As 2008 came to a close I began to reflect on all of the albums I listened to, concerts and festivals I went to and bands I discovered. One band in particular Leeds, UK via New York City band Your Vegas was one that stuck out in my mind. I was introduced to them at this summers Lollapalooza festival in Chicago and saw them tear the place apart. Hundreds of kids jumping up and down and seriously getting into their set. I was not only entranced by their music and performance, but I knew as soon as I got back home to New York I had to get their album. The band's debut A Town and Two Cities has taken this small band to some big places. I had the opportunity to interview bassist Jon Langford, we spoke about the bands music, their connection to America, and being on the road with Duran Duran and The Bravery. Read my interview below:
1) You are originally from the UK and now New York based. After living and working on both sides, do you think they types of music on both sides of the pond differ?
Jon Langford: I think they used to but nowadays, because of modern technology and the close relationship the UK and the US have in a cultural sense, the pond has been bridged so to speak. It's not like in the old days when certain types of music was found in pockets. Like in Liverpool, during the late 50's kids there would get music that sailors brought in to the docks with them from the US that you couldn't get anywhere else in the country.
2) Does living in NYC have a new effect on your music?
JL: Living in NYC is inspiring. I think it would inspire artists of any type. I don't think it significantly changed our style though because that's taken from our influences.
3) Does living in the changing America have a new effect on your music?
JL: It's an exciting time to be living in America. It was an amazing experience to be living here when Obama got in and it was great to be a part of such an historical moment.
4) It is hard to avoid the fact that the big British sound is making itself known again the world over. Did you come to America, to get away from that so you would not be just another band from the UK?
JL: For us coming to America seemed like a natural thing. It just happened and we rolled with it. It didn't seem like a big deal.
5) Escape seems to be a recurring theme in the bands song lyrics and band name. What is it that Your Vegas is escaping from?
JL: Everyone has things that they want to escape from. It may be the mundane routines of everyday life. It may be a job you're stuck in that you hate. Music has always offered this escape for both the listener and the creator.
6) You just got off the road with Duran Duran. Was playing in front of their crowds a challenge or different than playing in front of your usual audience?
JL: Well we toured with Duran Duran back in the Spring so we knew what to expect this time. Last time we toured with them Coyle had a broken foot so he was rooted to the spot. This time he was free to run around the stage, which made a huge difference.
7) Did you pick up any tricks of the trade from Duran Duran while on the road?
JL: They are all amazing musicians so it was great for us to watch them every night. I loved watching the rhythm section. John Taylor and Roger Taylor are two of the all time greats. But then I'm a bassist so I would watch them.
8) You also toured with The Bravery a few times this year. What kind of releationship gets conjured up while being on the road for so long?
JL: Those guys are great. We toured with them for months. We had a blast with them. Whenever we're on the road with other bands we love hanging out and making friends with them. Every band we've ever toured with is in our top friends on myspace and you know when someone's in your top friends on myspace it means that you will be best friends forever.
Thanks so much to Jon and Your Vegas. Best of luck in the New Year!
In My Head
Your Vegas video for "In My Head" (Above) / Your Vegas cover The Beatles "Blackbird" (Below)