Out the back of The Garage in Highbury & Islington, our writer Jake got to sit down with the up and coming Scottish band Vukovi who are currently supporting Set It Off on their tour across the UK and Europe.
How did Vukovi start?
Hamish Reilly (guitar): Jesus! Ah… in 2010, we had our old bass player in the band. Rory didn’t work out very well. Martin, our old drummer, knew Janine and was like let’s get her to audition. It was literally one audition and that was fucking it! Can we swear in this? She brought a grand piano which was pretty rad as well.
Janine Shilstone (vocals): Yeah, it was weird because things feel like they are meant to be, and things clicked into place timing wise. The week before I was in another band, literally my first ever band and had never even gigged. It was these older guys who kicked me out because I was a girl.
Obviously wasn’t the right band!
JS: Yeah, exactly, like at the time I was a bit like, “for fuck’s sake,” but I knew nothing about the music industry at the time. I just thought it was cool that I was in a band! If Martin had messaged me literally a week prior, I would have said I’m in another band. I always think back to that moment.
Definitely that now or never sort of thing.
JS: Yeah, it was just perfectly timed.
As we went to progress to the next question, Janine stopped for a moment.
JS: You have an ant on your thumb! Imagine If that was your pet!
We managed to lose the ant and proceeded with the interview.
How has the second studio album’s writing process differed from the self-titled?
JS: I honestly feel like our writing has improved so much, we have learned so much. I feel like me and Hamish personally have improved, and I dunno…
Well ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’ is phenomenal, especially coming from the self-titled.
JS: Well thank you, I’m hoping that you’re not the only person who thinks that!
HR: That was pretty much the first song that was written as well actually! That’s why it kinda sounds like first album-y.
I know I wasn’t the only one trying to find out what ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’ stands for until I saw that photo on social media!
JS: I still get asked quite a lot!
HR: I’m pretty sure not everyone has seen it!
What essentials do you guys bring on tour?
HR: I bring Vitamin C every time, as lame as that sounds! But we always get ill, I feel ill today.
JS: Oh this blow-up bed. I got it from Argos for like 40 quid? Built-in sleeping bag, battery bump and honestly it is the best money I have ever spent.
Sometimes the smallest things can be the best things!
JS: We could honestly sleep in a dog kennel…
At least you would have a bed!
HR: Oh and a hairdryer!
JS: Oh aye, yeah.
HR: A hairdryer for sure, otherwise my hair is fucked.
Where does your unique interaction with fans come from? Such as taking phones from fans on stage etc. You actually did that to me in Antwerp!
JS: Did I give it back to you?
Yeah of course!
JS: Ah… to be honest, I didn’t copy it from anybody or anything, and that’s not what I’m trying to say or anything… honestly I just sometimes don’t like the attention being on me. So I use those things as a distraction. Even though I know they are still watching me, the focus is more on the object at that moment. I like interacting with the photographers, you know like most shows they can only shoot three songs and then go?
Yeah, most headline shows these days.
JS: I like the photographers being there throughout the set, they are such a good distraction. I get to play about with them. Aye, it’s weird!
You have the headline tour coming up in May and June, are you excited?
HR: It’s weird, because this tour goes right into that tour, by like three days or something like that. We are going to stay in Germany for a couple of days between the two. It won’t even feel like our own tour, more like okay more shows here we go! Are you coming to any of the shows?
Yeah! The Underworld show.
HR: It’s gonna be amazing. We are used to having a twenty to thirty-minute set and then now a full fifty five minute set every night! Fuuuuck!
The next single, comes out on April 26th, so can we expect any other new songs on the headline tour?
HR: Apart from the new single? Yeah! One of them we are going to be opening with tonight! It’s just such a good opener, we basically decided it’s gonna open the album.
JS: It’s personally my favourite song as well!
HR: It’s very in line with ‘Animal’ and in the same sort of key and that sort of stuff as well.
Make sure to catch Vukovi on their headline tour across the UK this May and on June 4th at the Underworld in Camden!