Band of the day are Livingston’s very own noisy five-piece “alt rock with a bit of a grungy streak” band, this is Volka. They’re celebrating the release of debut EP Equate released in digital stores and streaming services on 16th June 2017.
We at Moshville Times got to ask these guys some interesting questions about love, life and gummy bears… Strap in, the interview has begun, and afterwards check out “Choke”, the lead single from their wonderful debut EP.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re from a small town in Scotland called Livingston which is between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
How did you meet?
Well, myself (Calum Sked – bass) and Euan (drums) are brothers and we both went to the same school as Thomas (vocals) and Calum More (guitar) and we all met Steven as a friend of Calum More’s (they met through a love of all things bikes). That’s probably not the coolest answer but that’s about the long and short of it. Myself, Thomas, Calum and Steven had been making music together for about four years in different projects before Euan came and joined us on drums and we just knew we had to start a new band together and get our jams out there.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We wanted a name that was uncommon and different and spent a lot of time trying to think of something until Euan eventually saw a Korg keyboard called a Volca and had the idea of turning it in to Volka. As it happens, volk in Germanic languages means ‘people’ and has links to Slavic languages as well which we have embraced and tried to get across in our visuals, logos, etc.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Big riffs with big hits which are punchy, trimmed of fat and chock-full of melody. We focus our music around getting the rhythm section tied in together, letting the guitars link in and out with each other giving plenty of room for our vocals and lyrics as well. I think if we have anything that makes us unique in our genre is how we question how and why we’re writing something to make sure we’re never doing something just for the sake of it.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
When it comes to lyrics we tend to write about our lives and the things which are going on in them. As a result of that our lyrics are often captured moments in time which are at times wistful and at others plain angry. If you listen to our EP Equate with a keen ear you’ll hear that the concept of time is something we often engage with.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Probably Two-Face from Batman as there are definitely a few different sides to our music and characters which play a part in what we do and there is no rhyme or reason as to why we write any particular song. This is probably evident on Equate where there are a mix of different types of song but with a consistent sound connecting them.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Our guitarist Steven once thought it would be a great idea to do the splits… he’s never done the splits before. It didn’t end well – one snapped hamstring later he was feeling a bit sheepish for being so full of bravado!
Listening to Equate, I sensed a connection with Silverchair. Are you influenced by them? Who else inspired you guys?
Surprisingly no, not really! We all have really varied tastes in music but the bands we all love are the likes of Brand New, Reuben, Basement and The Xcerts. We just love any rock music which have great riffs and vocals.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Calum More (guitar) – Home-built Fender Strat into a Marshall JCM2000 DSL head out of a Flynn 2×12 cab
- Steven Dunsmore (guitar) – G&L Fallout into a Blackstar HT20 Studio head out of an Orange 2×12 cab
- Calum Sked – Fender Jaguar bass into an Ampeg Micro VR head out of an Ampeg 2×10 cab
- Euan Sked (drums) – Mapex kit with Istanbul cymbals
You’re supporting Allusondrugs at Edinburgh’s Opium at Cowgate. How did this gig come about? What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We were fortunate enough to be contacted by the promoter of the show who asked us if we would like to play and of course this was a show we just had to play! Our live show is really all about energy and delivery of the songs, trying to make sure the music and vocals communicate to the audience. I’ve just checked and we have played 27 shows since August 2016!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Having just released our first ever EP, we plan to keep on playing live shows throughout the year in support of that whilst writing and working on new music for release next year.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We would love to support Brand New and we’d definitely get The Phantoms to play – they are awesome, check them out!
A question from previous Band of the Day The Less Unfortunates: Would you rather have gummy bears for teeth or hair that grows straight up and never stops? (You can’t cut your hair.)
Gummy bears for teeth
Check out their upcoming tour dates:
- Sun 16th July – Opium, Edinburgh (Supporting Allusondrugs w/
- Fri 27th Oct – King Tut’s, Glasgow (Supporting Alburn)