Behind The Scenes: Vexxes On Common Ground

vexxes common ground

Vexxes are not choosing the so-called ‘safe route’, the trio are giving their all to avoid getting stuck in the “hell of a daily grind”. Boasting a penchant for big, driving tunes, Vexxes debut EP Common Ground is a collection of mini-anthems, solid guitar licks locked in tight with driving rhythms to create a platform for Tom’s soaring vocal melodies. Here the band tell you for themselves, what you can expect from their debut, track by track…

Common Ground
None on the songs are longer than 4 minutes and this is down to the fact we don’t drag anything out. We always wanted to get people to the hook/chorus as quickly as possible with our tracks, replicating the energy and immediacy we have in a live environment. This is going to be the first introduction to our band for a lot of people, and ultimately we want people to be excited about seeing us play live so there’s no self-indulgence on the record. With only one guitarist, which is fairly uncommon in the alt-rock scene, we don’t have the luxury of blending rhythm chords with delayed leads. Instead, we’ve filled the tracks with massive guitar layers and choral vocal pads. Max really went to town with his POG pedal! We approached Chris Coulter to produce (Arcane Roots, In Dynamics), because of his track record of creating a BIG sound, which is exactly what we wanted and feel we’ve achieved. It was a blast working with him, he understood what we wanted from the tracks and delivered on every level.

Lead Us Home
This song plays on that idea of being stuck in a rut, and things not necessarily living up to expectations. Sometimes you need somebody/something to kick start that revival, and this is about searching for that inspiration. There’s a punchy guitar riff in the verse that feels really techy & catchy at the same time – we love it!

Convictions
Convictions is about trying to regain somebody’s trust after letting them down, and having to pay the price of being well and truly ‘in the dog house’. The middle section rings out with “You gotta have faith in me”, a lyric we feel encapsulates the theme of the song. We go right for the jugular with this one in the intro, then it mellows out in the verse, but we bring that aggressive energy right back in the chorus. The blend of poppy and heavy parts are what we love to write, and those elements are clearest in this track.

Everything I’ve Ever Known
We go straight in, there’s no messing around with this one, and that’s one of the reasons it was our first single. It was pretty much written in one 3 hour session in a live room. Max brought in a beefy riff, Tom caught a melody fairly quickly and that was it – It’s an amazing feeling when everything falls into place so quickly with a track. We really liked the idea of using a pre-chorus as a post-chorus later in the track, and this is the result. The lyrics are about being stuck in the daily grind, and that absolute necessity to break out of it. When you’re in a certain environment, you can become complacent and the lyrics address the internal struggle you have to move out of your comfort zone and do something about it.

Enemies
There’s definitely an anthemic feel to Enemies, it was a chorus that stuck in all of heads whilst writing it (Max literally woke up humming the tune). It’s a great end to the EP because the counter-melodies we’ve got in the final chorus, “this is the last time you get the best of me”, creates a kind of resolution to the track, and the conflicts addressed by the EP. The song is about feeling everybody is out to get you, and that self-doubt you feel, but ultimately the only way to overcome things like that are to address them head on.

 

Vexxes release Common Ground on 6th May 2016. Check out their new video below!

About Natalie Humphries 1834 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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