Southampton Punk Rockers Miss Vincent brought their unique brand of 50’s inspired punk rock with debut album ‘A Funeral Of Youth’ which was released in September, (read our review here). Backseat Mafia caught up with lead guitarist Lawrie Pattinson to find out about the band and their inspriations and find out which member is a chef.
First off. How are you guys doing now that we are hopefully seeing the end of the current situation? How has the pandemic affected the band? Any messages for your fans?
It’s hard for us to complain too much in the grand scheme of things, we all have our health and we’re all back working and playing shows again. Music has always been an escape for us and everyone needs that now as much as ever, if our music has helped even one person get through a shitty day then that’d mean a lot to us.
For people who may not be familiar with the band. Can you introduce us to the band and tell us a little about how you formed and why you chose the style that you play?
We’re a punk rock band from Southampton. Big, catchy choruses and romantic 50s vibes. Think Alkaline Trio playing Buddy Holly songs. Our formation isn’t much of a story, we all grew up in different parts of the UK listening to bands like Misfits, AFI, Green Day, Bad Religion, and we’ve come together over a shared love of those bands. Looking further back to the artists of the 50s and 60s that influence us, there’s a charm and a romance
that isn’t that common among bands today and we try to infuse our songs with some of that too.
Can you tell us about the one (or maybe two) records that inspired you artistically (and why)?
I think White Crosses by Against Me! is a flawless album. The songwriting, the production, the delivery and the messages on that record; very little comes close to it. It’s varied but consistent at the same time, it’s nostalgic and fun in places and crushingly sad at others. Laura Jane Grace is such a unique songwriter and performer and for me, White Crosses demonstrates exactly that.
Tell us about your new album? How does it feel to finally have it out? How was the recording of it?
We’re elated to have finally released it, and a little bit relieved to be totally honest as it’s been such a long time coming. Recording it was the most creatively fulfilling experience of our lives. We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to create when we started, but I think it’s very natural for songs to continue to change and grow throughout the recording process because you never know what’s going to happen along the way. I can still remember being in the studio on multiple occasions and thinking to myself “I can’t believe this is a Miss Vincent song”. Our producer Daly was a big part of that, he’s essentially the fifth member of our band. We all have very fond memories of those recording sessions and we honestly couldn’t be happier with the album.
How does a track develop within the band? Where do you get your inspirations from? Is it a group effort or do you guys start with a riff or a lyric?
Nine times out of ten a song will start with Alex, he’ll record a rough demo and send it to me and then it usually bounces back and forth between us for a while. Once we feel like it’s nearly there, we take it to the practice room and work everything out as a band and make sure it works in a live setting. It’s all well and good having a great demo, but the song has to work live, if it doesn’t, we know we’ve still got work to do. In terms of inspiration, sometimes it comes from personal experience or simply expressing a thought or a feeling and expanding on it, other times there’s a fictional narrative being explored. But whatever a song means to us, it doesn’t have to mean that to someone else. We’re not secretive about the meaning behind our songs but we’d never tell someone they were
wrong for interpreting it in their own way.
When it comes to playing live do you have any favourite venues? How much does playing live mean to you guys coming out of the pandemic?
Being from Southampton, we’re very fortunate to have the Joiners, it’s an amazing venue run by great people, and it’s pretty much the heart of the music scene here. I also love the Southampton Guildhall, that’s a real bucket list venue for me, I’ve been going to both those venues since I was a teenager and I’ve seen some of my favourite bands there. We played three shows in August and it was so good to be back on stage. Not playing live for such a long time definitely made me feel a little stifled creatively, it scratches an itch than nothing else can quite reach. We’re just very grateful to be back doing what we love, and on top of that we have a shit load of new songs to play live for the first time!
How do you feel about the consumption of music being so heavily on the side of streaming rather than physical? Do you feel you have had better exposure because of it?
I don’t have a problem with streaming as a means for finding and listening to bands, but I think the problem at the moment is that financially the scales aren’t tipped in favour of the artist, and arguably they should be. You’d have to stream a song around 3000 times (almost a solid week of listening) just to generate £10 for a band, whereas one physical sale of an album matches that and then some immediately. In terms of the reach and potential exposure, streaming wins by a long way. We’ve had messages from people all over the world saying they found out about us through Spotify or Apple Music, and that’s amazing, but if you really want to support the bands you love; buy their records and buy their merch, you’ll be glad you did.
What gear do you guys use/swear by?
Alex and I both play Victory Amps because they’re fucking amazing, we’ve been endorsed by them for about four years now and they’ve been great to us. As for guitars, I’m a Strat guy through and through, they just feel like home to me. I’ve tried and owned other guitars over the years and I just end up selling them on, maybe one day I’ll find a guitar I really love that isn’t a Strat, but until then… We’re also endorsed by Ernie Ball strings which we’ve all been using since we first picked up instruments.
Outside of music, what do you guys like to do? What keeps you busy?
Our work lives outside of the band are very different, Alex works in television, Owain’s a chef, Nate works in insurance and I teach guitar (okay, maybe my job isn’t THAT different). But outside of work, Alex is super into American football, Owain’s a big gamer, Nate’s currently learning to speak German and I do nerdy shit like play Magic, The Gathering and read comics. We’re all big movie fans too, in case you couldn’t tell from our album and
Are there any bands past or present you would love to have played with or even been part of? Is there a particular band that got you into music?
I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say we’d love to share a stage with Alkaline Trio, Green Day, Against Me! and Bayside. We’d die happy playing with any one of those bands. As for being part of a band, I feel like it might spoil the magic in a way because it would totally change the way I saw them, but at the same time, who didn’t want to be in Nirvana when they were a teenager? As a kid I mostly listened to pop music, ‘NOW That’s What I Call Music 44’ and mainstream chart stuff like that, but the band that made me buy a guitar was Bowling For Soup, their album Drunk Enough To Dance makes me feel like I’m 13 again whenever I listen to it.
It’s Difficult to talk about future plans, but what does the future look like?
For us right now, the future looks like two album release shows in October! We’re playing at the Joiners in Southampton on the 27th and Signature Brew in Haggerston, London on the 28th. We’re putting more effort than ever into these shows and they’ll be unlike anything we’ve done before, so we’re really excited for them. It definitely marks the start of a new chapter for us.
Lastly, what music are you digging right now? Any bands or artists you think deserve a little more recognition?
I’ve been listening to John Mayer’s new album pretty much non stop for the last two months, but that dude’s not short of any recognition. So go and check out Masked Intruder, Bayside and The Bombpops if you don’t know them already, all those bands deserve more recognition, particularly in the UK.
Have a listen to the bands excellent track ‘Gravity’, below:
Purchase the album here