An Interview With The Brooklyn-Based Duo VIA INTERCOM On Their Debut Album ‘Buzz Buzz Buzz Vertigo’!
Posted On 19 Jan 2018
Via Intercom is a Brooklyn-based, DIY duo that explores the deep intimacies of coming of age through emotionally charged, experimental soundscapes.
The duo recently premiered their debut, melancholic album, Buzz Buzz Buzz Vertigo, via The 405 to great review. The exploratory project is teeming with the pent up feelings of confusion and resignation that are born in the journey from youth to adulthood. The duo fuses spoken word with DIY production to tell a cathartic and, at times, mournful coming of age story.
The band formed in California, 2017, where the two members were experimenting combining songs with spoken story-telling, microfictions, and home made electro-acoustic instruments. Both members trade off singing and speaking over melancholic guitar, glockenspiel and enigmatic electronics. Their songs, on topics like gender and sexuality, are a distorted take on their own reality.
VIA INTERCOM ONLINE:
Learn more about Via Intercom in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview find you today?
Stevie: Right now, we’re actually in San Diego. We just drove across the country shooting some video and playing a little music along the way.
What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
Stevie: Exploding Whale by Sufjan Stevens, we both love. We honestly have pretty similar taste in music and rarely butt heads about it.
So first things first, what all are you most excited about for this year? Did any of you make New Year Resolutions? Care to share any of them with us?
Stevie: I told someone that I didn’t have any resolutions and they were like- What? You think you’re perfect as is?! So I guess maybe one of my flaws is not acknowledging my flaws and having resolutions. So maybe my resolution is- this coming new year to have a resolution.
Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are?
Stevie: We actually did a West Coast tour last year with my solo music and Maggie’s independent writing, and out of that we realized our artistic compatibility and decided to write this album together from the ground up. So it was more of a slow realization-and-figuring-out process. For the name, we walked around town for like three nights just brainstorming with word associations. We knew we didn’t want anything too literal, and we had a strong idea of what our aesthetic was, so we were very picky.
Let’s talk about your debut album, “Buzz Buzz Buzz Vertigo.” What was the overall inspiration for this collection? What was it like putting this album together? Were there any unexpected surprises or challenges?
Stevie: We had been talking about sort of combining our childhood memories, and conceptions of suburbia and nuclear family life into a little world. It was sort of like playing really abstract doll house with one another. We know the stories and characters are make believe, but it still feels weirdly familiar. That in and of itself was challenging. Learning how to write together, and how to reveal ourselves to one another.
I know it is difficult but can you choose 1 or 2 favorites from this album and talk about how they were created? How did they go from being just ideas in your head to full-blown songs?
Chorus of 1000 Yanks, the last song on the album, was also the last song that we wrote. The culmination of our learning process together. We had some of the groundwork for this song floating around, like it was going to recall the shanty from City of Smiles, but we spent a long time going back over the album and talking about how we wanted the “story” to end. We tried to balance it emotionally, instrumentally, conceptually, we wanted both of our voices on it. It was really a studio project. This song was created before it was ever played live, which is a cool and very slow and methodical way to write.
Where can people see you perform live next? Do you have 2018 tour dates lined up yet?
Stevie: We live in Brooklyn, NY, so we’re currently booking shows in the NYC area and doing a US national tour this summer.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Stevie: My greatest influences, and artists I look up to are Laurie Anderson, Björk, Bon Iver, Radiohead. To ever enter the same room as any of those bands/people would be a blow away, let alone working with them.
Where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
Stevie: Well, this album was largely a studio project, meaning that we wrote it in the studio, using the studio as a compositional tool. So we actually haven’t yet performed these songs in front of a real audience. But we’re very excited to. I loved working in the studio and no doubt bringing the songs to a live audience will be equally rewarding in different ways.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Stevie: I mean, I think every artist can pick and choose which elements of themselves and their environments they want to highlight through their creations. But at the end of the day, we are unable to escape the influence of our surroundings entirely. That being said, although there are horrible things happening in the United States and the world abroad, I don’t think that this time period is uniquely crazy or rough or difficult, and people have always found ways to create fun and joyful works.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? What do you hope they take away from one of your shows?
Stevie: I just hope that people can emotionally relate on some level. Although one could interpret elements of politics, and find opinions and moods throughout our music, we don’t have one specific agenda. We tried to put our best, or realest, or whatever, selves forward in this album and hope that through the music people can connect with us, or themselves, or others.