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Interview with VIAL

VIAL photographed by Awa Mally
VIAL photographed by Awa Mally

VIAL are an indie punk band from Minneapolis who I recently discovered after Hassle Records announced they were releasing VIAL's new album LOUDMOUTH on vinyl over here in the UK. I instantly loved the sound of their latest single Violet and had to reach out to the band to find out more.

Hey, how are you?

Taylor: Doing so good!

Katie: Great! Thanks so much for having us!

Kate: Doing good :)

KT: We're doing lovely tonight, thank you for asking.

How would you describe VIAL’s sound to the readers?

Taylor: A nice blend of indie rock

Kate: And cathartic bone-shaking punk

Katie: We have songs all over the place in terms of genre.

KT: Our sound is a smorgasbord of every sound you've ever heard.

How did your musical journey start?

Kate: All of us have been playing music since childhood, and I think we've found our sound together.

Taylor: Me, Kate, and KT met at an after school music program, and we decided to make a band in 2019.

KT: And then we were having trouble finding a drummer and decided to go to the internet. And where did we go? Tinder!

Katie: They made a tinder account looking for a drummer, and I saw it and messaged them! The rest is history.

VIAL photographed by Bryson Christopher
VIAL photographed by Bryson Christopher

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?

Kate: I think right now I'm really into Slutever. A long standing one for me is X-ray Spex.

KT: For the new songs we've released, I think we took a lot of inspiration from bands like Dazey and the Scouts and Mannequin Pussy.

I absolutely love the sound of your latest single Violet, how was the process of making that song for you?

Taylor: Violet has been fully written since the beginning of 2020.

Kate: I think we wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote Violet over the course of 2019, and then the pandemic gave us even more time to rewrite it.

Taylor: We've been sitting on these songs for a very long time, and we're very excited for them to finally meet the world's ears :)

What would you say was the main inspiration behind the lyrics for the song?

Taylor: I was in show-choir, and there was this girl whose boyfriend was stinky. So, I was always like "oh you should just break up with him!" (and date me). And that is what Violet is about.

Kate: It's about being gay and loving women and being pretty fucking nervous about it.

Do you have a favourite lyric or line from Violet?

Taylor: My favorite is "pick me up when I've been feeling rough" because it references one of our older songs from our first record.

Katie: I really like the chant at the end saying "I would disappoint my mama for you!" because it has wholesome vibes.

You have also recently released ‘Roadkill’. What can you tell us about that song?

Kate: Love it! It was one of the first songs we started writing all together lyric wise. KT came up with that sweet and sexy riff, but lyrically I remember having so much fun coming up with the lyrics together. It was so fun to riff off of each other.

Katie: We didn't originally intend for the song to be a murder ballad, but it just sort of worked out that way. We took inspiration from "Goodbye Earl" by The Chicks and "Becky" by be your own PET.

KT: It's a song about being mad and screaming at men.

You have been described as a band who is focused on activism in diversity and inclusion in the music scene, which I think is incredible and something I am also super passionate about. Was it a conscious decision for you as a band to be open and vocal about the diversity issues in the music industry?

KT: Yes, it's always been something that we've been really passionate about.

Kate: We've dealt with a lot of not-so-great stuff as non-men in the scene and it has pushed us to work towards a better and more inclusive music scene for everybody. I think that it is a constant conversation in the band on how we can do more to uplift marginalized voices and create a live show environment that is open and supportive to everybody in our scene.

What do you hope listeners take away from listening to VIAL?

Taylor: I hope they feel emboldened to speak their mind and maybe write music themselves!

Kate: I hope that they find something they can relate to and good tunes to jam out to with their friends and scream the lyrics.

VIAL photographed by Liam Taylor
VIAL photographed by Liam Taylor

I can imagine seeing VIAL perform live would be amazing, do you have any plans for shows in the near future?

KT: We have an upcoming show in our hometown of Minneapolis scheduled for July 31st.

Katie: The show is at the Fine Line, and we will be playing with some amazing bands including Gully Boys, Bugsy, and Dad Bod!

What’s next for VIAL?

Kate: Returning to shows! Hopefully we'll be going on the road soon.

Taylor: We're always writing new stuff, so hopefully even more new VIAL songs will be coming out after LOUDMOUTH.

And lastly, what music have you been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend to us?

KT: I've been listening to the new Tyler The Creator album along with the Illuminati Hotties album "FREE I.H: This Is Not the One You've Been Waiting For".

Taylor: I have been listening to the new Mannequin Pussy EP "Perfect".

Kate: I have been listening to the Poly Styrene solo album "Translucence".

Katie: I have been listening to a band called Bad Waitress and their new single "Pre Post-Period Blues"

VIAL photographed by Bryson Christopher
VIAL photographed by Bryson Christopher

Thank you so much to VIAL for taking the time to answer those questions for us, it's super appreciated. Make sure you go and listen to Violet and Roadkill on your platform of choice as you wait for the release of LOUDMOUTH, which I am very excited for. Be sure to follow VIAL on their social media pages so that you don't miss any announcements.

Thanks for reading, until next time...

Listen to VIAL on Spotify here.

Follow VIAL on Instagram here.

Pre-Order LOUDMOUTH from Hassle Records here.

All After Midnight links here.

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