Rising rockers Vukovi were ready to blow the roof off of London’s Boston Music Room not along ago, with a mighty performance of their rambunctious debut album to an even more rambunctious crowd. Before the show (just one date in a series of stops on their headlining UK tour to promote their debut album) the band dished on their favorite alcoholic drinks, a Vukovi perfume, and shared their thoughts on gender expectations in the music industry.
I hear that a few of your tracks were created while you were drunk – what’s your fave drink?
Janine: Now we’re talking! I think “La Di Da”, we wrote as I was making really pretentious cocktails. I think Hamish was drinking Cosmos – a very manly drink.
Hamish: They were great though.
Janine: Actually, there’s a happy hour across the road… (Everyone laughs and pretends to get up) We’re fucking alcoholics! Cocktails. I like cocktails. Champagne. Vodka Red Bull. Vodka is a very good drink to have before a show.
Jason: Bud is a very strong contender for all of us, I think.
Hamish: My favorite drink is probably Desperados.
Janine: Oh yeah! I like those.
In your own opinion, what is your best song? For me, it’s “I’m Wired”.
Janine: (Mimes a high five) Yeah, I’m with you.
Jason: I’m gonna say “Prey”’s up there. I think it’s such a broad song, it covers a lot of different stuff in the lyrics and also musically.
Colin: I’m gonna say “Wander”. “Wander”’s quite moody. It’s just… different. Different to a lot of our usual stuff. I think it’s ‘cos it’s got a massive chorus in it, and it just builds towards the outro.
Hamish: “Prey” for me, as well. I’m just thinking, that’s the song from the album I’ve listened to the most, by a mile.
“Target Practice” was inspired by a bad review of your music. What was it about that review that pissed you off so much that you had to make a song about it?
Janine: It was angering us just because it was the first time we’d had a review. It was actually for our first ever EP launch. I read a review, and the girl was kind of… I don’t know, I just took it personally. I don’t now, but at the time you just think… “Fuck’s sake man, what did I do wrong?” But she was just being honest. So that song was just like a “fuck it, let’s go for it, sticks and stones” and all that shit. It was just kind of like a “fuck you!” – say what you want to say about us, but we’re not just gonna give up.
What color would you say your music is? I feel like it’s orange.
Janine: That’s cool!
Hamish: We were talking about this!
Jason: Do you have synesthesia? Or, you feel like you can associate colors? I get that, that’s really cool.
Hamish: We talked about this one time, for a long time, about how different songs give different colors. But if I had to pick one color, I’d pick yellow, because that’s our theme at the moment.
Colin: Yeah, the yellow seems to ‘pop’ quite well.
Janine: Yellow or pink.
Colin: I kind of have a weird, bright purple kind of vibe.
Janine: “Colour Me In” is, like, violet to me.
Speaking of colors, Janine… you’ve had so many different hair colors. Which one has been your favorite?
Janine: Ooh do you know which one I liked? It was the one when I had extensions in and it was like, green, and it went into violet. I saw it in pictures, and I think it’s on my Instagram. I really want that back.
Team member: I like the blue.
Janine: Aye, it’s… (Plays with her blue dreads and shrugs) Eh. (Everyone laughs) My boyfriend says it looks like fishing rope.
Scenario – you get a phone call tomorrow morning from somebody who wants to collaborate. Who do you hope it is, and why?
Jason: …oh Christ.
Hamish: Jesus Christ? (Laughs)
Janine: Weirdly, recently I’ve been listening to Die Antwoord, and I would actually love her to be featured in one of our songs. She’d just do like, a cool rap, and I’ll just sing. (Singing in the style of Zach Galifinakis from The Hangover) And we’re the two best friends… (Everyone laughs)
Jason: It’s gotta be Grimes. She’s so brave. I think she’d be able to bring out the best in us, in some way.
What non-musical venture would you like to explore the most? For example, what would a Vukovi perfume smell like?
Jason: Regret. Shame.
Hamish: You ever seen Some Kind of Monster by Metallica? The documentary? I’d love to make a documentary.
Janine: (Nodding) Mmm, yeah.
How does it feel when you come to all of these different cities, and people know your music?
Jason: It’s getting more and more bizarre as we go.
Janine: It still feels so weird.
Jason: Our second show this tour was in Leeds, and there was so many more people there than we expected, and so many people singing along. Girls in the crowd all had Janine’s makeup on, like the glitter around their eyes.
What do you miss the most from home when you’re on the road?
Hamish: My Xbox.
Colin: My bed.
Janine: Yeah, my bed.
Jason: My bike… I miss cycling.
How do you feel about the portrayal of women in the music industry? Are there any female musicians in particular who you admire or respect?
Janine: I’m more of the attitude of PJ Harvey, Skunk Anansie, Grace Jones… if you ever watch their interviews, I’m pretty much on the same wavelength as them. I don’t really see a division in gender, even though there obviously is. But I don’t take that into account with the band. I don’t go, ‘oh it’s so much harder because I’m a girl’ or ‘we should be getting this ‘cos I’m a girl’. Girls will be like, ‘oh can we support you? ‘Cos we’re a girl-fronted band…’, and I’m like ‘…no, you can support us if you’s are good’.
What’s been the strangest fan experience so far?
Jason: We had a weird, but awesome, experience the other day in Bristol. We have a fan who’s been a follower for a long, long time – lovely lad called Griff. He actually started playing drums last year, a year ago exactly, because he loved coming to see us and he loved how Colin played. At sound check the other day, we brought him on stage and he played drums for us. We did “Boy George” with him, and he played it really, really well! We clearly made his life.
What has been the biggest highlight of your time with Vukovi so far?
Jason: Probably Download.
Janine: 5 Ks, in Kerrang!. Download was pretty special as well.
Jason: Yeah, getting 5 Ks in Kerrang! for the album, and Download Festival. We were there the whole weekend, we watched some of the best bands ever. And then getting to stand, covered in mud, in front of a ton of people screaming your songs…
Hasan: That’s so cool. Thank you guys so much.
Jason: Thank you! We really enjoyed that.
Janine: Yeah, really.