INTERVIEW: The Virginmarys
They’re a force to be reckoned with, both in their sound and in terms of the buzz surrounding them. The Virginmarys are a trio from Macclesfield, England, currently anticipating their next tour through the west coast of the states. We caught up with Matt, Ally, and Danny to talk about life on the road and their new album:
B&E: For those reading that have never heard The Virginmarys, describe your sound:
Matt: Honest, energetic and passionate rock music from England.
Ally: Yep, urgent and frantic rock music with melody.
Danny: Matty stole my lines!
B&E: You’re setting out on a tour of the west coast playing some decent sized venues. Is it ever a little intimidating walking out in front of a full theater?
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I can’t talk for the other lads obviously but I always get pretty nervous. Usually though, as soon as I play the first note my nerves go.
Ally: Yeah totally, not sure if it is for every band? It’s about trying to channel the energy and put the best show on you possibly can. I think we put pressure on ourselves in that respect to do the best show we’ve ever done each time.
Danny: I think for me it really depends what day it is and where my mindset is. The first gig I ever did I went completely deaf from stage fright as we got on stage. Luckily the first song started with a drum beat so i just started playing from memory and about half way through my hearing came back! Haha. Haven’t thought about that for a long time though. Pretty bad memory to be honest.
B&E: What’s one thing about touring that most people don’t realize?
Matt: I’d say it’s definitely not the glitz and glamour people might think it is!
Ally: After the first week you enter into a bubble and the unit you’re working with become like family, everyone is sleep deprecated and in an almost alter state. It’s like it becomes something else. Amazing though! Also you’re lucky if you see that much of the cities you go to cause your time is taken up with sound checks and promo. It’s all good though and I wouldn’t change it.
Danny: You learn to really really hate suitcases, and living with 5 guys on a bus is fun for about a week. And then not so much…
B&E: You’ve opened for some big names. If you could pick any band, what one act would you guys really love to play a show with?
Matt: For me I’d love to play with Pixies. I think it’s fair to say we’re all big fans of them and love their stuff.
Ally: Public Enemy.
Danny: Rage against the machine (if they get back together), or actually, Guns n’ Roses (now they are back together.)
B&E: Every band has a crazy road story. What’s one that you can share with us?
Matt: I guess it depends what your definition of ‘crazy’ is really. Haha. I’d say that I’ve probably been too drunk to remember most of the stories or things that have happened.
Ally: Yeah loads and loads of drunk stories that I’d be scared of publishing. Me and Matt once went out with the headline band one night in the UK and the venue and part of the town set on fire. We couldn’t get back anywhere near where we were staying and ended up shacked up in some rescue room. Bit like the Day After Tomorrow.
Danny: Hmm, yeah i wasn’t involved in that one. Was in the Rainbow Bar and Grill once around Christmas time and a drunk elf started touching my face and holding mistletoe over my head. Next thing the guy she was with came and grabbed her and dragged her off. Then he came back, tapped me on the shoulder and said “sorry about that man”. It was Ron Jeremy?! I felt pretty privileged.
B&E: “Into Dust” is from a new album. What can we expect on the new Virginmarys record?
Matt: I think that when you hear the new album you can tell it’s still us but there’s certainly signs of growth amongst the band playing together and I think you can definitely notice it in Ally’s song writing and lyrical content too.
Ally: Yeah exactly like Matt says. It’s still a VMS album but you can definitely hear the progression. It’s the best work we’ve ever done!
Danny: Yeah I think we all separately made a conscience decision to challenge ourselves individually on this record. I’m excited for everyone to hear it and see the reaction. In a lot of ways it’s a heavier record, but it’s definitely not “King of Conflict” part two.
B&E: Any clue on when we can expect the new album to be released?
Matt: This year! Haha.
B&E: Finally, we have to know, do you guys know that little girl in the “Into Dust” lyric video? She seems pretty intense.
Matt: Her name’s Lilly and she’s my wife’s best friend’s daughter. It was Danny’s idea to ask her to do it and she absolutely nailed it! It’s an amazing performance.
Ally: Lilly is an incredible talent, scarily so. She’s such a natural.
Danny: Actually I think it was our managers idea initially? We’d just done the digital cover shot for the song with a kid in a boxing gym and the song title tattooed across his knuckles. We all loved that cover and it kinda sparked the idea of all the artwork for the album following on from that. Anyways our manager came up with an idea using a kid for the lyric video which I thought was great. It’s such an aggressive song and so to have a kid perform it brought some really interesting connotations. We immediately thought of Lilly and she absolutely nailed it first take! What a star!
View the lyric video for “Into Dust”:
Upcoming tour dates:
3/1 — Portland, Ore. — Roseland Theater*
3/2 — Seattle, Wash. — Paramount Theater*
3/4 — Reno, Nev. — Grand Sierra Resort & Casino*
3/5 — Santa Rosa, Calif. — Wells Fargo Center for the Arts*
3/6 — Redding, Calif. — Redding Civic Auditorium*
3/8 — Modesto, Calif. — Modesto Center Plaza*
3/9 — Los Angeles, Calif. — Mayan Theatre*
3/12 — Mescalero, N.M. — Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino
3/13 — Colorado Springs, Colo. — City Auditorium*
3/14 — Casper, Wyo. — Casper Events Center*
3/16 — Fargo, N.D. — Fargo Civic Center*