Zoey Van Goey // The 405 Interview
Having recently released their strong second album, Propeller Versus Wings, Zoey Van Goey seem to be settling into what has turned into a successful little career. Their possibly twee pop has grown in confidence and the band could now begin to be considered to be among the big boys of the genre. With this in mind we caught up with them, and asked the trio a variety of questions. Your second album, Propellor versus wings, has just come out. Are you proud of it? Kim: We ar... (continued)
Having recently released their strong second album, Propeller Versus Wings, Zoey Van Goey seem to be settling into what has turned into a successful little career. Their possibly twee pop has grown in confidence and the band could now begin to be considered to be among the big boys of the genre. With this in mind we caught up with them, and asked the trio a variety of questions. Your second album, Propellor versus wings, has just come out. Are you proud of it? Kim: We are proud like a mum and 3 dads...that sounds a bit wrong. Do you feel it's a progression, or musical shift from your first album, or is it a variation on the same theme? K: Progression....not prog enough would be what I'd think....but the boys would say it has been a progression in ways of confidence from us all I think, we are a bit older, not much wiser though, musically the songs all brewed over a shorter length of time from more of a collaborative process in writing so you have more of a mish mash of personalities I think....which I think and hope is a good thing, there isn't a theme musically, though I'm sure if you knew the four of us you could pick out bits of each of quite easily on the record perhaps, and this we hope ties the record together in a musical aesthetic of sorts! We just wrote songs we all thought were good. Did you find writing your second album a more difficult experience than your first? K: Adam J Scott joined us for the writing of this album so yeah....it was pretty tough...he's a nightmare....too many good ideas and he not only plays bass but jumps on any other instrument on the studio and mic he can find at any given opportunity. The Scott added a lot of zen and musical wonderfulness to the mix, the 3 of us perhaps disagreed a bit more on some things, as we're all maybe more confident in individual aesthetics as well as knowing when something works for all of us, and adding another person to the mix, can lead to head banging against walls sometimes, but it's worth it in the end as the broken bones make a better song in the end. Time is also a scary thing, we were all studying when we made the first album so loads of time free to meet up all the time we practically lived at Michael Johns house all 3 of us. Then we all got day jobs, that luckily we all love and are music based too but this means getting time off together to write happens more in blocks, we take little holidays together, this time we went to my parents house and stayed for a few days and wrote most of the seeds of songs for the second album there. (thanks mum and dad!) You'll always seemed to me to be a very nostalgic band, is this the case? Adam: Martin, our manager, always says nostalgia isn't what it used to be. Do you associate yourselves with the twee scene? K: I've never understood what Twee means? Define Twee for me, and what the Twee scene is and I'll answer this question. Are your lyrics all written from personal experience, or is there an element of story telling in there? K: Though I sing a lot of the songs alone or with Matt, I've never written much in way of lyrics in the band, So I'll let MJ or Matt who are lyric writers answer this. Matt: It's always both. I'm a huge fan of story-telling and lyrics that involve situations which are more exciting than my average day, but when I write story-lyrics they inevitably draw from personal experiences of mine or people that I know. With the songs written from personal experiences, is it uncomfortable to sing about such intimate experiences on stage and record? K: Again, they are not written from direct experiences of myself but of Matt and MJ. I do feel I can relate to 99 percent of them, and It wouldn't work for me to sing them if I couldn't. There are definitely a few I feel that if I could find the words to describe certain situations I've been in then they would have been the perfect words to express that time, place, person, myself even. There have been songs we've abandoned in the past as I can't relate to them enough and get behind them emotionally. There are a few that I do sometimes get emotional singing as I've attached people and times to those songs that are hard to think about. I can't say for Matt though, who sings most of the male lead vocals on the record. M: It's not something that has ever bothered me, because for me once you write a song it starts to attract other meanings and move away from its origins. It's always interesting to compare what other people read into our lyrics versus what we thought they meant. Plus I find it much more uncomfortable to be hanging out waiting to go onstage than when I'm singing onstage. Are you back touring again? How are you finding that? K: We have just come off a support tour in Europe with Belle and Sebastian. It was one of the best experiences as a band and personally I think for all of us...ever...we feel so incredibly lucky and thankful to have been given the opportunity to play in such amazing places and venues and with such an amazing band and production crew. The audiences were very generous and welcoming, in Cologne, Rotterdam, Brussels and Paris, we hope we'll be back one day! We will be touring in May and early June, a few dates ourselves in the UK and hope to make it back to Europe in the autumn fingers crossed. I love playing live, we all do, and we want to do more please, it's always too short, so here's hoping for more very soon in the future! We'll let you know... Do you feel you've grown in confidence as a live act over the years? Kim: I think we have definitely, personally when I first started playing with Mj and Matt, I'd never sung outside a choir before, I'd never been in a band and was very unsure of my voice and general capabilities to perform without stuttering my way through a song, I still get incredibly nervous, but I think that's a good thing, you should always feel like you need to work at something and get better at what you do, and you should never take it for granted that your audience will like you, they might have a rotten tomato or two, a shoe or something worse maybe even a robot trex of their own making, you never know, especially playing places you know not a soul! Have you already started planning, or writing new material? K: We have indeed, we're talking about getting away in the summer to write some songs and individually we have bits and bobs we're working on as well to bring into the band and make happen. We've chatted already about sound, and how we might want to record the next album too, but it changes all the time! so we shall see. But hungry for more writing and playing and recording and playing and making and all. What have you been listening to lately? K: I've been listening to alot of Neko Case this year, she is amazing and an inspiring songwriter and saw NoAge do an amazing set in Rotterdam so stuck their record Weirdo Rippers on tonight, been introduced to some 'Doc Watson' recently which I'm also loving. Adam introduced MJ to Ornette Coleman's music recently so they were humming an Ornette tune called 'The Blessing' whilst we were on tour.
Zoey Van Goey