Hardcore Turns Rock & Roll; Catching Up With Veldts
From the ashes of hardcore-outfit Blackhole come Veldts, a four-piece from Hertfordshire comprised of Andreas Yiasoumi, Alex Hunt, Max Hart and Nick Mitchell.
Ahead of the release of their second EP, Subba-Cultcha caught up with the currently unsigned group to discuss their punk past, rock present and promising future.
Subba-Cultcha: What are the four of you up to at the moment – are you all in jobs, or putting all time and energy into Veldts?
Veldts: We’re currently all working/studying, but our spare time tends to go into the band.
SC: Why the four-year long gap between starting Veldts following the end of Blackhole?
V: Just like many hardcore bands, we were struggling to make ends meet when we were in Blackhole, so we kind of got sucked into the reality of having to hold down employment. In reality it's done us a world of good. During that time, we've matured both musically and as people and I think the sound of Veldts reflects this progression.
SC: What were the reasons behind Blackhole breaking up?
V: We were all very young when we started Blackhole and it got to the point where we had pretty much done all that we had set out to do. At the ages of 18/19 we had released a full-length album worldwide, toured with many of the bands that we grew up listening to and played a number of prestigious festivals around the country. As we grew a little older and experienced how the music industry works, we began to realise that it would the band was unlikely to last for much longer. We saw the route that the project was likely to follow, some of us didn't like it and others had a new musical project in mind.
SC: You’ve previously played Sonisphere and headlined the Red Bull tent at Download; what are your memories of these shows?
V: Both were amazing, but the highlight was definitely Reading Festival. That was a big eye-opener for all of us. We have fond memories of the Blackhole shows and we look back today with no regrets, which is a great feeling.
SC: Would you consider these festivals to still be good environments for the new sound of Veldts?
V: Definitely. We'll play any festival that is offered to us, we're not fussed!
SC: Will you look to recycle any of the previous material, or will Veldts be producing and playing only their new songs?
V: Veldts is a very different band so no, we won’t be stealing any old Blackhole riffs. I doubt that will stop the random joker in the crowd screaming ‘Forever’ in the middle of one of our sets though.
SC: On the new tracks, there seems to be more of a rockier sound rather than your previous punk approach. Do you think this is fair comment, and if so was it a conscious move?
V: Yes, it’s definitely got a more mainstream feel to it, but that was never our intention when we started the band. We write music for ourselves, music that we like to listen to. There are elements of the songs that show our hardcore punk background, but we’ve always been influenced by all genres of music.
SC: What’s on the agenda for Veldts over the coming months; is there anything in particular that you’re hoping to achieve? Do you have one eye on next year’s festival season already?
V: We've just finished recording our second EP, Between the Lines, which will feature five new tracks. It’s currently getting mixed and mastered, and we are hoping to release it early in the New Year. Other than that, we just want to play as many shows as possible. Playing live is what we love doing and we hope to get on a few tours as well the summer festivals. That’s what being in a band is all about.
SC: How have you been finding the initial feedback to Veldts EP?
V: The feedback has been great. It's been out for the best part of a year now, which comes as a surprise to some people. We paid to record and release it ourselves. The whole process has been very much off our own backs, so it's really great to be complimented on the material.
SC: You’ve a show coming up at Surya in Kings Cross; what can we expect from your live gig?
V: Our live show is what we pride ourselves on and we put a lot of effort into perfecting our live sound. We play with passion and energy so expect a sweaty one!
SC: Finally, people should get into Veldts because..?
V: We're a perfect example of what it's like to be in an unsigned band today. We all have full time jobs but do everything we can to get on a stage and play to people, wherever it may be. We also have killer tunes and a new EP that'll blow your mind!Click here to links to
Veldt’s website and
tickets for their Surya gig on 29th November Interview by Luke Forshaw Images courtesy of Tom Barnes.