Ahead of their show at Young Henrys Best Served Loud in January, we decided to quiz transcendent psych-blues shredders Velvet Trip on their favourite tracks, some overrated songs and the ultimate showdown between Jimi, Jimmy and Jim.
LIKE VELVET MUSIC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Firstly, can you introduce us to Velvet Trip – where are you from, who’s in the band?
Velvet Trip: Hellllloooooo. We are from Sydney!
Well.. there’s Clayton Allen (Drums) Nick Savvas (Bass) Sinj Clarke (Keys) and Zeppelin Hamilton (Guitar/Vocals).
LVM: So let’s kick off – your lead singer/guitarist is Zeppelin Hamilton – with a name like that, we have to ask – who did you grow up listening to and what drove you to the psychedelic blues genre?
VT: Haha. You should hear my parents back up names.
Well, Both of my parents are huge blues/60’s and 70’s rock enthusiasts.. I listened to quite a range of music growing up – but mostly a lot of blues and rock. Like, R.L Burnside, Hound Dog Taylor, B.B King (all of the kings)Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Magic Sam, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Etc etc.
My Dad is a very tapped in blues musician.. he got me on the path quite young.
I’ve played a lot of different genres and styles throughout my life but I found my way back to my roots I guess.
LVM: We love the rawness of your sound. There’s nowhere to hide, it’s like it’s just you and your instruments. A very analogue-sounding production. When you’re writing and recording songs, how do you make sure you always bring that warmth to each track?
VT: That first record we put out was tracked and performed completely live, everything done at the same time. We wanted to create a listening experience that captured that moment in time as true as it could be.
We had actually only played together 3 times before recording that album.. I had written the songs in my bedroom and we just booked a studio and went for it haha.
LVM: We’ve been listening to your tracks on repeat in absolute heaven. It’s like the pendulum has swung back to the stripped down and completely unpretentious blues/rock/psychedlia of the ‘60s and ‘70s – how important is it to you to stay true to that sound? Are you ever tempted to push the barrier into something more modern?
VT: Not important at all to be honest!
It’s so beautiful to hear when people are enjoying something that you have created in a particular moment in time.
I think it’s actually more important to grow as an artist or a group and push yourselves to create something new – regardless of how it’s received. Getting caught up in this idea of yourselves can stifle creativity I reckon!
I really appreciate and respect seeing growth in bands and artists.
LVM: For aspiring psych-blues shredders, if you could recommend one pedal or one effect to unlock their music universe, what would it be?
VT: Haha I reckon it’s the opposite of a pedal!!! Pedals are great, but it’s really important to work on your technique and feel. That will unlock your universe more than any pedal!
LVM: You’re soon to play in Young Henrys Best Served Loud – is there anyone in that line up that you’re particularly excited to meet or see play?
VT: So many great bands! Really looking forward to hanging out with our friends in Turtle Skull :)))))))))
LVM: And what about your set, what’s a Velvet Trip live show like for those who have never seen you live?
VT: High energy I guess! We all love playing together and having the opportunity to perform for people.
We get pretty excited. A lot of our current material is quite fluid, so we basically just jam and tap into sections when it feels right!
Our new stuff however is more refined and structured, so we are hoping to maintain that energy but bring a new element of connectedness.
LVM: What’s on the cards over the next 12 months? Will there be any new music or upcoming tours?
VT: Yesssssss. We have a new record on the way which is very exciting.
I broke my hand and was told I might not be able to play guitar again, so I ended up writing a new album with one hand on a midi keyboard singing into my laptop lol.
We are evolving sonically and stylistically with this record and we are really excited to share this new direction.
(Btw, I can play guitar again)
LVM:To finish off, let’s test your limits!
If you could claim a writing credit on any song ever written, what song would it be?
Zeppelin: Something – The Beatles
Nick: Islands in the Sun – Weezer
Clay: Revolutions Blues – Neil Young
What classic track do you think is most overrated?
Zeppelin: Can I be turbo and say The Smiths in general?
Nick: Sunshine Of Your Love
Clay: Sweet Child O’ Mine
LVM:And finally a game – like f*ck, marry, kill but we’ll give you three musicians and you’ve got to assign them to a category below (no repeats, no easy way out). Your players are: Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison (and by extension, The Doors), Jimmy Page (and by extension, Led Zeppelin) – who do you…
LVM: …party with for one night?
Zeppelin: Led Zepp
Nick: The Doors
Clay: Led Zepp
LVM: …spend 6 months creating an album with?
LVM: …never listen to again?
Zeppelin: Jim Morrison.. can I still listen to The Doors though?
Nick: Led Zepp
Clay: Jim Morrison
Slip into some Velvet Trip below:
Posted by Rebecca Costanzo