A lot of you will have read my review of Voodoo Vegas’ debut album The Rise of Jimmy Silver, and if you did then you’ll know just how much I loved the album and the band. If you’ve been lucky enough to see the Bournemouth based rockers live then you too will no doubt be loving that awesome sound.
Being the generally nosey bastard I am, I wanted to find out more about the band and how this great album came to be, so I headed on down to the closest DIY shop got me some duct tape, headed to Bournemouth and caught site of Voodoo Vegas singer Lawrence Case. We kidnapped him, duct taped him to a chair and told him if he didn’t tell us everything we wanted to know, we would shave his head. Here’s what happened;
TBF: Good Christmas and New Year?
LC: Hello Steve, yeah it was a good Christmas and New Year, I was really sick before Christmas and we had some shows over the Christmas break so it was good to be feeling better and to do some rocking.
TBF: Can you introduce the band and what everyone does?
LC: We’ve got Nick and the lovely Meryl on guitar, Ash on bass and Matt on drums. I do the singing and I also dabble in a little bit of gob iron when the time it right!!
TBF: How did you guys get together?
LC: Nick and myself started the band, Ash joined soon after that, we spent a few years playing shows around the UK, then in 2008 we decided we wanted a bigger sound and then Meryl joined the band as our 2nd guitarist.When she first joined it was like the glue between the cracks was being filled, it made the bands sound even bigger. Finally Matt joined in October 2011 after we spent years working with many different drummers.
TBF: When you’re not playing how does everyone relax?
LC: We all do our own thing, I cant talk for the other guys, but when I have free time I spend a lot of it hanging out with my friends, I’m also a big comic book fan so spend a lot of time reading comics. My love of comics was the inspiration to get Jim Boswell to design the albums cover.
I’m a bit of a Rock ‘n’ Roll geek!!!
TBF: What/Who influenced the Voodoo Vegas sound?
LC: My biggest influence is Aerosmith, I love them and I think their sound influences me a lot in my song writing. We all like the classic bands like Ac/Dc and Guns ‘n’ Roses. I also think we’ve got some modern influences like The Answer and Black Stone Cherry. Plus the idea of writing a song that I can get the crowd singing along to, its all about the hooks in a song for me. That influences me a lot.
TBF: Did you start off playing covers? If so what bands and songs?
LC: No Steve, we’ve always played our own music, we very rarely play covers. Even when we first started I thought I’d much rather have a crowd get off on our own music than say ‘Hey that was a awesome Ac/Dc cover you played’
TBF: What were the early days like touring and what sort of venues did you play
LC: When we first started we were mostly playing shows in our home town of Bournemouth, the circuit in Bournemouth used to be pretty good. There are a lot less venues in Bournemouth now and we don’t often play their as much.
TBF: What’s the best part of live shows?
LC: One of my favourite parts of live shows is probably playing to an audience who have not seen us before, at the start of the set they are like ‘who are these guys’ and they are not so welcoming. By the end of the set we’ve got them in the palm of our hand screaming their heads off wanting more. That’s a job well done…
TBF: What’s the best show you’ve ever played?
LC: We’ve played many great shows, but I think my favourite show we’ve ever played was when we supported Fozzy in Paris. That audience was fantastic going nuts all night. I’ll never forget that show!!! Faites du bruit !!!!!
TBF: When you write, what is the writing process like? i.e who does what and how?
LC: A lot of the time Nick and Ash come in with an idea, then I’ll get my hands on it with lyric and melody ideas. Sometimes the songs come together straight away, sometimes they take weeks. Working with Pedro Ferreira was great, he came in with some great ideas for the songs especially on the albums opening track ‘King Without A Crown.’ That songs vibe totally changed but at the same time kept the original feeling. It was given so much more of a groove.
TBF: Tell me about the album, where did the title come from
LC: This album comes from all the years we’ve been gigging around the UK and Europe, we ran a Pledge Music campaign to help raise the funds to record the album, amazingly we hit our originally planned target in 24 hours, and by the end of the campaign our fans helped us hit 344% of the target. I couldn’t believe how well the pledge campaign went. The day we started it I was saying to Meryl how worried I was about just hitting the original target.
The album is titled The Rise Of Jimmy Silver, Jimmy Silver is the name of the first song we ever wrote. Jimmy is a character I made up in my head about a guy who just love’s to rock in his heart and in his soul. This album is The Rise Of Jimmy Silver, from the first song we wrote, to all the gigs we’ve played, to the amazing pledgemusic we ran.
TBF: Were there songs that didn’t make the cut or was it plain sailing?
LC: It was pretty much plain sailing, we knew what the majority of the album was going to be, there was just a few songs that were difficult to choose between. I think we’ve got a pretty solid album that shows off the best of Voodoo Vegas
TBF: When you go into recording is everything laid out in stone or do things like lyrics change?
LC: When we first got into pre production we went through every song with Pedro with a fine tooth comb, a few of the songs changed quite a bit, stuff like chorus’ and length of the guitar solos. All of the songs were defiantly changed for the better. A few of the lyrics changed but they were all pretty much done by the time we got to Rockfield Studios.
TBF: What was the process like? Fun?
LC: I would say the process was one of the best experiences of my life, from working with Pedro, to recording and spending 2 weeks at Rockfield, the musical history at Rockfield is an amazing thing and I think we all felt that while we were there, it certainly helped us when recording.
Another highlight was while I was at Pedro’s rock shack finishing off some vocals. It was the day we got Stevie Vann Lange in to do some backing vocals, I was sitting there while Stevie was working with Pedro and thinking to myself about all the big names they have both worked with, and now they were working on our record, it blew my mind for a few seconds, it was a crazy thing.
TBF: What are your highlights on the album?
LC: One of my highlights of the album is the song ‘What I Pay’ we recorded that song after we finished at Rockfield, we recorded it at Pedro’s rock shack in London. I think the song adds so much to the record and adds another dimension to the bands sound. I think the lyrics on that song are my favourite on the album.
TBF: How has 2013 started off for you guys?
LC: 2013 has started of fantastic; we’ve been getting some great reviews for the album, and have booked up some good shows. We’re working our ass off to make this record work the best it can for us and to make sure as many people know about it as possible.
TBF: What are the plans for this year?
LC: Like I’ve said, work our ass off to make as many rock music lovers know about Voodoo Vegas and The Rise Of Jimmy Silver. The record sounds fantastic and I know for sure rock lovers will like it.
TBF: Any gigs coming up?
TBF: What is everyone looking forward to most this year?
LC: Seeing where the journey of The Rise Of Jimmy Silver takes us, it’s going to be exciting to see where we are this time next year.
TBF: Shameless plug time, anyone you wanna say hi to or bands you wanna recommend?
LC: I recommend everyone check out an awesome rock band called Voodoo Vegas and go out and buy their debut studio album The Rise Of Jimmy Silver out on March 4th
LC: Can you untie me now?
TBF: yeah I suppose so.
Thanks to Lawrence for taking the time to talk to me, and for not calling the Police. You can be the very proud owner of your very own copy of The Rise of Jimmy Silver on 4th of March when this amazing album is released. Until then go and see them live as soon as you can and support this great British band who’s showing the rest of the world how to ROCK!