Following on from yesterday’s Ross-led inquisition, here are the responses to questions which were asked by The Official Virginmarys Fan Community. They’re a great bunch of people, as well as able to come up with some great interview questions, so if you like what you read and hear of the band’s music, I encourage you to join one of the friendliest corners of the internet.
“Sleep” sounds like it could have strings during the chorus. Is this something you’ve considered adding to your songwriting?
Ally: If it works; definitely. Strings can be amazing.
Danny: We’ve only ever used them once on “Cast the First Stone”. That was never intended, I can’t remember us talking about them, I seem to remember Toby [Jepson] saying “I’ve got a string quartet coming down”. It was cool, it was the first time we’d heard strings on our stuff.
Ally: It can be a really nice touch if you get it right.
Danny: It’d definitely suit some of our songs. We’ve talked about doing a full acoustic gig of all our tracks at some point and having a cello player or something like that. We just haven’t gotten around to doing it at some point! [laughs]
When can we see a return to the States?
Danny: I think it’d depend if we worked with someone over there on the next record. There was a guy who really wanted to work with us on the EP, we would definitely love to work with him but it came too late, really. I’m sure we’ll speak to him when we do the next thing.
Ally: I think it’s just making it work financially, no matter who you are. You’ve gotta get the visas and flights and we’ve had to hire gear when we’re over there. Just for two weeks it can cost ten grand.
Danny: Either way we’d have to work with a label.
Ally: It’s a case of what label would want to do it, they might have a budget for a certain amount.
Which song means the most to you and why?
Ally: Uh…I like, it doesn’t necessarily mean the most, I really like “Living in My Peace”. It’s got that strings vibe. I’m a big fan of Jeff Lynne with what he does with ELO, some of the stuff is awful but some of it is genius. It’d be certain people’s favourite and others be like “I wish they’d stay away from that shit” and keep it driving and some people prefer the riffs and some people prefer the punk side. As a writer that means a lot to me but there’s loads of songs, you’d have to step away from it all, I think you get way too involved.
Can we expect another Stripped album at some point?
Ally: I reckon so. I think what we were talking about recently, there’s been so many demos and B-sides which never made the cut and we just want to get them out in some format. So, we’re talking about releasing “Northern Sun” and doing like a Queens of the Stone Age Desert Sessions, it’d be a bit more rough and ready but the songs would be out there. The worst thing would be if they never surfaced.
Danny: We’ve got loads and loads of demos on my computer. They sound wicked. We will do that because of what Al says.
Ally: It’d be horrible.
How do you feel social media has impacted bands as a whole?
Ally: It’s good and bad, isn’t it? I don’t know how someone like Thom Yorke would surface now if he wasn’t using social media and this whole fake bullshit veil that bands put on where they go “Right, get some footage of us with a bigger band’s crowd and make it look like we’re this big thing.” They’ll do a really cool video then you’ll go to a show and there’s like two people. It’s good and it’s bad, it gives bands a lot of opportunity to get a platform but it takes away the whole mysticism.
There’s also the fan interaction.
Ally: That’s great, yeah.
Danny: That is the great side of it. The only bit I don’t like, it’s not really for us because we don’t do it but certainly a lot of newer bands coming out now, it seems more about the social media than the tunes. That’s the main side I don’t like about it but our Fan Community is amazing. I’m on that more than I am on our own page!
Ally: It’s got a life of its own and it seems to rise higher with people. I like to think if something’s meant to be then it’s meant to be and that side of social media is ace.
Danny: Everything else is all to do with sponsored ads and hit this territory and get the likes up. It’s marketing whereas on the Fan Community, I don’t see how many people have liked the page, it’s just about reading the comments and seeing what people are saying. It’s a lot more interesting and it feels a lot nicer.
What are the plans for 2018?
Ally: It’d be good to get those B-sides out there, just more new stuff. Get out there in front of the fans. If we could figure out some way where we could do sessions that could be broadcast for the fans in the States. We’d love to get back over there and play, I really miss travelling around America but until we can make that happen it’d be good to get in front of as many people as best as we can. I’d love if we could get some good sound of jams we have and fans could watch that of a night. That’d be a cool thing to do.
Danny: Yeah, there’ll be loads more new music out next year.