New York, over recent years, seems to be providing every indie boy and indie girl with their staple diet of great new bands. The likes of The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio and MGMT have all proved popular here. Blending the lush harmonies of The Beach Boys with the psychedelic acid trips of The Zombies, Violens are set to be the next group to cross the Atlantic and have indie kids twitching in their skinny jeans.
Already friends before they got together, lead singer Jorge explains: “I’ve known these guys forever. I had various started and stopped projects with the keyboard player, and then the other two guys were in this other project that I’m involved in called Lansing Dreiden.”
This ready-made familiarity allowed them to quickly go from early rehearsals to collaborations with MGMT. “The first time we met was when they asked me to do a remix of one of their songs, for when the record was going to be released. I did a remix of ‘Time To Pretend’; I made it really dark, almost like industrial, kind of nasty sounding. It was really fun, because it’s a happy song.”
Jorge evidently has a penchant for twisting pre-defined genres and combining elements of opposing musical styles, to create the band’s unique sound. “It’s pretty varied: three of us are coming from more of a punk background, kind of listening to old school punk stuff, and I was into a lot of metal and stuff like that growing up, so that definitely finds its way into the music. I also listen to pop music so it’s kind of like a blending of this kind of, I don’t know what you would call it, like grunger punk aesthetic.”
The result is refreshingly upbeat Sixties melodies that battle through the dark Eighties-style beats and moody synthesisers, which are then contorted by the cryptic narrative of the lyrics. “The lyrics are always written from a character, but really like a fragmented style of writing, like there’s this thing about someone who is really attractive but they are really boring to talk to, so there is kind of this situation but there is other stuff going on that might not have anything to do with that. I kind of like there to be a wrench thrown into it.”
Words By: Chris Cummins