URB: How did your residency at the magnet come about?
BEN: Erm, it was our manager’s idea. We just wanted to do something over the summer because we wasn’t touring much and we weren’t doing many festivals we want to do something local that involves all these bands in the city, so bring them all together.
MIKE: We had a lot of new songs we wanted to try out as well so it was a good chance to experiment. And as Ben said it’s a platform for new bands in the city.
URB: So you’ve been working on some new music as well?
Ben: Yes, well, we’ve been doing the album. It’s a slow process but it’s happening. We keep on writing more songs, we got to a stage where we laid them all out on the table and we didn’t have enough so we went back to the rehearsal room, started writing more and then we just kept on going.
Mike: We had enough but we wanted the album to be ten out of ten not seven out of ten. [Because] You only get one chance to create your first album don’t you? We were like ‘we need to go back in and get it up to ten out of ten’ which I think we’ve done now. Haven’t we? But we’re just waiting for the studio time because we everything booked and now we’ve had to like – one of our producers had a bit of a medical issue so we’ve had to pull it back but it will still be coming out in the same time anyway. It is supposed to come out in January, which it still will do, so everyone will still be getting the album at the same time anyway. We’ve got another three singles, no, two singles and then one after.
URB: So what can we expect from the new album?
Ben: Its a lot more colorful than the other stuff we’ve released. The first Ep release was quite dark, quite psychedelic and not much melody. But now, I mean, the new stuff we’re writing is very melodic. We’ve started using synths live now which we’re using for the first time next week, we’ve always used them in the studio but we’re actually using them live now so its a lot more upbeat.
Mike: It is more direct as well. Because we’re able to do the expansive stuff, we know we can do that like but it’s when you combine the directness and the expansive thing together that is when your like, in the zone. So we were able to do that like. We’re really excited for the next Magnet show because we’ve got a lot of new tunes that are going on the album that we’re going to be playing live. So it will be good to get the reaction. We’ve got a belter set though.
URB: So you’ve talked about working with other bands before, do you have anyone you’ve want to collaborate with or any that you think are up and coming in Liverpool at the moment?
Ben: In terms of collaboration we’re still – we’re still trying to perfect ourselves at the moment but I mean in the future definitely be up for working with other people. Definitely in terms of like remixing and stuff like that, maybe get a more dance-ier version or stuff like that definitely.
URB: Is there any local bands that you want to collaborate with?
Ben: I think – I don’t know – I mean all our mates are all the ones who are in bands so we’re always open to jam and stuff like that but that’s nothing set and stone.
URB: Revo really backs you guys, who do you find working with him?
Mike: Its great yes. He’s backed us from day one so yes whenever we do a Liverpool show he’s our go to guy like, always.
Ben: He got us on supporting Blossoms like the first time they played in the Shipping Forecast I think it was.
Mike: He got us our booking agent as well. Our booking agent was like I seen him at another gig where Revo said ‘you wanna get down and see this band’ So we owe him a lot like.
Ben: Yes, definitely.
URB: Do you enjoy performing in these small, smaller places? Or do you prefer, like a big festival?
Ben: Err, I don’t know. It works – they’ve got pros and cons. With the smaller ones obviously its very intimate and its better for that sense. But for what we want from out live show –
Mike: Its more louder like isn’t it in smaller venues
Ben: Yes. We need like a bit of a bigger stage. We want like more lights and better sound and stuff like that which you can’t really get in the smaller venues.
Mike: The thing I would say though about the small venue, especially the last Magnet show is because its – you are so close to the audience it was getting a bit wild. I haven’t, we haven’t done a gig like that were its been like a bit unhinged like. Do you know what I mean?
Ben: I think its cool because of that fact but then also we want to get better and make the live shows better we sort of want to get bigger audiences obviously.
Mike: And our sound as well suits a big –
URB: A big Audience?
Mike: Yes, it’s a bit of a sound scape like so it doesn’t really suit smaller venues. Ben: Because bigger venues help alot
Mike: Yes, but you know we still enjoy going [to] shows like but I’ve got no problem playing smaller venues if we have to.
URB: So how did you feel about being chosen to perform at Glastonbury and South by South West?
Mike: It kind of was just recognition that what you’re doing is good. – we’re not doing things right here. Do you know what I mean?
Ben: It’s sort of like – It’s sort of like there is stages too it. I think as you get bigger and you start doing more things you start getting booked for certain spaces and certain festivals. And then – so that’s like the level we’re at – and then there’s obviously a next level where we start playing bigger venues, doing bigger tours and doing bigger festivals. So it is just like, sort of a on going process.
Mike: It didn’t really – yes – I think Ben is spot on. I think – really – like it didn’t really blow me away. Because I was being –
Mike: No – because we’d reached that point where that was the next step so it wasn’t really – that was like – you know that’s what we should be doing. If we would have gone from nothing to Glastonbury then that would have been there, do you know what I mean? But because it was a gradual thing its err –
URB: I think America is pretty “big” like
Mike: No, no it is a big thing
Ben: It sounds like we’re being ungrateful; it’s not like that.
