Interview: The Vaudeville Smash

They have always said that you’re never too old to learn new things and that any day you learn something new is a good day. By definition then that makes today a good day because today I found out what nouveau yacht rock is.

That’s not all I learned either, I discovered a few new interesting pieces of information all centered around Melbourne band The Vaudeville Smash who happen to be having a smashing year. So sit back, have a read and increase your store of interesting trivia!

How did you meet and form the band?

Well, three of us are brothers so me met without a choice. The other two guys we poached from very skilled Melbourne bands.

Where did the name come from? Such an unusual name has to have a story, can you share it with us?

The Vaudeville Smash was the name of an Italian kids karaoke machine back in the late 80s. My brothers and I lived there for a while when we were kids and when the ad came on TV we used to crack up. The Italians have this kooky way of grabbing a couple of English words and mashing them together to form something totally random that means nothing and sounds strange (on a side note… The Cosby show was called ‘I (the) Robinsons’ in Italy – catch my drift?).

We thought it would be a funny/nostalgic trip back to a more innocent time (also, we really needed a name!).

Can you tell us what ‘nouveau yacht rock’ is? It’s a genre I have never heard of.

Yacht Rock is a term for the smooth west coast sound that came out of America in the late 70s and early 80s. Bands like Hall and Oats, The Doobie Brothers, Toto and Kenny Loggins (to name a few). If you ever saw the ‘Soft Rock’ collection you could buy on late night infomercials, you’d know what I mean. While we’re influenced by a lot of different types of music, this period is what gets us going the most; it’s music with incredible melodies and harmonies, and in many cases an amazing groove, made by incredible musicians. The nouveau part is just a fancy way of saying we’re new. We’ve also thrown it in because we’re a little more groove and disco based than your standard, classic Yacht Rock band. Pretty high brow isn’t it!?

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It’s been a pretty big year for The Vaudeville Smash, what has been your best career moment of the year?

I’d have to say our first show at the South by South West conference. We’d just traveled across the country (including Vegas!) in a van filled with 8 people and all our luggage, found out our gear didn’t make it from Australia to Austin and spent the next 24 hours desperately trying to track down new stuff (we made it with about half an hour to spare). The show was a mixture of nerves, adrenalin and relief. It was a little rough but what a vibe!

The latest single was also launched recently, to a sell out success. What can you tell us about the night?

In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting it to sell out. It was the culmination of an incredible amount of hard work and we were pretty stoked and, dare I say, quite proud. The sound was great, the lighting special and we had the help of a six piece string section! All in all, a very good night.

What can you tell us about the new single, and where can we get it?

The Single’s called ‘I Want you’ and is a song about the joy of promiscuity. It’s the first time we had an outsider play a big role in the production side of things. We listened to a lot of Australian recordings and were really impressed with what John Castle did for Megan Washington. We were after a more contemporary sound and thought John would be perfect. We spent a week in his studio and slammed down the parts (we’ve been playing together for a while, so it was like second nature) and let John do his thing. We are extremely happy with the results.

The launch of the single was the first time you played with a guest vocalist, Kate Vigo, what was that like?

It was great. Kate’s good fun and a really talented singer and song writer. She sounds great on the record and I think she adds a lot.

The launch was also the debut live performance of the Vaudeville Smash Orchestra, what can you tell us about that?

Our last EP ‘Love Yachts Geronimo’ is full of strings. We were going for a more authentic retro sound and the lush strings were an integral part. We’re fortunate to have a group of extremely talented classical musicians who love what we do and were willing to play with us at the Corner. I think it sounded amazing.

You are a Melbourne based band, where is the most fabulous place your music has taken you?

I’d have to say the SxSW conference in Texas.

Where can we find you in the upcoming months, what shows have you got lined up?

Our Sydney launch at Good God Small Club on the 28th of Oct and then Melbourne for the Melodics farewell show at the Hifi Bar on the 4th on Nov and the Espy Dec 3rd. NYE at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay should be fun too!

What’s next for The Vaudeville Smash?

We’re jumping straight back in the studio at the end of October to record our new EP out February next year.

Where can we find more information about you and purchase your music?

www.thevaudevillesmash.com for all your TVS needs. There’s links to all our other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can find us on itunes or get on down to a gig and grab a CD – the old fashioned way!

Thank you so much for stopping by to chat!

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