Digital Affairs Neurotic is the new release from VVEGAS, who tend to write and release music often, and whose sole purpose is to continue releasing music. Their bandcamp account includes a plethora of releases, including Neurotic, though their frontman, T, spends a lot of time on the road, something we talked about in addition to the new release.
“I feel compelled to get things done whenever there is a window of opportunity or when the muse kisses and then open the floodgates. As one grows older it becomes more important to counteract becoming set in your ways and work on preserving spontaneity,” says T. “Too much analysis kills it - when you go off script, you can be who you truly are.“
T talks about the process of writing and collaborating with Rodrigo Luz.
"Working with Rodrigo Luz, who has been a part of VVEGAS for the last couple of years, has been great. Rodrigo is not only an immensely talented, imaginative and accomplished musician, but it also proves to be very easy to communicate ideas with him and boil down what we try to accomplish when we tackle songs. Having a similar background and preferences as far as a musical pedigree is concerned certainly helps,” says T. “We usually have a chinwag and a laugh about an idea, then actually sketch it out, go back and forth, record an outline, modify further and the process of recording the vocals is usually done in one take. Rodrigo might then revisit to add more nuances and channel it through his musical alchemy."
Though VVEGAS has a number of releases, T stays away from holding previous songs up as he works on new material. T moves VVEGAS away from a band with a particular tone, sound or a signature. Writing music is the highest task and T focuses on generating ideas and the logistics of keeping track of those ideas. Writing when you can, plugging in and assembling ideas, and constantly working from scratch is a survivalist mode of writing, especially when you are on the move.
“I am not concerned with the notion of a fixed identity – identity is more performatively constituted by the very expressions that are believed to be its results. There is no concept of an “identity” and it can be restraining to be focused on having one. You are not who you think you are. It just is. There certainly is instinct and distortion. I can sometimes foresee how things will evolve yet hardly ever carry it out in that way.”
Without results, i.e. songs, there is no band. The idea of VVEGAS is nothing without its output. This is reflected in T’s response when asked about listening to older work.
“I obviously listen to individual emissions many times while tinkering on them but rarely revisit. Once a song “clicks,” it is done and you have to let go. I’d rather listen to something new,” says T. “Older songs do not exert any influence on the creation of new ones.”
“Reality can only be attained through detachment. Not unlike a spider’s web, I am attached to the music at all four corners but aim at treating it in an isolated manner.”
Digital Affairs Neurotic is the latest release on top of a dense catalogue of music, but T notes that VVEGAS is currently working on new songs with a few ready for new releases.
“There is no formula and the lion’s share of inspirations and influences for the songs on Digital Affairs Neurotic could not be further removed from the musical style or the topical approach they manifest themselves in, which is what keeps it interesting for me. The only constant and uncompromising component in VVEGAS is that I am involved.”
On assembling the list of songs on Digital Affairs Neurotic T says, “confining the practice of song writing to a specific genre or album does not lend itself well to invention, but it compels a certain coherence of thought and informs to a certain extent the approach. On Digital Affairs Neurotic every song is linked.”
T goes on to further describe Digital Affairs Neurotic.
“Life generates stories, which form the basis of the songs on Digital Affairs Neurotic and while the shape of individual songs might be entirely imagined, they have an aesthetic coherence, which collectively add to the bigger coherence of this long player -- absolute and yet steadily growing and developing as the recipient interacts with them."
Though the songs on Digital Affairs Neurotic are linked, T does not assign VVEGAS a particular identity that supersedes the music itself, nor does he preserve something with each new release other than his own involvement. That said, he is confident about what the aesthetic should not be on each release.
“Rather than aesthetic, I prefer a style based on life. A deeply ordered chaotic pattern imposed on experience that comes about by chance,” says T. “Sometimes believing too much in whatever you think your identity should be prevents you from knowing your true self.”
T is a regular contributor to Scene Point Blank.