Mike: Its like – because you’re on your journey and you know like your next step is that. So when it does happen, its obviously great, but its not, its not – I don’t know how to explain it. It sounds like I’m being ungrateful but it was like the next step that had to be took so it just felt like that was the right thing to happen for us, do you know what I mean? It still sounds ungrateful doesn’t it?
URB: No, I think it’s a pretty cool thing but no, it is great.
Ben: No it is, it is.
Mike: I’m expecting the album to do really, really well. So if you where to, in eight months time, you where like ‘how do you feel [that] the albums still doing?’ I’d be like ‘yes its still great’ but we thought it was going to do well. Do you know what I mean?
URB: Did you have any big stand out moments while you was on tour?
Ben: I don’t know, I can’t think off the top of my head. In America we met these guys at this like Spotify party and they came to the gig and they had like an office just over the road so we went there. Then they took us back to their apartment didn’t they
Ben: And we stayed there. We met like this err – this guy came in, like this 60 year old guy with like a ‘Blues’ heritage. And he was always calling people like, “mother fuckers” to every one, do you know what I mean. It turned out he had played with Miles Davis when he was like 19 –
Mike: I totally missed this like. I don’t know what I was doing.
Ben: He’d toured with loads of like Jazz and Blues artists and that, so that was pretty cool.
Mike: Watching Ryan singing err – What is that tune by Kate Bush?
Ben: Wuthering Heights
Mike: Wuthering Heights, with no top on, that was quite funny like.
URB: Did it get good reactions?
Mike: Yes, that ended up online, that’s somewhere
Mike: It’ll still be there somewhere
URB: So what’s a typical day for you guys when you’re on tour?
Ben: Err. Wake up, eat, drive, eat, drive again.
Mike: Sound Check, wait around
Ben: Wait around yes.
URB: Do you have any special requirements?
Ben: We probably wouldn’t get them if we tried anyway Mike: Hummus, Pitta Bread,
Ben: Just somewhere to Sit down and that..
Mike: Something that’s not, anything but Calsberg isn’t it?
Ben: Just need somewhere to sit, somewhere to chill I mean we don’t really – we haven’t got a wild dressing room before the gig. We don’t go around smash the dressing room. We’re pretty relaxed and calm.
URB: All right, so being from a creative city, where do you get all your inspiration from? Your surroundings or musicians or?
Mike: We get asked this question all the time like. We don’t really think about it like. Its just you know when you see the Magical Mystery tour bus go past, normally you see like a big mad rush of Japanese people. In any other city that would be really weird – like what is that doing there? But you don’t really think about it, its just, you don’t really think about it do you?
Ben: It is sort of part of who we are and then that’s it. I mean our inspirations don’t really come from Liverpool as such so, but yes its part of us so people we know are/will always be our inspiration.
URB: Where you [The Vryll Society] all a group of friends first?
Ben: So yes, we all knew each other, its just like everyone is in a band in Liverpool so if you’re in a band you’ll know loads of other people in a band so it sort of clicked like that.
Mike: He is right yes, I was just thinking about something but he is right yes.
URB: Are there any artists that you look up to who you’d like to work with?
Ben: Err yes like the Gorillaz. They’re big inspirations. Really like them to work with us.
Mike: I’d of loved to of worked with David Axelroad but he’s not here anymore unfortunately.
Ben: Yes he’s like one of our main inspirations from back in the day
Mike: Shaddow would be good, DJ Shaddow for like – he’d get our band like.
Ben: Yes, someone who could take it well, well wackier. Someone who could really mess with it.
Mike: Anyone who is far out, get them in.
URB: Do you have any motivation before sets to get you going?
Mike: Do you mean like tunes?
Mike: We used to didn’t we but we’ve stop doing it now.
Ben: We listen to music all day so that’s like – we used to put the Happy Mondays on
Mike: Hallelujah we used to put on
Ben: Yes, we all have our own little methods. Sometimes we don’t like to speak to each other and just focus on our own thing
URB: Do you Ever get nervous?
Mike: I get nervous something like but then other times I won’t. There is no pattern to it either. Like, yes its weird. Like, I get it when we’re about to break a new comfort zone, I get nervous. Then playing in the Magnet to like small venues – I don’t really like go out my comfort zone to play but the Glastonbury gig I was dead nervous. Reading and Leeds I was dead nervous. Its just any time where you gone beyond what your normally used too but once you break it and you do it again its like – its easy do you know what I mean?
URB: So when is it you’re thinking of releasing this new album?
URB: January? But you’ve got two more singles first?
Mike: Two new singles. Two singles and then one post-album.
B: We got a tour in October as well. We’ll be playing – We’ll be playing the new songs off the album as well.
Mike: The main tour is going to be like Feb, March, April
URB: Where are you planning on going with that?
Mike: Just all over the country. We’re expecting that we’ll do a lot of festivals in the summer like.
Interview by Sarah Anderson
The Vryll Society play the last show of their summer residency at the Magnet this Friday, get down early and catch all the acts on this fantastic line up!