Sunday, August 22, 2010


When you see Nico Vega at first you think they are just some Yeah Yeah Yeah's rip off. After you hear them, you also think they are from New York, the truth of the matter is that they are neither. Nico Vega is a trio from LA that are making waves in the business right now. Just because they are fronted by a woman, Aja Volkman and play a combo of garage meets punk meets electro does not make them a new Yeah Yeah Yeah's. What makes Nico Vega are their extremely fun and intense live shows and their thirst for success and it will be quenched, soon enough. The band has been on the road all year in support of their 2009 self-titled debut and have been opening for bands such as The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Semi Precious Weapons and Metric and gaining fans at each and every show. I had the opportunity to speak with the band's fun and carefree frontwoman Aja, as we discussed the band's roots, touring and who the hell Nico Vega really is?! Take a look at my interview with Aja below..

Where does the name Nico Vega come from? Is it a real person like Lynyrd Skynyrd?

Yes, actually it is. She was a our original drummer's mother. She carried a sort of legacy that has truly effected all of us in the band. She died from the side effects of prescription anti depressants. I used to take prescription antidepressants for years. It seemed that everyone was quick to diagnose, and prescribe, but as soon as I decided I wanted to get off of them, and address my issues with a more holistic approach, no doctors would help me get off. It was a liability for them. That felt irresponsible to me. I finally found an amazing alternative healthcare practitioner that was willing to help me.
In Nico Vega, we believe that part of what makes us beautiful are the differences between us. Prescription drugs when abused, and over prescribed can be a tool for conformity. They really took away my artistic edge, and motivation after a few years, and coming off of them always made me unstable until they were completely out of my system. Sometimes we view things as medicine, when they are in fact dangerous drugs. Don't underestimate the long term effects.

Being from LA, what influence has the city had on your style and sound?

Well, the sun has played into our music quite a bit I believe. And just being outside all the time in the warmth. We tend to wear very little at times as well. Anytime you are in a big city, it effects your style. When I go back home to Oregon, I feel overdressed always. We tend to only shop second hand. I am a firm believer in recycling clothes, and its fun to create your own style that way.

You hail from LA, but you sound like a New York band mixed with British flavor. Who are some of your influences?

We love everything. Country creeps in, funk creeps in, blues, metal, indie. I guess our Ideal tour would be either The White stripes, Dead Weather, Kings of Leon, QOTSA, Radiohead, Muse, The Killers, really any amazing big rock act. But our influences are all over the place. Mostly old music.

Prior to releasing your debut, you had done a string of EPs. Will you be doing the same before the next record? Or will it just be all new material on a new album?

I think we just want to make a record, but you never know. We have one unreleased EP right now.

On your debut you worked with the legendary Linda Perry, what was that experience like?

She is Amazing. A really powerful personality, and artist. It was life changing.

You released your debut last year, what is it like now that the album has been out for a bit and constant touring? Is the fan base growing?

The fan base is growing a lot. We have really been behind this record since day one, and everyone involved has been behind it too. We are ready to make new music, but this record cycle doesn't feel done yet.

There have been many comparisons to Nico Vega as being a mix between The White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. How do you respond to such comparisons?

Love it. We respect and adore both those bands. Its inevitable to be compared to someone. Thank god its those great bands.

I was first introduced to you when you opened for Soundtrack of Our Lives at Irving Plaza in New York City. What was it like touring with those guys? The crowd and Soundtrack of Our Lives had such high praise for you, what is it like getting such high remarks?

We fell in love with them, Ebbot (TSoOL Singer) is really something special. I think we would have done a world tour with them if it was lined up. Pure love between us.

You toured all summer with Semi-Precious Weapons when they were not on the road with Lady Gaga. This proved to be the craziest club tour of the summer. How are they and what has it been like?

We have been friends with them for about 2 years. THey are undeniably the greatest live band we have ever seen, and Justin Trentor is the brightest star I know. We would do anything for them. They have been great to us, and you are right....touring with them is wild.

What is next for Nico Vega once the summer ends?

Lets make a new effing record!! Its our favorite thing to do!!!