Vivian Girls: Back to New York City Girls

Text: Panayiotis Fetsis
Photo:Olly Hearsey

Since their formation in 2007, the Vivian Girls have clearly achieved too much in a very small amount of time. Last yearʼs ʻEverything Goes Wrongʼ helped propel them to universal acceptance and showed the girls had both vision and guts to stay. Cassie Ramone (guitar/vocals) speaks to OZON about her band, Brooklyn and vinyl obsessions.

-In the beginning, did you have any aspirations of becoming a well-known band or was it just for fun?

It was just for fun, but at the same time we were very serious about what we did. We had no greater aspirations than to play fun shows, tour, and put out records. The fact that weʼve been able to do more than that has been amazing but nothing more than a total bonus.

-Given the fact that you do concerts in Europe, Australia, Asia etc., have you ever felt disconnected from your fanbase back at home?

Weʼve definitely felt disconnected from our friends and family, but itʼs been such an honour getting to play in so many places that it doesnʼt really matter. ʻEverything Goes Wrongʼ showcased a much fuller sound and richer production comparing to your debut. Do you think you have a clearer view on how your band should sound?

I think the older our band gets, the clearer of an idea we have. At the beginning we didnʼt really care about production at all – as time goes on we care more about it. I think that on our future albums weʼll fine-tune our sound even more. Plus, our ideas are always evolving – our band is never gonna be exactly one way for too long.
-Do you consider playing music your day job right now? Do you feel more professional or disciplined?

Absolutely, but overall we still want to have a loose, fun garage rockfeel. Weʼve gotten really serious about making music our career, but we arenʼt trying to be robots onstage.

-Along with bands like Crystal Stilts, Cause Co-Motion! and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, do you feel like representing and ultimately forming a sort of a ʻmusic sceneʼ in NewYork? Does everyone there have a band?

In a way. However, there are plenty of amazing bands from New York that arenʼt getting as much media attention, that are just as vital to the scene as the bands you mentioned. Not everyone has a band, but pretty much everyone is involved in some way – from booking shows to working at shows, from making art to promoting. Everyone helps each other out in some way, and as a result the scene is really special.

-Youʼve started running Wild World Records. The label is releasing only 7ʼʼ so far. Any plans of releasing full- length albums through this company?
We actually have released 2 full-length albums – Yellow Feverʼs singles compilation and my old band Bossyʼs complete recordings. Basically, we donʼt have enough time at the moment to fully focus on being a record label, but weʼre hoping in the future we can do many more releases from bands we love – either LP or 7”.

-Do you think that more people should prefer buying vinyls other than CDs?

Sure. In my opinion, CDs are pretty much obsolete due to digital downloading, and vinyl is more beautiful and way less disposable. Also, vinyl sounds a lot warmer and less harsh. But in the end, people can do whatever they want.

-How do you combine the ferocious energy of your music with the melodic sensibility of your vocal parts? Are you more punk or more pop oriented in the artists you love?

Absolutely split evenly between both. My two musical heroes are Burt Bacharach and the Wipersʼ Greg Sage and even though they seem to be totally different. I think that if you listened to both artists for long enough youʼd be able to see the similarities in their sounds. Theyʼre both masters of creating incredibly sad music,
but at the same time melodic and hopeful.

-Got any new favorite bands these days?

Iʼve been obsessed with Steely Dan lately. One of the best new bands from Brooklyn is Dutch Treat. They
sound kinda like Fleetwood Mac, and they write great songs.

Link: Vivian Girls MySpace