With Vib Gyor about to record their next single - "Secret" - Victoria Holdsworth caught up with the Leeds band at Beached 2006
These lovely Leeds boys not only delve into the depths of life in Leeds and their own musical careers, but also provide an insight into their love of a little wooden parrot! Ladies and Gentlemen - I give you Vib Gyor! Well Dave Fendick [singer] and Jonny Mulroy [guitars and effects] - Jonny Hooker [drums/vocals] is amongst the masses somewhere outside getting piss wet through!
Most publications I've read about you guys always state you were frustrated by everyday life in Leeds - What was it that frustrated you so much that you decided to form a band?
DF: Well I suppose we just had great bigger ambitions to do something different and being in a band is something that we all really wanted to do. We're not actually based in the middle of Leeds but we all sort of live on the outskirts. Jonny [sat next to him] lives in Halifax and I'm in between Wakefield and Leeds. It's more just the frustrations of what there is to do in those sorts of places. We all just wanted to be in a band and be really successful and travel round and entertain and all that kind of stuff. That's really what it's all about.
The response over the past 2 years to you has been phenomenal - however the biggest buzz about you seems to have been coming from Stateside. Have you found America more receptive to your kind of music?
DF: Definitely, I'd say so. You see things are quite different in the UK at the moment. You have your EMO scene and then you've got the skinny jean kinda Razorlight sort of scene, and we're not part of either of those scenes, and nor do we want to be part of those scene, we want to just do what we want to do.
JM: I think America is a lot more receptive to the whole stadium sound anyway and gig anthems and are more open to bands like Radiohead and all that kind of stuff seems to get better received over there.
What is the difference between the attention you receive in the States compared to the UK with regards to gig crowds?
DF: I think in the UK you get a kind of stereotypical crowd, where as in America you can be a bit more honest in your music and your playing, and they pick up on that very quickly and unlike the UK, where they constantly compare you to Coldplay etc.
JM: In America you can just be who you want to be and they judge you on your own merits so to speak.
DF: It's all good.
You've played to some pretty big sell out crowds, with the likes of Goldfrapp. What has been the best and worst gig of your music career to date?
JM: I think the worst one we ever did was down in London, we played in like this cellar bar, and when we started, we only had about three or four songs that we had put out on a little EP thing, and we got invited to go down to do a showcase in London and it all happened really quickly, and we weren't even really a proper band, it was an absolute nightmare, I actually broke my guitar in the first song!
DF: I think that's somehow kind of a blessing though, because some bands get picked up quite quickly by certain labels, and sometimes they're just not ready but get pushed into the limelight, they're just not ready for it.
JM: I think if that had been us, we'd have died on our arses by now [laughs to nods of agreement from DF] We've just matured as a band together, and sort of settled down with each other and calmed down.
DF: We just basically hid ourselves away for a year. That was the worst gig, but the best gig... er... I liked playing Glastonbury last year.
You had an EP available to download which was entitled 'The Stalker' - since your fame has been increasing, have any of you gotten any stalkers yet?
JM: Well we do have some strange fans! But in a good way [laughs] I mean, we have people that find out about us and they come to like eight gigs in a row and then they just disappear, and we get a lot of people from MySpace.
DF: Yeah! We had this woman called Marie, who flew over from Majorca to come and see us and she'd bought me, like, this porcelain angel that she wanted me to have and then she started calling me on emails, my darling! and all this sort of stuff and that said she had a dream about me last night, and I was dressed as Sir Lancelot and you fell out of the clouds and I rescued you and an angel came and saved you and all this... WEIRD!
JM: We had a girl from America mail us over, everyone in the band a woolly hat. They weren't normal hats either, I think she had made them, they were all multi coloured and stuff with bits in, it was just a very strange thing to do.
I asked the lads if they would have been more impressed with one giant hat for them all to wear at once - they concur - so if that girl ever reads this article - the message is 'You'd better get some bigger knitting needles'
DF: There's another woman in New York as well who keeps sending me dirty emails, like I'm wearing lace knickers and she can't stop thinking about me, and it just gets weirder and weirder!
JM: It brightens up the day, we love it!
So what are Vib Gyor all about for the small percentage of the world who haven't heard of you yet?
DF: The thing is we just try and write for ourselves, we don't try and write for anybody else and if people like it - then they like it and if they don't, well we're not going to compromise.
JM: When we first started writing, labels would try and say stuff like, 'Oh you want to do a bit more of this or a bit more of that' so you don't believe what you're doing. We want to be around in years to come, with memorable songs and more so the music behind it.
Your music seems to have a mass appeal to a large cross over for indie/rock/pop/alternative music lovers alike. Was that something you initially tried to create or is that just something you were just fortunate to have as a magic ingredient?
JM: Hmmm magic ingredient, I like that!
DF: We haven't really tried to create anything really.
JM: It's like, when I joined the band, I knew Dave had a really incredible voice and I think that he just appeals to so many different types of people and there's always that connection with most crowds. [asking DF] Would you agree with that?'
DF: Yeah I'd agree with that. [laughs]
Speaking of magic ingredients - If you could sneeze porridge or fart baked beans - Which one would you chose to do?
DF: Go on Jonny! answer the question!
JM: Ooh I don't know we're both fans of porridge though.
DF: You could have a nappy if you farted baked beans, and then no one would see it, but if you sneeze porridge it could be like a whole breakfast experience. Which ever one you did - you would have a nice red glow about you [laughs]
JM: Have you been stalking us? [laughs] Can we not answer a cheese question? Although I don't really like red Leicester, I'd be more of a baby bel, or something stinky, the stinkier the better. Oooh can you get smoked Edam?
Now turning my attention to Dave for a moment. There are a few statements you have made in the past, which I'm sure our readers would like a little bit more clarification on.
DF: Oh No! [laughs]
You have said that you always wanted to be an actor - what actor and their film would you say represents your Vib Gyor journey so far?
DF: When did I say that?
It was a radio interview you did 2 years ago in Berlin.
DF: Oh god! Right! Errr... my favourite actor at the moment is a guy called Paddy Considine, who is in 'Dead Mans Shoes' but he's also in The Artic Monkeys video, and I'm really pissed off about that, because I wanted him to be in our video.
JM: He wasn't in The Artic Monkeys video.
DF: Yes he is Jonny - So, yeah! Him and the film, I fancy myself being a bit mad like that and following people round shooting them.
So, are we going to see Vib Gyor dominate the UK music scene more this year? And what are your plans for the next 12 months?
DF: Hopefully, we've got a single coming out November time, called 'Secret' and we're going into the studio next week to record it. We might be doing a video as well and hopefully take on the world in the New Year.
As I thank the lads for their time, they are awarded a small wooden parrot that we won earlier in the day, on a raffle in Scarborough. They're chuffed, the crowd is still wet through, as they disappear off into the night with their new parrot friend, who incidentally is featured on their MySpace page - Vib Gyor parrot worshipping.
If you didn't see these guys at The Leeds Festival, you missed an aural treat, I'd encourage anyone to listen to them. These guys can wipe the floor with Coldplay anyday, in my humble opinion. They're gonna blow the UK apart very soon I hope. [not literally though - that would just be mean and silly]