Interview by Elizabeth Rhodes
Photo by João Carlos
When did the band get started and what was the original intention of the band?
Velvet Kills : We started not long after we first met, around 2015, after a fortuitous encounter on the dance floor. We were both getting out of other projects, looking for new directions in art. We went through a lot of changes in the beginning, searching for a sound that we could identify with together as a group. We didn’t actually have a particular sound in mind when we started, and since we both had pretty different musical backgrounds and influences it took a bit of experimentation to blend our ideas, but this is something we’ve come to really appreciate about Velvet Kills. It’s never something that either of us would have done on our own. We’re always surprising ourselves and encouraging each other to try new things and since we don’t like to do the same thing for too long the sound is always unfolding in new ways.
Tell us more about your name: how does it communicate the sound or vibe of the band?
VK : Velvet Kills’ name is inspired by the ying yang concept. When the combination of dark and light gather to balance each other. VK gives us the voice to pass our learnings, experiences and energies to people. It’s also a quagmire of emotions and feelings. It’s soft and spiky at the same time. So, it allows us to express anything that needs to come out. Whatever we’re feeling, whatever we need to say is welcome. And that goes for the musical arrangements as well. We’re not tied to specific formats of songs or instrumentation. We use them also, but we have the space to venture into more abstract places and experiment, which is really where we find a lot of the fun.
Photo by Daniel Picado
How would you describe your music to someone who has not yet checked you out?
VK: Get ready for a new experience! The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa used to say “Primeiro estranha- se, depois entranha-se,” something like, “First you get strange, then you get intrigued.” We’ve always had a bit of a hard time describing our music. We usually say something like, “It’s kind of rock music with some electronic influences.” Early on, a music journalist came to a show and told us that by the end of the gig he’d be able to tell us what style it was. So, we went up to him afterwards, excited to see what he had to say, and he stood there witha kind of bewildered look on his face, and he said “Well...It’s different!” Of course, we took that as a big compliment. We also like some of the new names that record labels and reviewers give it: synth-glam, neo wave. I think our favourite was electro-sex-rock. The reviewer said that it was the perfect music to listen to while having wine and sex. We like that description!
“...we have the space to venture into more abstract places and experiment.”
Photo by Art Mistake