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Articles Home » Music Talk » VYCES INTERVIEW
VYCES INTERVIEW

 

VYCES INTERVIEW

By Nina McCarthy, Senior Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio

 

Los Angeles based hard rockers, VYCES will be touring throughout 2018 in support of their national radio singles “Nocturnal” and “Thin Luck.”   They are returning to the New England area with Powerman 5000 at the end of July, with shows in MA and RI.  Check out their full schedule and catch them in a city near you.  The first time I saw them come through, I was literally blown off my feet and thought they were the best band on the national lineup.  Many thanks to them all for taking a few minutes to chat with me about DIY verses labels, their hot singles, and advice for touring.  They are not only 4 talented dudes, but they were sweet and super cool!  Keep your eyes on these guys!

 

 

Band Members

Dave Naruszewicz - Vocals

Shawn Patterson - Guitar

Russell Ray - Drums

Andrew "Bones" Trujillo - Bass

 

BRR:  Dave, your journey started in Chicago, but you didn’t seem to find what you were looking for in the scene there until you reached out to Russell in L.A.  Can you tell me a little more about this venture to create what became VYCES?

 

Dave:  I was in my band Heart-Set Self-Destruct for about 10 years and it was kind of a growing process because we grew out of a garage.  As we went from local to regional to national, we probably got punched in the face every which way we went, just learning the ropes and growing as individuals and kind of figuring out who is there for the right reasons, to grow.  Our biggest problem was our team behind us.  Nobody was there for the band; they were there to be right and not what was right for the band, so it was a constant struggle to get anywhere.  Just having a song that was doing well was the only thing that kept us on the road and kept us pushing forward.  The song was doing what it needed to do, but eventually we had a couple guys that just didn’t like touring anymore, which sucked because we were right at that point.  At the end of the day, I needed to find guys that were willing to take this the distance, which is to the top.  I don’t want to work some other job.  I tried to keep it in Chicago and I found some other members where they went national and the band kind of went down in flames like mine did.  There was a reason why bands went down that way.  They weren’t the right guys.  It has got to be about the band and doing your job, not about you.

I reached out to Russ.  I met him through his brother, who is one of my really good friends in Chicago, and we always joked around about being in a band together but we were both always doing something else.  Finally it came down to the point where we said, “Let’s do this!” and I started flying out to Los Angeles to find people willing to go the distance.  That’s how it started and we spent the first 2 years of the existence of  this band writing, recording, branding, and putting together everything we needed to do in order to be able to step on the stage and leave it all out there.  Once you start playing live, time is no longer on your side.

 

BRR:  Your first radio single in 2017, “Nocturnal” features Carla from Butcher Babies.  How did you end up collaborating with her and how was the experience?

 

Dave: Through the L.A. scene, everybody kind of knows each other.  Everyone hangs out all over the place and it’s like a big family out there. That’s one of the things that I really enjoyed about going out to Los Angeles, is because there is a scene out there.  It’s one of the reasons I left Chicago.  Everybody started making it about themselves and you can’t grow that way.  Being able to get Carla was through mutual friends and I’ll never forget the experience with her.  Working with her was fantastic.  She’s such a cool person.  Then we went out and did karaoke with her later in the night.  It was a really, really awesome experience.

 

BRR:  Carla and Heidi are so down to earth.  When I interviewed them, they were on the tour bus in their pajamas.  It’s not what you expect from what you see onstage.  Now, your videos have been shot by Ron Underwood from 9 Electric, whom I have also had the privilege of meeting.  Why do you like working with Ron?

 

Dave: Working with Ron is so awesome because I’m a really visual person and when I sit down with the video concepts with him, I am literally able to connect with him on that level.  Like when the “Nocturnal” video came out, it came out exactly how I imagined it coming out.  It’s just the connection, because that is exactly how he thought it was going to come out. We were completely on the same page the whole time.  Then the next video, “Thin Luck” was the same thing, but even on a higher level, out of this world.  If anybody sat in a room with me and Ron talking about videos, they’d probably think they were with two lunatics talking together and have us committed.  There are just scattered comments, kind of like trying to describe a nightmare to somebody.  It never sounds scary to someone else.

 

BRR:  What tends to be the inspiration or general theme of your songs?

 

Dave: Everybody has vices, so we’re not writing nice music.  We’re writing about things people can relate to.  Everybody has had some sort of terrible relationship or some sort of addiction and that’s kind of the theme of our whole band.  When we are onstage, we are actually people’s vices, people’s demons, so that’s kind of our characters when we are onstage.  One thing I really enjoy is when people come back and tell me that they really like a song and tell me what they think it’s about and it’s totally different, but in the same realm.  You’re connecting with people on so many different levels.  I know exactly what I wrote about, but it can be interrupted in so many different ways.

 

Russ: Once you define something, you are kind of forcing it to be that way.  Like, why is a tree called a tree because people have been calling it a tree forever.  If you leave something open then people can take what they want by their own interpretation of it.  Dave is really good about leaving things open.  He has his own place that he is coming from but people gravitate toward it on different levels and that is pretty exciting.  Kind of like Tool.

 

BRR:  Which leads me to the single, “Thin Luck.”  Can you give me some insight into that song?

 

Dave:  We wrote that about toxic relationships, whether that be with another person, a job, addiction; it’s just a comfort level.  For example, you’re dating someone and you just can’t get away from them but you know they are terrible for you and it’s always made you miserable and it’s just bad.  Everybody has been there.  You feel stuck and then one day when you aren’t there anymore, you are like, “Wow, what the hell was I doing?”  

 

BRR: You guys are no stranger to touring.  You’ve been on tour with some big names.  From your experience, what advice would you have for up and coming bands new to touring?

 

Dave:  I think my biggest advice is to just be professional. Be on time, be where you are supposed to be, and be clean.  Don’t leave water bottles and crap all over the place.  It is simple stuff, but it separates you from national to local.

 

Russ:  Being professional is key, but as Dave said, we started this band and the reason it is working is because we have the right people involved.  You want to keep your circle clean and you want everyone to have the same goals.  Once you find that, and get out there and are playing music, then stay true to yourself and stay off drugs.

 

Shawn:  Keeping in mind what Dave and Russ said, have fun but take care of your health. Drink lots of water.  Make sure you are eating well.  There are lots of long nights, very little sleep, long drives...you have to take care of your health.

 

Andrew:  On the more day to day stuff have a system for things.  It’s going to make your life a lot easier.  Have a process for things like getting your merch in, getting your gear loaded in and loaded out and it will be much easier than chaos all the time.

 

BRR:  You mentioned about not getting a lot of sleep and such, how do you guys try to stay healthy on tour?

 

Russ:  We go to the gym.  Planet Fitness is also a good place to shower.  We live at Planet Fitnesses across the nation.  We go in the morning, get a work out and then shower.

 

Dave: If you ever want to go to a cool planet fitness, go to the one in Covington, KY.  It’s amazing.

 

BRR:  VYCES  is unsigned and independent.  What do you feel are the advantages/disadvantages of this and are you label shopping or do you prefer the DIY method?

 

Dave:  I feel like the advantage is that we don’t have anybody else calling shots at this point and we are able to do the things that we want to do.  The biggest disadvantage is, you need a label name for people including booking agents and any sort of tour.  They can get behind a band with a label because they know there is going to be promotion and they know they are going to get paid.  With an independent band, people get a little worried and a little hesitant.  Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we need a label.  But at the same time, signing our music away to someone else, I want to make sure that we are signing away to someone that is putting the work in that we are.  We want someone to go on this journey with us, but we need to be developed and there has to be a lot of communication and we have to make sure we are getting what we want from them and they are getting what they want from us.  I know that those deals are out there still but we are going to take our time.  We are definitely aggressively shopping right now.  We already have a fantastic team behind us between our management, producer, radio guy, publicist, videographer...we have this really amazing team to do some serious damage.  We’ve got the songs, we just need to find a good home for it and that’s the next important step and the final piece of the puzzle.

 

BRR:  The importance of the right team can not be emphasized enough!

 

Dave:  It’s a family.  We can’t do this by ourselves.  There are so many working parts and so many working pieces.  Right now we are sitting in such a great position that moving forward, everyone is there to have the band succeed.  Like I said, in my old band, I didn’t have that so it was friction all the time.  It’s great because we have guys behind the scenes doing stuff that we can’t do.  You can’t just say, “My buddy is my manager.”  You definitely need people that have the contacts and the means to do the things that you can’t do.

 

Russ:  I think Dave explained it pretty well.  It’s like any football, basketball, hockey team or whatever that goes to the championship.  It’s up to the coaches, medical staff, all the way down to the players.  To have people that care about us and being very selective and doing things this way has gotten us to where we are today...here in Providence, RI.

 

BRR:  I’m glad you made it here! Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

 

Dave: Definitely visit vycesofficial.com.  Check out the links to the music videos and stay posted for new videos.  There are links all over social media.

 

BRR:  I had Tom (George, TAG Publicity) send “Thin Luck" in to have it added for airplay. (So readers, you can request “Thin Luck” to be played on Boston Rock Radio.)

 

I will be front and center when VYCES come back to Providence July 26th!

 

 

*(The above pictures were taken by Heather Pearce. Thanks for your skills!)

 

 

TOUR DATES:

 

 

 

 

 

  

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