool!’
Owain: Then we had to fill like three and a half, four minutes with just these two second clips.
Alex: To add to all the horror films we went through, we scoured the internet for a bunch of other stuff like bridges being destroyed, nuclear testing facilities- the general thing was that it related back to the lyrics and the general gist of the song. We had wilting roses, hospital corridors and stuff like that. I made the projector film before we shot the video and even just looking at that, we were just like ‘we could just have this as the video!’ But then we were wondering what we could relate to it, it was an interesting visual but we all really like videos with a bit of a story- not just performance videos. So Laurie came up with a man sitting writing letters…
Lawrie: He was writing a letter but you didn’t know who to or what the purpose was but then the letter wasn’t actually reaching anyone, he was just endlessly writing these letters and never hearing anything back.
Alex: It was the whole idea of feeling slightly lost, reaching out for help and it never coming- we spent quite a lot of time fleshing out the idea, then once we finished it we thought we’d actually achieved what we set out to.BM: It sounds like a long process.
Alex: It was! We shoot everything ourselves as well so it was quite a long process. I wouldn’t do that video again…
Lawrie: It’s usually a long build up to videos because we want to get the prep in before the actual shoot. Then when it comes to it we’ve got a plan and we can get it done.
Alex: Then I just sit there for days, editing. Then they’ll message me like ‘I’ve got a bit of a funny face at this point, can you take that out?’
Owain: I said that to you!
BM: What are you expecting from the rest of the tour, are you playing any of your favourite venues or cities or anything?
Lawrie: I guess Southampton because Owain and I live there- although Alex and Jack don’t live there that’s kind of where we describe our home to be as a band. So it’s always good to be at home for that reason, and the venue we’re playing at we’ve not played before because it’s band new! It’s moved- it was the Talking Heads but it’s moved further into the centre of town so should be cool. The rest of the places, we’ve never been to Norwich before, never been to Liverpool.
Owain: We’ve been to Cardiff…
Lawrie: It’s nice to play some new cities and that kind of thing because we’ve never been there so you don’t know what the reaction is going to be like.
Alex: And you can make new friends!
Jack: Every venue we play now is going to be new for us, which is great.
BM: So what are your plans for the rest of 2016 like?
Lawrie: We don’t have any touring plans after this…
Alex: Our only kind of concrete plans at the moment are to write our new music, we’ve got a rough idea of when we might record, but again nothing is set in stone. So things are a bit up in the air at the moment- it’s sort of daunting but kind of exciting at the same time. We’re really excited about the new songs and we feel like the further we go down the road, we like it even more. But at the same time, when you come off tour and you’ve got nothing coming up, there’s that horrible thing like ‘am I ever going to play music again? Does my band even exist!?’ We’ll be sorting that out as soon as possible. So writing, recording and hopefully touring!
Photos by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK