Gigslutz favourites The Vryll Society are set to cross the seas to wow American crowds at SXSW this month. The Liverpool based band have never played in the States before, but we’re sure their “liquid jams” will translate perfectly to new listeners. 2017 will undoubtedly be another successful year for the group, and we caught up with guitarist Ryan Ellis to talk about their new single, upcoming UK shows, the inspiration behind their recent playlists, and that elusive first album…
Hello Ryan! You’re playing the BBC Introducing showcase at SXSW in Austin Texas later this month (10-19th March). Can you talk us through what you’re expecting from your performance, the festival in general, and who you’re hoping to catch live while you’re there?
We’ve never played a gig in America before, so we don’t really know what to expect. We know the Festival itself is a serious gig and we’ll be looking to really blow people away. Temples’ slot and Nile Rodgers talking about himself should be a good way to spend the time. Gotta pick something inspirational there.
Sounds good! You’re back in time for a brief UK tour on the 22nd March, which includes a show at Camden Assembly on 24th. Will you be playing your new single ‘Shadow Of a Wave’? Can you tell me what inspired the track?
Yes that’s right, it’s last few dates before we go into record the album. We love playing in London, it’s always pretty cool place for us to play. Yer, we’ll be playing ‘Shadow Of A Wave’ definitely on all those shows. I was listening to Roger Waters’ lyrics on ‘Echoes’ and thought he’d really nailed it, so I wanted to write something equally dream-like. There’s a girl involved in this one, which hasn’t really been a topic we’ve used before from writing point of view.
You’re also playing at Liverpool’s Sound City in May, which is celebrating it’s 10th birthday this year, alongside The Sherlocks and Cabbage. It’s a hometown gig – is it going to be a messy one?
Those backstage areas always get pretty full on to be honest! It’ll be our very last show for a while, because it is all about the album after that and making sure it’s a real jaw dropping moment when it lands.
I’ve just been scouting through your Spotify Playlist (Top marks for Chemical Brothers ‘Wide Open’). Talk me through the last three tracks you added…
Good question, we all picked songs and some of Lewi’s were extremely esoteric, so they would be his! Glad you liked ‘Wide Open’, I picked that one!
I’ve also seen on your Facebook some ‘Influence Day’ posts that cite Marlon Brando quotes and Echo & The Bunnymen lyrics. Can you tell me your reasons for starting something like this, and what the response form your fans has been like?
Well, a band like ours is a serious thing, you’re dealing with higher level stuff so in terms of social media you can’t be putting up videos of band members in their boxies with a can of Stella in their hand. That works for some bands, don’t get me wrong, bt we think it’s better to take the listener or fan into our world of culture and music. This isn’t a crap ITV 2 reality show you’re dealing with here, It’s a well thought out BBC 4 Documentary on time travel!
Amen! Recently, there have been articles in the news about the potential threats facing independent music venues (mainly that they’ll be forced to shut due to financial pressures). Is there a particular small venue that you would be gutted to see disappear?
We lost The Kazimier in Liverpool. That was devastating, but The Kazimier closed and somewhere else popped up. There’s always going to be places to play always. People love live music, that’s not going to change any time soon, don’t worry about that.
You’re set to release your debut album this year. What are your anticipations and hopes for the record? Anything specific that you can tell us about it?
Well, it’s not recorded yet so I can’t really say what it’s like because I haven’t heard it! I think it could well be in classic territory to be honest. I’m looking forward coming up with a title for it, it’s going to be hilarious. All kinds of nonsense will be floating about. We can never agree on things like that!
Sounds good! Finally, what albums are you listening to at the moment?
The Durutti Column, The Return Of The Durutti Column
Thanks to Ryan for answering our questions. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.
Photo Credit: Sophie Duff