It’s no great secret that Scotland’s music scene is a thing to be proud of. So we here at TSA have teamed up with Glasgow’s very own New Hellfire Club to bring you a monthly pick of who we think are doing epically well right now. Keep your eyes out for these up and coming bands. This is TSA and New Hellfire Club’s ‘Pick of the Month’.
This month’s pick of the greatest Scottish bands we know and love, has to be the darkly charismatic Joe Bone and the Dark Vibes, one of the most hugely entertaining, and crazily moreish live acts that we have ever seen. Their lead singer, and musical commander-in-chief himself, Joe Bone can do most of the chatting from here on in though, so read on and find out a bit more about the Dark Vibes….
It’s great to have you guys (and gal!) as our pick of the month, you were pretty much a shoe-in to be honest, as your material, both old and new, is simply phenomenal to listen to, ear-worms all the way! Lead us in then, tell us a wee bit about the band, it’s history, and why people should check you out.
Haha there’s not much history to be honest we only did our first gig last year so only celebrated our 1st birthday recently. But we’ve tried to cram as much in as possible in that first year without diluting and always writing new material. The band is a 7 piece outfit we have male lead vocals, female backing vocals, drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and saxophone. Why should folk check us out? Well why not? If you like your music not all stuck in the same genre and you like a bit of edge to it and originality I don’t think we will disappoint!
So, you’re called Joe Bone and The Dark Vibes, going on the strength of the name (the Dark Vibes bit, not the Joe Bone bit!) would you say you are naturally drawn to the darker side of life as musicians, or do you just find the darker side of things easier to write about these days? (I actually find some of your tunes fascinatingly upbeat sounding, but then again, I can be a bit morbid at times!)
I would say the darker side appeals more to us, and I totally agree that you are a bit morbid at times! We do have a sense of humour (see last sentence) and although the songs are of dark origin they put a smile on a lot of folks faces (the morbid ones haha). I can naturally write songs about anything just some things appeal to me more, a lot of the dark stuff is more pulp fiction type / horror movie material only meant to be taken as a dark story rather than an honest feeling.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of writing with a seven piece band and how the songs come together from start to finish? Is it a team effort, with everyone contributing their piece to a new song, or is there one main song writer?
Basically I (Joe Bone) write the song and make a decent demo of it and give it to the band to sprinkle their magic on it letting them add anything they find might work. I always keep my original song demos as my own work but anything we release as a band is a joint work and I do not take full writing credits for it, it’s credited to the full band (Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes). So anything released by the band is very much a joint effort.
You’ve been in a few bands yourself in the past Joe, (one of which is another favourite of mine’s from the not so distant past, The Coffins) do you find that all your previous bands have led you to the dark vibes? Do you feel that the dark vibes carries an influence from past projects?
Yes there are always things I take forward because I was the main song writer in all the bands I formed. The format for me in starting a band was always me coming into the studio with a bunch of self penned songs and us working on them. So there will be bits of everything there, even all the different musical stuff I like, everything is thrown into a big melting pot called my brain and I come up with the next song.
Some songs I’ve originally written have travelled through several of the bands, but never copied, as I only let the band hear the original demo rather than the last band who did it. An instance of this will be “The Murderer’s Song” which The Coffins did a brilliant version I’ve harked back to the original version (which had female vocals on it) and gave it to The Dark Vibes, we’ve tried it out in rehearsals and it seems to work. It’s now got a more dark gospel feel to it.
You guys have recently signed up to a record label, do you think signing with a label will make any big difference to the way you do things as a band, or will it just free up more of your time for actual music related stuff?
It won’t make a lot of difference in the fact I still manage the band to the best of my ability, the difference is that it will hopefully open up a few more doors for us but that’s not the work done, we need to make sure we take the opportunities the open doors have led to, and with the same focus disregard opportunities that are going to bring us down.
The Record label will have a name change next year and famous graphic novelist Alan Moore is coming on board and he has a design artist coming in to to create a new record logo. So we are chuffed to be one of their first Scottish signings. The Record Label takes care of finances regarding releases, so that means the financial burden has been lifted from our shoulders.
When is the new release coming out then, or is it out already prior going to press? Are we going to see it in the NHC shop, or are you considering making it a ‘gig only’ release?
We will have an ep launch end of January, maybe start of February, just waiting on venue confirming. I should have the copies with me by next week but they won’t be available til the launch, and yes NHC shall be given some copies as this, unlike the gig only ep, is an official release. (Cat. No. and all that mate!)
Aye we are really proud of this release, and well chuffed that The Very Rev D Wayne Love of The Alabama 3 was involved on all the tracks, coming up from London to get involved in this project with us after liking what he had heard of us through the grapevine.
So what’s next for The Dark Vibes? Any big plans for 2016 you can share with us?
Next will be the ep release, then I’m sorting out a calendar of gigs for 2016 as we speak, and a few nice folk have been in contact. There’s also a trip down to our record label’s home of Northampton on the cards, with other good stuff thrown in too, so we will be certainly busier than last year!
Main image from Joe Bone and The Dark Vibes Facebook.