Hull’s Vulgarians will release their new EP titled Almost-Instinct, Almost True on May 5th 2017. Produced by MJ of Hookworms (TRAAMS, Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses), the EP is to be closely trailed with a full UK headline tour throughout May taking into account a date at London’s Old Blue Last on May 23rd.
Following a chance encounter after a gig at Brudenell Social Club last year, Hookworms’ frontman MJ invited Vulgarians to record their next EP at his Suburban Home studio in Leeds, also offering up his production services. Speaking about working with MJ, Wilson-Preen says: “We’re all really big fans of his work with Hookworms and he’s also produced many of our favourite records. We knew he could certainly add his experience, but also bring his music knowledge to the table.”
Taking its title from work by Hull poet Philip Larkin, Almost-instinct, Almost True finds Vulgarians in their most pulse-quickening but focused form, demonstrating a marked progression in sound from their previous release. There is a heftier emphasis upon the bass and groove within songs; bassist Jodie Smith and drummer Connor Cheesman find a progressed alliance in the rhythm section that plays into Vulgarians’ newly found sleaze. Whilst shades of the Morphine, Sonic Youth and Jesus and Mary Chain records which soundtracked the writing of Life’s Successful Death still show, Almost-Instinct, Almost True is driven by the same barbed energy propelling influences from Rowland S. Howard, PiL and Iggy Pop. Hands Around The Waste’ is the finest example of Vulgarians’ musical and lyrical dynamic. Split down the middle in two contrasting demeanours, the song finds the humour in a taxi drivers’ dark stories, incongruously mixing monumental choruses with sparse verses.
Since forming from the remains of various other previous bands, Vulgarians have since gained fan support from The Wytches, Baby In Vain and Weirds, with The Wytches personally inviting Vulgarians to be their tour support in late 2015 and in early 2017 too. Prior to the release of Life’s Successful Death last year, the group were asked by 6Music’s Steve Lamacq to perform on the BBC Introducing Stage at The Great Escape, ahead of their first headline tour through summer. From there the band have gone on to support the likes of Happy Meal Ltd, TRAAMS, Gang and Weirds.
Meet – Vulgarians
Can you tell us a little about how you all started up
We are Vulgarians. 3 guys and a gal from Hull, England. We started out just over 2 years ago; forming from other bands after a shared passion for noisy, obnoxious music. We played our first show in January 2015 and it’s been a fun and frantic road to today.
Who are your musical influences
Naming musical influences is always tricky cos we could be here all night, but genres we’ve been reared on are Alt Rock, Post-Punk, Krautrock, Psych, Electronic and dark singer/songwriters. A real weird mix. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s the cooleset thing to happen for you as a band
We’ve done a tonne of cool things along the way. But when we very first started out, one of our favourite bands of the time, The Wytches, asked us to tour with them. That was a real big deal to us back then cos we were so fresh. I think, as you move forward as a band you grow with each cool thing that happens, so they don’t seem too crazy, cos you get more and more cool shows etc to play. But when you first start out, a band you really like asking you to support them on tour is such a big deal. We’ve since played with them a load more times including another tour and they’re great friends of ours. Funny looking back, cos we speak to them pretty much daily now.
what are some of your plans for the year
We’re recording our debut album this year, so it’d be cool if that did well and we got to play all the places we want to. We definitely are hoping to tour Europe in the not-too-distant future. Then jumping across the pond and doing the US would be awesome. I guess we just hope to bring good records out and play them as far and wide as possible.
What are some of your favorite albums of recent years
Suuns – Images Du Futur
Hookworms – The Hum
Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie
Preoccupations – Preoccupations
The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader
Eagulls – Ullages
TOY – Join The Dots
The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads
Again, we have countless more but don’t wanna bore people to actual death.
is social media a good or bad thing
I think social media certainly has its positives and negatives. It allows people to have their music heard all over the world so easily, and also allows fans to keep up with bands on a day-to-day basis. Which is a cool thing. But I think it kinda takes the sting out of physical music. Magazines, papers, physical records. There isn’t that excitement so much because music is so easy to access digitally, people don’t cherish it like they used to. That’s my take on it anyway.
what kind of gear are you using as a band
Gear as in equipment or drugs? Nah, just kidding. Our drugs are pastries. We get through a fair bit of pastry in the van. And crisps (chips). Another staple van inhabitant are stubbies. Little bottles of cheap French beer. By the truck load. It’s a rolling class act.
do you pay much attention to positive or negative reviews
We don’t really get much bad press, which is nice. Maybe we will the more we get around. Probably. I just think you can’t please everyone. People are bound to like/dislike your music cos that’s the way music is. It’s subjective. I don’t think you can let it upset you too much.
where would you love to tour
We’d really love to tour The States. That’s definitely on the bucket list for us. But it’d be really cool to tour Australia too. We toured England with a Melbourne band called Breve last year; it’d be great to do the return leg with those nutters.
can music save your mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to life
I think that’s not a question for anyone to answer for anybody else. I think music certainly has saved some souls. Probably destroyed some too. I guess music, like any art, gives what you personally want to take from it. It’d certainly be a dull world without it, though.
May 10th – Headrow House, Leeds
May 11th – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
May 12th – Picture House, Sheffield
May 13th – The Priory, Glasgow
May 16th – Full Moon Club, Cardiff
May 22nd – Crofter’s Rights, Bristol
May 23rd – Old Blue Last, London
May 26th – The Polar Bear, Hull
May 27th – Rock City Basement, Nottingham