Exclusive Interview: Vaughanstrosity talk writing and recording “Memes And Dreams”!

After last weeks interview with Ruaidhri Houston, a man known as the bassist for highly praised Belfast shock rockers So Long Until The Séance and the multi instrumentalist behind Vaughanstrosity as ever we return for a second round knockout. This time out the conversation is all about what goes in behind the scenes to get the beast up and running because it ain’t easy getting your creations to match your visions…

How did your previous experiences writing and recording help to smooth the path of the new record? “I’ve tried all sorts of approaches to writing and trying to get new riffs out and trying to get something but I overthink it and make a whole mess of it. So now I’ve got in the habit of starting with a midi riff or synth riff as it takes me out of my usual playing habits! essentially my writing although guitar is my main instrument I try to write without”

How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article? “Always a melody or riff, find it hard to start with chords as I tend to mess around with riff ideas in all kinds of notes and keys and don’t wanna get narrowed in straight away. Then I’ll try to make a riff around it or lay down some thick backing to the main synth part and go from there. Vocals are always the worst part to do, I absolutely hate lyric writing and am still trying to find that confidence in my voice as well”

As a multi-instrumentalist writing a solo record what made you reach out to Nømadus drummer Brett Martin to join you on “Memes and Dreams” as opposed to using a drum machine or software package like Getgood drums? How did you come to choose Martin and what was it like to work with him in the studio? “I drum a little and use getgood drums for my demoing but Brett is not just a close mate but an insane drummer and could bring the drums to life in a way I could never. We are also in a band together called Devils In the Detail with Ethan Beattie who does a guest vocal spot on the EP too! so we’ve all stayed in contact and followed each other’s bands. I Can’t state how much better he made all the parts. Incredibly lucky to know him”

If you had the opportunity to work with a guest in the studio next time around, who would you like to work with and why? “I’ve such a long list of people I would die to work with! Dream list is Parkway Drive, The Midnight, Vic Fuentes, Spencer of Ice Nine and the list goes on. All these vocalists are insane but like any musician that wants to collaborate I’m so game for it”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “I’m a firm user of helix for all things guitar and bass. I’m a sucker for Bulb’s presets, they’re just INSANE straight out the box. Other things on my pedal board that I use when I’m gigging atm are a mxr studio compressor because it adds oomph to the bass! that and a tuner and wireless kit, line 6 relay because they’re just so handy. 

Now i’m building a more sophisticated rig as currently it’s just me so id only need two outputs, one for backing tracks and one for guitar. Now i wanna up the game and build a 4U rack with a list ive been getting together and slowly ordering.

4u rack
Focusrite 18i20 
Instrument wireless (one for each guitar)
IEM wireless (LD 508 twin)
rack tuners (korg pitchblack)

Have a laptop run a reaper session that’ll have helix native on the guitar tracks that will trigger via MIDI the patches so that we can focus on playing and having a great time. Absolutely LOVE gear and all things related”

What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “It would really solidify to me that I am getting somewhere. I’ve got a wonderful string endorsement at the minute from skull strings and in an ideal world would love to have line6, GruvGear, Legator guitars, ESP guitars and LD systems. There’s a ton of other fantastic companies out there but getting each of these on board with this party metal project would be a badge of honour I would always wear!”

Memes And Dreams” by Vaughanstrosity is out now! Go check it out, you’re ear drums will thank you!

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