For Record Store Day 2014 (yes, already a month past), Integrity and Vegas paired up for a split 7” featuring two movie inspired covers. The two bands have a history together, with Integrity’s Dwid Hellion and Vegas’ T being close friends and one-time bandmates in Roses Never Fade.
To capture the magic of how the 7” came about, Scene Point Blank had an email chat with T as he traveled the globe. There were some inevitable delays, but we tracked him down in Malaysia for his side of putting together the 7”, how Vegas writes their songs and, with some help from Hellion, some inquiries about his world travels.
Check out our complementary interview with Integrity here.
Scene Point Blank: Vegas has had a lot of time pass between releases but you’ve put out a couple of 7”s this year. Was the time lapse a conscious decision or did life just get in the way.
T: Life has a knack of always getting into the way: it is what happens while you are busy making other plans. You were right there, John. I recently went to Yoko’s exhibition – she nowadays seems to be into taking snaps of the sky and handing out puzzle pieces.
Scene Point Blank: Do you feel that the time lapse has changed the band or your writing/recording process in any way?
T: The process is simple yet constantly evolving. The incarnations of the V are morphing and taking on different shapes, yet the essence is still the same. Writing and recording is a natural process. I need something to hang a song on--to give it some kind of presence and form. The muse is not really hard to find: you just need to stop doing whatever else might be distracting you and pay attention to her. Doing exactly that sometimes proves to be difficult.
Scene Point Blank: When the Sagevisule 7” first came out you were a bit elusive as to the label and format of its release. Was this just a matter of getting the kinks worked out, or was there some question as to if it would happen?
T: There are always wrinkles to be ironed out when it comes to releases and it was not much different with this one.
Scene Point Blank: In our interview with Integrity, Dwid mentioned that the covers on the Integrity split had been in discussion for years before it ever happened. What’s the origin of your version of “Love Me”?
T: The idea came about in the back of the van during Integrity's 2003 European tour. We have been friends for quite a while and one of our common denominators is our love for the comedic genius of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. The original version of “Bedazzled” from 1967 has been a favourite of ours for a long time.
Scene Point Blank: Was it inevitable that you’d work with Dwid on another project after Roses Never Fade?
T: I wouldn't call it “inevitable,” but since we were both fired from Roses Never Fade around the same time for not complying with the restrictive guidelines of the new management, we found more time to dedicate to our respective main bands. Roses Never Fade was a fun project and not much planning was involved in recording the first album. It all came about organically. I hear that the impending Roses Never Fade release under new management will have a myriad of singers and that it will be less arsenic than what we originally had in mind, when we first roughed up our voices by chain smoking to get into the spirit of things.
Scene Point Blank: What is going on with that band? Do you expect to record again?
T: Dwid and I have a new project in the pipeline, which is similar in nature to what Roses Never Fade was originally supposed to be before new management decided to make it a mellow pop-oriented derivation. We are currently working on recordings for a new vinyl 7”.
Scene Point Blank: Since this was a Record Store Day release, I had some tie-in questions. You’re now in Australia, right? How is Record Store Day there?
T: I do currently not own a record player in Australia but still collect records. I missed Record Store Day this year as I was preparing for a half-marathon. It was a sunny Saturday and I had to get a run in. From a training perspective, Record Store Day 2014 was very successful.
Scene Point Blank: Since we talked with Dwid first, he took advantage of the opportunity to relay some questions at you. Discretion to our readers, it gets a bit random here.
Dwid Hellion: We know it has been a dream of yours to work with A389 Records and that their release of [Pale Creation's] Twilight Haunt was a crossroads in your musical career. Could you expand a bit on this?
T: The release of Twilight Haunt was a game changer. It changed the way music was perceived. When people look back at musical history they will say, "Sergeant Pepper, Pet Sounds…Twilight Haunt!”
Dwid Hellion: Having the legendary CEO of A389 Records, Dom Romeo, play guitar on your new 7” must have been quite an honor. There was some internet chatter that originally Matt Shack was also considered to be a part of this recording. Can you share any details on this?
T: Matt Shack is an immensely talented musician and has always had many irons in the fire. I encourage you to check out his new band, Black Marsh.
Dwid Hellion: You are notorious for being a world traveler as well as one of the most elusive and mysterious characters in the underground music scene. Can you share with our readers some of the countries which you have lived and travelled? Do you have a favorite place on Earth?
T: 57 countries, 4 continents. I am currently in Malaysia and traveled here via Vietnam and Cambodia. Off to Singapore tomorrow. After a 3-week stint in Australia, I will be off to China. Favourite place in the world would be MONA, where I recently spent a weekend before embarking to South East Asia.