Vulgarithm INTERVIEW

: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up? 
This band has one member: Andy “Dirt” McGurk, who writes, plays and produces everything. Having played in bands over the last 10 years, including a solo project that stagnated, I was seeking a fresh new musical challenge. I got inspired by the visuals created by electronica and dance artists at the Bluedot festival in the UK and set out the task to create my own dance act with visuals but with heavy riff guitars to give it an edge. At the end of 2019, Vulgarithm was born.

LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
As this started in 2019, it never got to a live audience before lockdown happened in this country. In the long run however this might be beneficial as my show is designed to be as visual as possible and maybe my first live set will have people who understand what it is.

LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Absolutely, In the meantime I have been pushing the Vulgarithm agenda to as many people as I can to build up a fanbase. I have already released 2 EPs, posted endless covers of club classics on youtube and also performed a few online gigs.

LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
There have been lots of bands who have created rock and metal music with electronics (samples, loops, synths etc), and there have been a couple of dance acts that take some guitar samples as well (Prodigy and Pendulum obvious examples) but we don’t really have bands that give each style equal footing. I know we have varieties of industrial, but you can get too pigeon holed if you describe yourself as that. I consider myself “Riff Rave”, as I love a big fat groovy riff ala Tool, SOAD or Rage against the machine, but I love a good bounce in a club to filthy synths. Korns “Dubstep” phase is quite close to what I want, but I’m not aiming for Dubstep.

LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Over the Trilogy of EPs (Last one to still be released) I am trying to develop my sound and my identity of what Vulgarithm is. I’m inviting people to hear this development through the EPs to see what goes down well and what doesn’t, hence the titles “Share if you agree”, “Share if you disagree” and the last one “Share in the 3rd Degree”. In this last EP I’m working on, I think I’ve discovered what works for me and what doesn’t, and this could be excited when it comes around to releasing an album.

LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
I think the sound is exactly what I want. Deep electric drums, nice crunchy heavy guitars and clunky bass. Whilst I have established my sound, I need to discover what ideas fit together the best. The first EP is very experimental but there is a basis to build on, the 2nd EP has more grooves but also a little unstructured whilst this last EP has more adventure but gets a little dark in places. I’m enjoying the journey.

LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
The term “On steroids” has been used to describe my music. On the whole people have enjoyed what I’ve created, but it’s still early days for Vulgarithm so not many people have truly listened to everything.

LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
As a child of lockdown, I’ve only done a handful of online shows. I yearn for the days we can go back to normality and showcase this project to the public properly.

LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
New single coming out Feb 19th “OUT MY WAY!” on all streaming formats, and the 3rd EP is nearly completed. Start promoting the EP collection and then get underway with my debut album.

LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
I have a very sarcastic approach to writing, especially when writing about something serious. I try and keep some humour on my EPs to break away from anything too close to heart. As I said earlier, it’s more of a theme of discovery rather than a lyrical theme. Across all my EPs there is a variety of subject matter.

LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Any band that write riffs which bounce, things like Skindred, Slipknot, SOAD etc and apply it to electronic music I want to dance to, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Fatboy Slim etc. Add my own spin on it and hopefully we can come up with something pretty special.

LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
As it’s been a whole year since I last performed in public, I’m going to say the road. I love the studio, my strongest musical assed is the creative side, adding layers and thickening a sound. I do however miss having fun in front of fans of live music.

LOMM: What first got you into music?
I’ve always had an interest in music since I was an infant, I also started piano lessons aged 6. It wasn’t until I hit 10 years old that I started taking it seriously. I discovered the Britpop scene and was learning the guitar at the same time, not long after that I was trying to write songs. Since then copious amount of different bands have entered my life and influenced to this point.

LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
3 things: I’m good at it, I enjoy it and I’m making a career out of it. It was all I focused on at school and university and don’t know what I’d do without it. My main concern is the future of music, this urge people have for what I called “Fast food” music, and not wanting to pay for it. Our whole lives revolve around music whether you are into it or not and most people in society I don’t think understand that.#

LOMM: If you weren’t a  musician, what would you be doing?
As it’s all I’ve thought about since 10 years of age, I haven’t a clue. Maybe doing a really boring but difficult job and watching football every night. No Idea, hahaha.

LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
More money to artists through streaming and youtube as no one can tour anymore, and also some sort of algorithm that puts local artists in release radars for a new fanbase. E.g. If I’m on spotify and put on my release radar, I’d love for a local band who have released something turn up on my playlist, that way if I like them, I can help them out and support my local scene.

LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Music for its own sake. This is why we have so much boring crap out there now, people are being told what they like and being forced to listen to it. When was the last band, outside of the underground, to do something truly groundbreaking and hit the mainstream? Nu Metal? Dubstep? That’s almost 15 years ago.

LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
One of the few things to come out of music on the internet is the potential reach you have. One that springs to mind is when I got a message from someone saying that they used to listen to my music in high school in Peru and it got them through it. Never been to South America, let alone Peru, so I was made up when I got this.

LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Either Trent Reznor or Maynard James Keenan, just so I can watch their process in the studio. Must be fascinating.

LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Skindred are always fun live, and I think my style would go well with the crowd. I can imagine that being pretty fun.

LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
Download Festival. Boring answer I know but it’s one of the biggest metal festivals in the world and it’s only an hour and a bit drive away from where I live.

LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Lateralus by Tool. There are so many great albums, including many from my NIN collection, but this one has stuck with me for almost 20 years now and I keep hearing new things on every listen. I never tire of it.

LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Total mess, hahaha. Vinyl shelf upstairs of vintage albums (Metallica/ACDC to Jean Michel Jarre/Simon and Garfunkal). CDs downstair of all kinds of stuff, and my phone and hard drive is filled to the brim of random crap.

LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
East Midlands/Fenlands of England. My area has a bigger punk scene then anything, but there is a very strong metal scene in Nottingham an hour away. Like most places in the country now though, as venues start closing down, the music scenes aren’t as strong as they once were.

LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
Trey Parker (South Park Co-Creator) – Love the show and I’d love to know how his mind works
Any member of the Red Dwarf crew – again love that show, they may have to flip a coin to see who joins.
Brian Cox – I know technically he is musical but it would be interesting to hear what he says.
Karl Pilkington – I’d like to hear a back and forth with him and Brian Cox
Neville Southall – I love my football and a big Everton fan, and this man is not only one of the best goal keepers of all time but he is a hoot on twitter.

LOMM: Cool, thanks for taking the time.

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