It's not very often you get the chance to interview such a well known and quite famous band, but when the opportunity arises you grab it with both hands. In this case that band is The Virginmarys, a band that I have criminally overlooked for a while now yet once I gave their new EP, Sitting Ducks, a spin I immediately realised what I had been missing out on. With such heavy guitars, really unique and powerful vocals and some surprisingly catchy songs. It's no wonder that these guys have accumulated the die hard fan base that they currently have. I had the chance to chat with frontman Ally Dickaty about Sitting Ducks, EP covers and... singing on cliffs:
Q. Firstly, the name is incredibly religious but where did the idea come from and to not include a space?
VM: Me and Dan, we're in a bar in LA and overheard some guys talking about a club of that name, it always stuck with us and here we are.
We're not religious guys and the idea to have no gap in the name was that we preferred the look and vibe of it.
Q. The EP, Sitting Ducks, comes out soon. Where did that name come from?
VM: The EP Sitting Ducks is named after one of the songs on it. Sitting Ducks means easy targets for being shot at/attacked, at least in my head it does.
Q. The cover for Sitting Ducks is... disturbing. How did that come about?
VM: Dan does all the artwork for the band. He had several ideas for the cover where it was taking 'classic' images and exchanging the heads.
I guess it is a little dark, there has always been a darkness to the band, I think it's a great design, and fits in perfectly.
Q. Who were your biggest influences on the EP?
VM: I was listening to a lot of 60's soul and 70's disco, it has more of an upbeat feel to our last record. We always like to mix it up a bit.
Q. How much help did you require to finalise the EP?
VM: We've pretty much done everything ourselves and got people we respect to engineer, mix and master. It's been a really big learning curve for us as we've been used to working with labels and producers. A hell of a lot of work has gone into it.
Q. How long has it taken to create?
VM: I was working on these songs since last September so it's taken a long time. Me and Dan worked a lot on the preproduction before we went in to record it for real.
Q. The EP is heavy for the most part, but Through The Sky really slows it down and it's a perfect break in the EP. What was the creative direction behind that?
VM: The dynamics of the music has been a massive part of the band and I think a big reason why we have such die hard fans. There's many layers within the music. We always like to mix stuff up and keep things interesting whilst always having that sound and vibe that ties it all together.
Q. The actual song Sitting Ducks is a personal favourite, what's your favourite song on the EP?
VM: My favourite song on the EP is probably Through The Sky.
I like the riff and melody of it, it's probably one of the happiest lyrics you'll ever hear in a VMS song, also had fun doing the guitar solo on it.
Q. Let's talk about the Sweet Loretta video, how much control did you guys have over the direction of the video?
VM: We had all the control over it, it was our project.
Q. Have you ever stood on a cliff and screamed the words to Sweet Loretta?
VM: It's a regular occurrence for me, it's how I start my days. Maybe not Sweet Loretta all the time but other stuff, it's a helpful release before I get going with my day.
Q. You're gaining phenomenal amounts of support, what is it like having all of these people anticipating and pre-ordering the EP?
VM: It's incredible. We couldn't ask for more from our fans, they always surprise us.
With it being the first time that we've done this ourselves it's been amazing to see the great reviews and response it's picking up.
Q. How excited are you to finally release Sitting Ducks into the world?
VM: Yeah, really excited. It's what it's all about, releasing music.
After all the hard work that goes into it, it's a really cool feeling to have it finally released.
Q. And selling out shows as well, what can we expect from your live shows?
VM: Everything, nothing is left on the stage. We always give it everything.
It's an intense experience.
Q. What's next for The Virginmary's after the release of Sitting Ducks?
VM: More shows and more music.
Writing, creating, releasing and performing is the most important thing.
Visit The Virginmarys' Website
Follow The Virginmarys on Twitter
See The Virginmarys on Tour
Listen to The Virginmarys on Spotify