Following a fairly rigorous rampage around the UK supporting some of the finest garage scenester’s around, London trio Virgin Kids have just dropped their debut album ‘Greasewheel’. A fine collection of pizza and beer fueled garage punk-rock, that throws a cheeky wink back as far as the 13th Floor Elevators, whilst throwing the odd cursory glance at the likes of Gun Club, and The Fuzztones – you get the picture, right ? Kind of ? Ah well, seeing as you can just skip to the bottom of this page and hear the album in full for yourself, rather than you have me blether on, I thought it best that I pinned the three of them down and got it straight from the hip. Meet Virgin Kids…
BM: Ok, lets get the niceties outta the way – who’s who? Where are you from and where does the magic happen?
VK: Asher Preston plays Guitar/Lead Vocals, Paul Rosser is on bass/backing vocals and Sean Hughs on drums
We all live in East London, we practise in our flat in Hackney Wick.
BM: How and where did you all meet?
VK: Paul and Asher met at college in Somerset 9 years ago and started a band after a 20 minute conversation. Asher and Sean met 3 years ago in London through playing gigs with their old bands
BM: I know a couple of you have been in other bands, so how did Virgin Kids come about ?
VK: Yes, Asher used to play drums for H.Grimace (who have just finished recording their debut album),Sean used to play drums in a Yorkshire hard-core band Fawn Spots. The Virgin Kids project originally started as a solo project of Asher’s in 2014 but after a period of writing on his own he realised he needed a full band to achieve the sound he wanted so he got childhood friend Paul in on bass and Sean on drums.
BM: Virgin Kids – great name, where did it come from?
VK: Virgin Kids was a comic strip project of Asher’s based around all the adventures and mishaps of adolescent kids, when the band formed it seemed to be a good fit for what he was writing about.
BM: You’re drawing a lot of comparisons to some pretty shit hot bands from past – how would you best describe your music and who would say your influences are ?
VK: Garage lofi pop with a dash of punk! We all love The Clean and feel their sound has definitely had an influence on our sound. We bonded over (records? which ones? or anything else etc etc etc) Our love of garage music really brought us all together, you don’t get much better than Jay Reatard. We also bonded over pizza and tequila.
BM: What about growing up? Did the music playing at home have any bearing on where you are now?
VK: Nah, not really our parents music taste never really influenced us.
BM: You’ve been hitting the live circuit pretty hard over the past 12 months or so, tell us where it all started ?
VK: Our first gig was at the Macbeth about a year and a bit ago, we were still finding our feet then though, working out our sound and changing our line-up / band members.
BM: We’ve been hearing good things in despatches, but we’ve yet to see you live. Tell us what to expect ?
VK: You could say our live show is always powerful and energetic, we like to put a lot into our shows.
BM: Looking at the list of live dates so far, you’ve played with some pretty awesome bands – The Coathangers, Dirty Fences, and Kim and The Created – Do you have any particular gigs that stand out from the rest ?
VK: There have been a lot of good gigs for us recently, we had a great show towards the end of last year supporting Jacuzzi Boys at Moth Club, then we had a couple great shows at the start of this year with The Wharves at The Shacklewell & at the last Fluffer Records Pit Party.
BM: What’s been the worst ?
VK: We played a gig on our last tour where the support act were supposed to be supplying the drum kit, they then left with their drum kit after they finished playing and we had no drum kit to play our show with!
BM: So if the show’s ‘powerful and energetic’, which are the tracks you like to play live the best ?
VK: The fast thrashy, punky songs are always the most fun to play live, we have song called ‘Bruised Knees’ we always enjoy playing live.
BM: The albums just been released tell us a bit about it – like does it have an overarching theme that connects the songs or anything like that?
VK: It’s our debut LP ‘GREASEWHEEL’. The connecting theme is pizza and the fact that it’s a collection of songs which sum up our first year together as a band. We recorded it with two great young producers Ric James & Anthony Nemet, to keep costs down we recorded it in ‘The Waiting Room’, a music venue instead of a professional studio. We got the space for super cheap and then recorded everything live, splitting the guitar and bass out to other rooms.
BM: How do you go about putting the music together ? Do you have a particular format and sound you are looking to create ?
VK: Asher will bring in a formed idea with a melody / hook with a lyrical idea and then we will work on the composition together developing it until we are all happy. There were lots of sounds we tried to reference when producing the album, not in terms of the songs, but more the overall feel of the record. Sic Alps were definitely a band we referenced.
BM: The cover shot has the three of you tucking into a pizza. I’m detecting a theme here …
VK: We always wanted something light and fun, the theme of pizza was set, so we worked with that grabbed a pizza after a show we played at Power Lunches and our good friend Joe Skilton to take some pics. It was a fun process and we think it reflects the album quite well. Our message is PIZZA PIZZZA PIZZZZZZA !
BM: So plenty of gigs under your belt, and loads more coming up. New album in the bag – what has been the best? Playing live? Or getting the recording done?
VK: Both are important and enjoyable things, we don’t think there is much point in being in a band unless you love both. Playing a song live is always an acid test though, if it doesn’t work live then we wouldn’t want to record it.
BM: Lots of people have been telling us that we have to go see you live (which we will soon!), so now it’s time for you to return the favour and recommend a band yourselves …
VK: We went to watch Slowcoaches recently and we were blown away with their main support Radical Boy, we played with them ages ago and they have come on so much, they are ferocious live and their songs are ace, they should have a much bigger following.
BM: Cool. Finally, what does the future hold in store for Virgin Kids?
VK: Continue touring, we have a lot of shows coming up (see below) and we just want to gig as much as we physically and financially can. After that we are hoping to release a brand new single after summer and start recording the second album.
VIRGIN KIDS *LIVE DATES*
10/03 – The Victoria – London
11/03 – Rough Trade West – London
12/03 – Flash Back – all 3 stores – London
14/03 – Rough Trade East – London
15/03 – Hope and Ruin – Brighton
16/03 – Rough Trade – Nottingham
17/03 – Fallow cafe – Manchester
18/03 – Fulford arms – York
19/03 – Headrow house – Leeds
20/03 – the library pub – Oxford
25/03 – the lock tavern – London
26/03 – secret location – Birmingham
Tour with The Big Moon
30/03 – Bodega social club – Nottingham
31/03 – Adelphi – Hull
1/04 – Think Tank – Newcastle
2/04 – Stereo – Glasgow
4/04 – Mandela hall – Belfast
5/04 – the Workingmans club – Dublin
7/04 – Brudenell Social club – Leeds
8/04 – the Cookie – Leicester
9/04 – Dim Swn festival – Cardiff
11/04 – Start the Bus – Bristol
12/04 – Joiners Arms – Southampton
13/04 -100 club – London
14/04 – Nudie Soho instore
17/04 – The Lexington
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