Colchester is Getting Hotter: Meeting Pistols & Vultures
Published 24 May 2012
From meeting at University to having a diary packed with gigs and local festivals, Pistols and Vultures just seem to go from strength to strength. Here, Carnell Cook , Alex Green and Freddie "Squeaky" Cantino chat to Jazmin Rodger about the brilliant video for their song Ricochet and their plans for the future.
How did Pistols and Vultures get started?
C: We met at university and found we had a strong bond. We wanted to create music that had both musical and lyrical substance rather than the usual radio-friendly hits. We were friends first too, which I think is evident on stage.
What do you make of comparisons that critics have made between you and Incubus? Are they an influence?
C: I think people have compared me to Incubusí Brandon Boyd as I sing more than most front men in a rock band. I have a clean sound too, which comes from my soul and gospel background. I'd say they are an influence, though just as much as Marvin Gaye, Mos Def, The Roots or Deftones are, and nobody seems to compare us with them.
A: There definitely are some similarities. Being compared to Incubus is always a huge compliment as they are very accomplished musicians. I think nearly every new band gets told they sound like someone else, but they are just one of many influences.
The video is great! Who came up with the concept?
F: It was a collaboration between us and the guys who filmed it, Underground Husbands. We chose the location.
A: St Martin's Church was perfect and a great space to shoot the video. Saying that, it was probably the coldest experience of my life. We filmed mid January in this huge building with no heating. It was colder inside than out, and it took my body a week to recover!
A: Pretty sweet I guess. I think a lot of people didnít expect much, but I've had all good responses so far.
F: We plugged it for a couple of weeks online and got 2,000 plays! It was released on Itunes at the end of April and we plan on getting some physical copies out with a b-side soon, so we will see where that takes us.
What do you think sets you apart from other unsigned bands?
C: A black front man in a rock band!
A: We don't sound like Bloc Party either! I think each member brings a completely different set of influences.
F: Yeah, Like The Police.
Do you think Ricochet will be the single that gets you noticed by a record company?
A: 10 years ago maybe, but in todayís climate I don't think it will. It seems you have to really build up a fan base before anybody will take notice. With that said, you don't necessarily need a major label to get your sound out. You can do so much yourself these days. Buying recording equipment, producing our video and earning money through shows has made me realise that there isn't much you can't do. At least this way we get exactly what we want.
F: You never know. It just takes that bit of luck, to have the right people listening to it. If not now then one day it will happen as the new songs are just getting better in my opinion.
What's the best thing about being in Pistols and Vultures?
A: Making music with friends and being creative. I would love to make a living out of it, but that is secondary.
F: For me the best thing about being in Pistols and Vultures is playing original music with your mates. Sharing that buzz on stage and playing a phat show is what drives us to carry on and get bigger and better.
C: I love the buzz of being on stage, performing something you have put your heart and soul into and seeing people sing along
F: Well thank you, I do try to look my best. Carnell is my influence! He's the snappiest dresser I've ever met. I remember the first time I saw him, he had a trilby hat on, I thought he was a Michael Jackson wannabe! Luckily he has moved on from MJ and now looks like Travie McCoy.
C: Ignore Fred, his mum still dresses him. I have been compared to Travie McCoy, Will.I.Am and Andre 3000 to name a few. But in all honestly, Iíve always had an interest in clothes and I know image is as important in the music world as your sound.
A: I'm just a geek. I get told I look like Jarvis Cocker, Graham Coxon and even Harry Potter, but apart from being a wizard I don't really see the resemblance. On a serious note though, I have always followed my heart when it comes to clothing. Itís important to express yourself in as many ways as possible.
What are your plans for 2012? Should we expect to see any more videos?
C: We are going to keep working hard, writing loads and recording more too. Hopefully a full album will be released by the end of the year and we can try to spread Pistols and Vultures nationwide.
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
F: I hope we have some major festivals appearances under our belt, a few million album sales and a sold out world tour. I don't think thatís too much to ask.
Find out more about Pistols & Vultures on their Facebook page.