Calgary, Alberta's very own Viet Cong had just ripped The Deaf Institute a new asshole and as people were dispersing, I floated around the venue looking for a member of the band or one of their entourage to see if they knew where Matt (Flegel, bassist/singer) was. Monty Munro (guitar/keys) and Mike Wallace (drums) were running around downstairs like drunken, excited children because they'd just scored some weed, so I headed into the back area when Matt finally answered his phone.

He kindly bought me a beer ("do you guys tip here?") and we went for a quick cigarette, discussing the night's show, which was as raw and spectacular as you'd imagine if you've listened to the group before. Matt described the first three songs of their set (earlier numbers from Cassette) as the "shitters", a term which myself and his bandmates disagreed with. We left Monty and Mike giggling away across the street, by now presumably very high, and made for the living quarters of the Deaf, one of Manchester's finest music venues. Inside we were greeted by the support act that night, Absolutely Free, who were lining up shots of Olmeca tequila to commemorate another victorious evening on their UK tour. Don't mind if I do. Me and Matt headed for the bunk-beds.

Viet Cong's 2015 has been a whirlwind so far, with the release of their excellent self-titled debut on Jagjaguwar which has been garnering rave reviews, especially from the British press. Half of the band were members of Women, the beautiful yet abrasive art-rock outfit that produced two wonderful albums before disbanding after the untimely death of their guitar player Christopher Reimer. Viet Cong was Flegel and Wallace's response to their increasingly apparent mortality: let's pick ourselves up, carry on and create some more music in case we die soon.

The bunk-bedded, army barracks-cum-hostel style room we chose for our chat seemed to take Matt back to his childhood. "Tight quarters, this is summer camp style. Nothing has changed since I was 11 years old apparently. I had to go to Christian summer camps, my mom was super Christian. They did strange things like, 'If you love Jesus stand up on your chair!' and you'd do it just because everone else was, not because you wanted to."

What were your early music purchases like back in Calgary?

When I was young I'd have my allowance, and I'd go and buy tapes at the fucking K-Mart right down the street from where I lived, like the latest Ice Cube record. I was super into Public Enemy and that kind of music when I first started buying tapes, which is funny. And then I got into the whole grunge thing when I was in like grade five, I don't know if that's like a viable opinion as a person in the fifth grade.

How do you like it over here in the UK? Canadians tend to get on well with us English folk. I've heard about you singing the Brudenell Social Club's praises?

I feel like Britain and Canada have a tie because literally, to this day our Head of State is still the Queen of England, and I feel like we have a lot of stuff in common. We share a lot of dark humour. Nathan (of the Brudenell) must be happy I'm giving them so many props but people keep asking us about our favourite venues to play. And I dunno why, it's not particularly shiny or beautiful, it's just a nice, comfortable place. I feel like I'm just going to what you guys call 'the local'. Everyone's welcome, everyone's happy, everyone's drinking. It helps that Nath is such a chilled out dude. I think it's him and his mom that own it. I don't actually really remember the story but I definitely did walk in on his mom at one point or another when we were staying there.

It sounds like this tour is going nicely, but you've had some particularly gruelling trips across America in the past?

At one point we had literally no money whatsoever, to do anything. We had enough for the gas in our tiny little car and that was pretty much it. And I mean now, we're not rolling in dough or anything but we can afford to stay in a hotel. Or right now, in a bunk bed room in a place that used to be an institute for the deaf.

Is it true you made Cassette just so you had something physical to sell to people on tour and to sustain the tour itself?

Yeah. It's a mixtape. A lot of the things from the LP were written around the same time as the cassette, and I knew that I kinda wanted to set them aside and put those towards the next thing and build them as a real band, I guess with the four of us. Whereas the cassette was just me and Monty fucking around in his basement.

Is that generally how the songs are crafted, with you and Monty?

Basically we'll be messing around and anyone can come in with anything, any little rhythm, and I feel like I'm kind of the conduit to turn it into a song? I think generally, these days especially I just have the most time to work on something like that. In Women I brought in some things, but it was mostly Pat and then Chris, and then me maybe.

I love how people always ask you about your dark, existential lyrics when you're this funny, goofy kind of guy who doesn't come across in the way your songs suggest, at all.

I mean, we get asked this shit all the time. Lyric writing for me is an outlet for all my stupid shit. I think it's mostly funny, I mean it's very bleak and dark, but that's why I do that, so that I can stay mostly lighthearted as a human being.

How is Pat (Flegel, ex-Women guitarist/singer and brother of Matt) doing these days?

I just moved to Vancouver Island, down the West Coast of Canada with my lady friend who just got into school there, and Pat came over for Christmas because he lives in Vancouver. We had a nice small family Christmas, which I've never done because it's always a big family Christmas. It was just me, my brother and my girlfriend and it was so awesome. We just feasted and watched movies for a couple days and it was fucking awesome. So yeah Pat's been great, he was working on this project called Cindy Lee for a bunch of time. Beautiful songs, and he just records them as he hears them and then that's the recording. He just likes writing songs and recording them and that's what keeps him sane. fter Christmas he went to one of the small islands on the Gulf of Georgia off the coast of Canada and he did like twenty three songs or something and they all sounded amazing.

What's your favourite David Bowie era? You come off a bit Bowie sometimes in your vocal delivery and I know you like to bust him out at karaoke bars. Obviously that's a massive compliment.

I think I'd throw on the second side of Low more than anything, or the second side of Heroes. Of the Berlin ones, it's all about the B-sides, like from Low it'd have to be 'Warszawa'. As far as Bowie releases go, those two would be the main ones. My brother actually got me Station to Station on vinyl for Christmas and I've never really been that close to that one. I recently moved from Calgary to Vancouver Island and my brother helped me set up all my speakers, so we had speakers in the kitchen, and the first thing we listened to was Station to Station. The vocals are all over the place man, he covered so much ground. Nobody's really doing the rock star thing anymore, as far as excess goes. I mean, we drink but we're never drinking ourselves into extreme stupors.

I'm greedy so I'll ask you when we can expect your next LP on Jagjaguwar?

It's almost ready. Jagjaguwar do such a great job. I was in an interview last night in London, and I can't remember who I was talking to, and the question was like "why do you work with Jagjaguwar?" or "why did you choose this label?" and I saw like all of our Jagjag crew including Darius Van Arman, the head of the label, all carrying boxes of vinyl into the venue for us because we didn't have time to do it ourselves. They're awesome.

Viet Cong are playing worldwide dates throughout 2015. Do yourself a favour and go see them.