We Talked to Vomitface About Keeping It Real, Playing Loud, and Hating Rich Kids
The Jersey City band is touring in support of their new EP and getting ready to record their first full-length with the legendary Steve Albini.
Video directed by Alex Smith
A few months ago, we premiered a track from Vomitface's newest EP. It was an continues to be one of the best songs VICE has had the pleasure of premiering, and so when the Jersey City band reached out to us with a new music video, we were more than happy to help give it a push. There are too many bands in the world, most of them terrible, but all the shit makes the rare great band even more exceptional—Vomitface is one of those gems.
They play gut-blasting sludgy music that takes all the wimpiness out of indie rock and makes you want to move around. Their lyrics are intelligently tongue-in-cheek without being annoying. They've transcended all the hipster garbage New York seems to use as its cultural fuel and instead have chosen to crank out genuinely creative tunes at a maniacal clip. They're not exactly "punk," since punk died a long time ago, but they embody the confrontational ethos of the old punk rockers.
I tracked the band down to chat a little bit about the video, rich kids, and the rash of nostalgia-baiting bands in NYC right now.
VICE: How'd you come up with the concept for this video? Were there any specific visual influences?
Jared Micah: Alex, the director, approached us after a show saying that he wanted to do a video with this specific concept. We were in the midst of writing the new EP, and so we kind of recorded the track with his concept in mind. The video is more of a collaborative piece rather than a promotional companion to the song.
When filming began, all we knew is that we would be in this terrifying space, running from Alex, who would be chasing us with a camera—and, we would soon learn, maniacally screaming at us for motivation. We still can't decide if it was more frightening or disgusting down there. After a long night of shooting/running, we were all exhausted, and it was so dusty we were blowing gray crap out of our noses for days.
How do you approach the over-saturated East Coast music world? Which bands do you find yourselves listening to most?
We actually started pursuing the band seriously in an effort to counteract what—at the time—we considered to be the prevailing musical trends in the NYC area, i.e. reverb-saturated nostalgia bait. We wanted something loud but melodic and not rigidly bound by a specific genre. When we first started booking shows, we struggled to find similar artists to play with, but gradually we came across a lot of bands with similar ideas, so that was reassuring.
The real problem with band overpopulation is that in New York, specifically, there are too many spoiled little shits in bands. Those people take away opportunities from the more deserving and talented. But rich people have always done that. I would just rather that bullshit happen in the Financial District and not at a DIY venue.
Oh man, I could not agree with you more.
Yeah. Not to say there isn't a supportive element to the East Coast music world (especially outside of New York), but the sheer saturation of bands does make for a very competitive "scene." For better or worse, we have a natural aversion to or inability to deal with scene politics, so we try to keep a distance and concentrate on developing ourselves. We already have jobs for that kind of drama. Music is the escape from that kind of pettiness.
My biggest problem with music journalism is everyone tries to compare things to other things. Without using the names of other bands, how would you describe your sound?
We just make a mix of what we like and can all agree on. And I guess what we all agree on is loud music of some kind. If that reminds a lazy writer of some other band, that's fine. Go ahead and write that band down and turn in your review so you can get through your queue and Instagram yourself drinking craft beer on a rooftop.
Watch it, buddy.
Preetma Singh: I guess that's where the grunge comparison comes in. Melodies! Guitars! Fuzz! It must be grunge revival! It must be Nirvana! As if grunge was even a monolithic genre to begin with.
What are your future plans?
Micah: We're finishing up writing the material for our first full-length that we're recording with Steve Albini in July. We have a show this week at Northside Festival, and then we'll be touring around throughout the summer in support of the EP.
Singh: Hopefully shattering some (post-)millennial optimism along the way.
I'm amazed Albini hasn't gone deaf yet. Thanks Vomitface. We love you.
Buy Vomitface's new EP here.