The Volitains hail from London and are true punk rockers at heart. Cat On The Wall’s Jo Whitby caught up with band member Nick D’Amico via email….
Cat On The Wall: First up, your website says the band formed in the summer of 2008 – can you tell us anymore about how you all got together?
Nick D’Amico: Dave and I had been jamming at a Camden rehearsal room and were waiting for the tube to go home when we spotted a rather drunk girl, Candice, singing to herself and wobbling a little. Just as the train was coming though the station she lost her footing and I had to grab hold of her so that she didn’t fall. We got chatting and the rest is history really. We still needed a good bassist though and lady luck smiled on us by delivering Hosking via an ad at our rehearsal studio in Stoke Newington.
COTW: ‘Underground’ is your first EP and it’s out on 28th June via iTunes. Are you excited about the release? Will there also be a non-digital version? What are you views on the current issues facing the music world such as downloading and the closure of music shops?
ND’A: Really excited about it, it seems to be getting a good response. We’re hoping to press a limited 7-inch but it will be after we finish our next recording session as there are a backlog of tracks we are playing live at the moment that need to be recorded. We’ve just been busy gigging and so haven’t had the time. I think the music industry is thriving for independent artists rather than labels which is great. The closing of record stores is a sad thing though. People think it’s all about illegal downloads but I’m not entirely convinced. People will buy the album if they love the band and they are the ones who’ll go to the shows. I guess maybe the relationships between big artists and fans have changed because things are often over before they have time to grow. Everything moves so quickly. However, people like Jack White have proved that a tangible product still sells when care has been taken to create something special for fans that are really in love with a band. My mates sent me pictures from the Third Man pop up retail stores and they are just mental.
COTW: Is there an album in the works too, can you tell us anything about it?
ND’A: Yeah definitely…We’ve pretty much got an album worth of songs at the moment so it’s just a matter of getting into the studio and laying them down. We’ll be going for that warmth you get from recording on tape and doing it the old fashion way in an analogue studio. We’ve got some new songs we are really excited about at the moment and just can’t wait to record them. We always put up songs on the website we haven’t recorded in the form of live clips, such as Lovely Bones which is up at the moment for anyone after a sneak preview.
COTW: You say the band is primarily a live act, why do you prefer to perform live? What’s your live set up? How do you know when you’ve had a good gig?
ND’A: We are really a punk band and that type of music always sounds like it should be in a live environment, raw and with attitude. Candice really goes crazy and creates an awesome energy on stage. Ultimately the best gigs are when the crowd gets into it, you tend not to notice if you make a mistake and just feed off them.
COTW: What is the creative process regarding songwriting in the band? Do you all have different roles or is it more of an organic creation?
ND’A: It varies from song to song although I usually write an arrangement on guitar and Candice writes a vocal melody and lyrics for it. We’ll then take it to rehearsal and Jim and Dave will add their style to it. Dave and I still jam together like we did at the beginning and a beat or riff will lead into a brand new song sometimes. Ultimately if the initial ideas are good we work on it and if they are not we chuck it out and move on.
COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?
ND’A: Recording new songs are the big priority at the moment but doing more shows are as well, so we are going to be busy. We’ve got lots planned for June and July. We’d really love to do a festival as well.
The Debut EP Underground is released on 28th June