Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mother Vulture “We pour every ounce of blood sweat and tears into live shows”

Mother Vulture have been tearing up venues and festivals up and down the UK with their ball-busting brand of heavy, blues-infused, groove-laden rock. You can be guaranteed to have a good time with the West Country quartet. With the release of their debut album Mother Knows Best and an incredible festival run in 2022, Mother Vulture are a band on the rise. We sat down with them to discuss all things Mother Vulture, the vibrancy of Bristol and going wild on stage. 

Hi guys, thank you for taking the time to speak to RAMzine. Firstly, for those who don’t know who Mother Vulture are, how would you describe yourselves and your sound?

Hey! Thanks for inviting us for a chat. For the uninitiated, we’d describe ourselves as a raw chaotic ball of energy, out to show unsuspecting audience members a good time. We thrive on playing live shows and pouring every ounce of blood sweat and tears we have into making every gig something special. 

Our sound has its roots in rock, but these days is lending from a lot of different genres. Imagine a gooey centre of classic and hard rock, with sprinkles of metal, alternative, psychedelic, punk… and basically anything you can think of. It’s hooky, riffy goodness fronted by a bunch of wildcard lunatics. 

You’ve been one of the staples of the Bristol scene for a few years now, with such a vibrant music scene that is flourishing at the moment, what’s it like to be part of the city’s rich musical history?

Well! A staple of the Bristol scene is quite the statement and one we hope we can live up to. We’ve just been grinding away, playing show after show, like just about everyone. It’s a privilege really to be a part of such an electric music culture, and we always feel lucky to have friends playing in such great bands. You’re never short of being able to play as part of an outstanding line-up here, great music and musicians really are everywhere. So we just try and be the best at what we do. 

Has the city surroundings inspired the band in any way?

It’s hard to say really, I think being in such close proximity to so many other bands has definitely affected how we do things. I suppose we got to see what it was that we loved within the scene, and wanted to be a part of, but also what was missing, and what we wanted to bring to the table. I think classic rock and its sub-genres were kind of… out of fashion? It had a bad wrap at least. And so we wanted to do something that took those elements and TRY to do something a bit fresher with it. Whether we’ve succeeded is up to the people! 

Your live shows have gone down in infamy for being absolutely crazy and unforgettable, so one question that might be on everyone’s lips is where do you get your high-octane energy from?

Haha, that does seem to be the question on everyone’s minds. To be honest, we just love what we do and have a lot of passion for it. I’d like to say there’s some kind of secret elixir or pre-stage ritual, but really we just get on stage and it takes hold. What happens on that stage is beyond any of our control! Lord knows we’ve been accused of taking every drug on the planet, but that couldn’t be further from it. We’ve also been told over and over that we won’t be able to sustain it forever, but we’re still here, and it’s only getting wilder! 

You had an incredible festival run over the summer of 2022, what was it like to bring the trademark Mother Vulture madness to these stages and reach so many fans new and old?

It was amazing. After being pretty limited to what we could get up to over the past few years, being able to finally let loose, meet some new people and show the world what we’re made of was honestly just the best feeling ever. And we were just treated so well by every festival we played, we can’t wait to do it again this year. 

One moment I remember from watching you at Bloodstock was when Brodie climbed the stage rigging, is this a usual occurrence when you get caught up in the moment? 

We loved bloodstock, what an amazing festival, and we really hope we get to go back. However, not wanting to drop ourselves into any hot water, I’m going to say “no, this is not a usual occurrence, you can be assured that by booking Mother Vulture, there will be no death-defying antics”. But if you really want to see what we’re getting up to these days, come check us out. 

It is safe to say that Mother Knows Best is an awesome and frantic album, what are some of the musical influences behind the album? 

Thank you very much! We’re always stoked to hear the album being well-received. There are musical influences aplenty. Going into the studio, we had a playlist of our favourite tunes and things we wanted the album to lean towards. Artists like Jack White, Turbowolf, Royal Blood, QOTSA, AC/DC.

Your songs have a brilliant swagger and groove that gets everyone moving, just like being at a live show, how do you capture that magical energy in the songwriting and recording process? 

The recording process has always been a struggle for us, many times we’d tried to capture the fire that we have at a live show, and we just never quite hit the mark, but this album is definitely as close as we’ve ever got. A big part was having Ross (Ross the sound guy) working with us. He’s seen us live and knew what we were after. We just tried to let loose, give it the time it deserved, and as we always, tracked the foundations of the songs together in a room, LIVE!  

As for the songwriting, we’re always trying different things, wanting to keep the ‘Mother Vulture’ sound alive, while also being able to branch out into different genres. A big part of that is the guitar tones, keeping things crunchy and raw. But mainly having Georgi vocal always ties things together and makes whatever we write sound like us.  

One song that we simply can’t get out of my head is ‘Rabbit Hole’, with Georgi’s brilliant chorus melodies, what is the story or meaning behind that song? 

Good to hear the earworms are burrowing in. The story behind ‘Rabbit Hole’, like a few of our songs, tries to touch upon the idea of being in a toxic relationship, and not necessarily a romantic one. Relationships breaking down is something that pretty much everyone has experienced, and when they happen it can feel like the end of the world. But you can’t let yourself get sucked down the Rabbit Hole!

Some of the more tender lyrics on the album are on ‘Homemaker’, did those lyrics come from personal experience, as you can hear the passion in Georgi’s voice or is there a greater meaning behind the song?

Homemaker’ really is what it says on the tin, a love song. We’re always complaining in our songs (in a funny way…) so instead, we wanted a song that expressed the love and gratitude for the people in our lives that make them worth living. Everyone goes through tough times, but having someone by your side makes them easier, and worth pushing through.

It is clear when you listen to the album that you’re all intensely passionate guys, giving your 110% every time, what fuels your drive and what advice do you have for younger musicians looking to break through in the way that you have?

You’ve just got to love what you do and choose carefully how you measure success. Maybe we’re not the perfect candidates to be giving younger musicians advice, but we have been working at this for a while, and to have even gotten this far is a real blessing, but we also work hard. So celebrate the small victories, work hard, and never stop having fun. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

What song on the album are you most proud of writing and which one do you enjoy playing live the most?

‘Homemaker’ is probably one of our favourites to have written, to see couples in the crowd having a dance and a smooch, singing along with each other when we play it genuinely brings tears to our eyes. Saying that it’s a real pain in the arse to play live, due to the (guitar talk incoming) B, B, D, G B, E tuning. Who’s idea was that?!

What’s coming up next for Mother Vulture, any more brainstorming tours in the pipeline?

Yes… we’re cooking up a few very spicy meatballs TBA so keep your ears peeled. 

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