Australia has been popping up a lot lately in my world this week. There was talks of a friend heading there in January, a blog I had to write for like a dollar (will write for food is my motto) and then The Vernons. They captured my attention a month or so ago with a video for “Standing In Line.” It was enough to make me mentally note their existence, so when the opportunity presented itself to swap digital words with them –I had to take it.
The Vernons’ sex appeal, I may’ve read too deep into that but other than that I think I was pretty on point. Keep reading on to find out what their own guitarist James Nikiforides had to say about hangovers, Aussie wildlife, their parents and more.
Kendra: How’s the tour going, anything unexpected happened?
James Nikiforides: The tour is underway, we had our first few shows last weekend in Brisbane, Byron and the Gold Coast and we have more shows this weekend again in Brisbane, Gold Coast and also in Toowoomba. No crazy stories as of yet but we have seen a few things at the shows that have made us chuckle. Last night we saw a little too much of one attendee who got a little bit excited on the dance floor.
Kendra: Your parents’ vinyl collections played a big part in the band’s overall sound, but whose parents had the best records?
James: Our parents seem to have spoon-fed us gold in the world of music. Not sure who has the best, but we actually went sifting through Hugh’s Dad’s old records the other day and he has some absolute gems.
Kendra: Other than the vinyls, why Blues? There are so many routes to travel in music, so what was it about fusing Blues and rock together that appealed to you?
James: Blues is one of the most complex genres that exists. The reason it is so complex is not the parts being played and the difficulty of the guitar/vocal etc. but its simplicity. Silence is the most valuable trait a Blues musician can offer. Knowing when not to play is a much harder art form to tackle. Rock n’ Roll is very similar as it is super charged Blues. The key with Rock n’ Roll we have found is not being too precious and precise. Let the slight mistimed chords/weird ringing of notes stay as it is what defines the sound and the genre itself.
Kendra: If you were to compare Volume 1 to one of your native animals, which would it be and why?
James: The Tasmanian Devil. These little critters appear very cute, they aren’t too large to look menacing in any way however, they are tough as old boots. They are known for their ferocity and even have a cartoon character in ‘Tazzy Devil’ named after them. Volume 1 is like the Tasmanian Devil in the sense that it may not look like much yet, but once you hear it, things can get out of control.
Kendra: After listening to the record, I couldn’t help but settle on a one word description; sexy. So now for this question…I heard that you can tell how someone is in the bedroom by the way they perform on stage. Any truth to that with any of you?
James: If it is true than my girlfriend should have left me a long time ago. It is pretty embarrassing because Jonny, Hugh and Elliot are always on the move and I like to keep it relatively simple and content, stay in one position and just get it done … Oh no… There is no truth to that…
Kendra: Couldn’t help but notice you all enjoy a nice drink. Who’s the worst with dealing with the aftermath of the hangover though?
James: I will go on record to say myself. I tend to get very annoying and demanding of attention when the others just want to go about their business. This leads to a great deal of pranking and sad faces.
Kendra: If you were going to make a mixtape for a trip out to Gold Coast what five songs would have to be on it?
James: Well. This is a tough one.
“Radar Love” Golden Earring
“Born on the Bayou” Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Rolling Stone” Muddy Waters
“Sympathy for the Devil” The Rolling Stones
“When the Levee Breaks” Led Zeppelin