We were lucky enough to catch up with Chris (guitar, vox) from the fantastic band VOLK. They have just released the excellent single, ‘Welcome To Cashville’. Read now!
What is your earliest music memory?
I fell in love listening to Pantera, Led Zeppelin, Dead Kennedys, Anthrax, Rage, Biohazard, L7, Soundgarden, STP, Beck, Cake…and who knows what else, in the car with my brother driving me around East Texas as a young rock padawan.
Once I heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, I was hooked to rock guitar and just wanted to play big heavy power chords and let my amp distort and feedback forever; there’s nothing more pleasing to my ears.
For Eleot (drums, vox), I know Jet and White Stripes had a huge impact in her younger years, dragging her parents to those bands concerts from an early age…also something about interpretive dancing to Loggins and Messina and Paul Simon songs as a child.
Who influenced your latest release ‘Welcome To Cashville’?
There are a plethora of Rock and Country influences in ‘Welcome to Cashville’. It’s definitely the closest we’ve gotten to capturing our ‘damn the torpedoes’ RocknRoll attitude with some cocksure Country swagger.
There are the AC/DC, ZZ Top; Motorhead inspired riffs and booming drums, as well as Bon Scott/Joan Jett, influenced snarling from both of us. The lyrics and aesthetic of the song (and definitely of the upcoming music video) is influenced by our Country Western influence: the wit and charm of Dolly Parton’s 9-5 and the sarcasm of Waylon Jennings in a song like Are you Sure Hank Done It this Way.
Also, I tried desperately to look and move as much as Dwight Yoakam as possible…because, he’s f*cking, Dwight Yoakam.
‘Welcome To Cashville’ is the first single to be taken from the forthcoming album, can you tell us any more about the album release?
The album is the whole gambit of what VOLK is about. Welcome to Cashville is definitely our slap in the face to the algorithm, cookie-cutter based drivel that saturates the airwaves. We want to shake people out of their Facebook and Netflix addicted comas and (covid safe world willing) remind them of the messy, raunchy nirvana that is loud, unfiltered, and LIVE music.
The album will take everyone on a musical rollercoaster of our influences: country, rock, blues, psychedelic, folk…other things I’m missing. You will hear “yeehaw!” in the same song with a Tom Morello whammy pedal screech, and then you’ll hear an Americana-est of Americana hometown song, then finally you’ll hear what appears to be the opening to an Ennio Morricone/Sergio Leone epic western. We got if all for you babies. Get excited!
What’s the music scene like in Nashville?
Nashville is a drinking city with a music problem, and there is great many a scene here to fall into. I guess you would say we dabble in a lot of them because of the rock’n’roll power duo ways mixed with the country-western vibe. We learned early on that Nashville’s main use for us is to tour out of though, There’s some fact nugget out there that Nashville is the city closest city to the most major US cities… or something…and when you are trying to clock 200 shows in different markets a year (pre covid of course) that is just logistically easier in a place like Nashville.
Definitely not ragging on the music scene here…cept maybe Music Row and Broadway…f*ck them. But Great rock bands like Brotherman, the Minks, Blackfoot Gypsy, Voltage Hawk, Thelma and the Sleaze, Casey Jo and the Friday Night Dads, are all Nashville gems. Also great Country and Folk acts like Sierra Ferrel, Tim Bolo, the Cowpokes, the Flying Buffaloes all call Nashville home.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
That’s a long list. We’d probably do anything to work with Robyn, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Brandon Flowers, Brittany Howard, Jack White, Sturgill Simpson, Yola, Brandi Carlisle, Steve Earle, Joan Jett, Enya, Jack White, Angus Young, Phil Collins, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Shooter Jennings, Gillian Welch, Dave Grohl, Steve Albini, Maynard James Keenan… or if we could bring Prince and Aretha back to life…ugh there are just so many amazing singers, players, songwriters, producers, engineers that we’d die to work with…this is an impossible question to coherently answer.
What’s your dream venue to play?
I can’t say for Eleot (Royal Albert Hall?), but Red Rocks is definitely my number 1. It’s just so epic. Also, I have habit of trying to climb up things with my guitar during certain parts of shows — especially during ‘Welcome to Cashville’, and I could probably get into a lot of trouble at Red Rocks.
Other than music, what are you passionate about?
The Mandalorian, Marvel Movies, Settlers of Cataan, key lime pie, occasionally sleep, and Vinyl Ranch memes.
What is your favourite song to play live?
‘Welcome to Cashville’, even though funnily enough will be the first song on the album, is always my favourite to play last. It’s like the Mariano Rivera of closing a VOLK set. Live it just gets so frenetic, and my glasses and our hats are flying off, and we’re just trying to destroy our instruments and make chaos with noise. It’s pretty therapeutic honestly.
FV Music Blog December 2020
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