When news were spread that former Kick singer Nick Workman is part of Vega and that an album will be out early 2011, I was curious to hear it. Sometimes one gets disappointed due to high expectations, but Vega fulfilled my expectations. To learn a little more about Vega I decided to do an interview by email. Thanks to Nick and Dan!
Nick, personally I was happy to hear that you are back. The Kick debut was my favorite album of the summer of '99. Please tell us how Vega got started!
Nick: Thanks! Dan, Tom and James approached me at a gig in the UK and asked if I would be interested in doing a 'project'. I'm not to keen on projects as I think they have diluted the music that I love. Anyway I agreed to start writing with the guys and we just instantly connected and formed a brotherhood. We knew it was a band from the moment we wrote our first song together which was 'into the wild'. A pretty good start. haha
Why the name Vega?
Dan: When we got together, we struggled initially to come up with a name. I trawled through Wikipedia for inspiration and got onto space articles and picked up on the word 'Vega', I repeated it to myself a few times and spoke to the guys about it. It soon stuck and we, at last, agreed on a name!!
Musically you combine classic rock with great hooks which have a slight pop appeal... A bit like Kick, but heavier. At least that's what it sounds to me. What bands / artists have influenced you? And what are you listening to nowadays?
Nick: I love bands like Def Leppard, Queen, Gotthard, The Poodles etc. But I also think bands like Sixx A.M. are amazing. I need to listen to bands who have more to sing about other 'broken hearts'. Sixx AM's new CD this year is gonna be a highlight for me.
How long did you work on the songs of your debut?
Dan: The writing was a fast, fluid process. Songs would be written within 24 hours. The Twins (Tom & James) would work on the backing through the night and send it to Nick so he could work on it in the day. By the end of the day, a song would be complete.
How important was producer John Greatwood for the sound? And what about Dennis Ward's mastering?
Dan: We had a lot of fun bringing these songs to life in the studio. We worked hard to get the absolute best out of them. John played a pivotal role in helping to bring a new dimension to the songs. He brought a very modern edge to the production, which comes across in the finished article. Dennis, of course, is a legend in his field and he was the obvious choice to master the album.
You had a lot more songs then you needed, so what about left-overs? Will you use some in future? Or give every song to other artists?
Dan: I think in total there were about 25 songs written. We believe we chose the ultimate 13 tracks (which includes the Japanese bonus track Here Comes The Rain) that represent Vega in the best light. Some tracks went straight to the creative bin, and some were sent to the label to be used on other Frontiers artists albums.
Nick: Yeah. We could have kept on going as well, but we would have had a nightmare choosing the best 12 for the CD then. Haha. Album number 2 is already up to 19 tracks, so that one is going to get to 30 I reckon. Nightmare approaching. lol
The album is called Kiss Of Life, why this title? Just because of the song? And how is the cover artwork tied in?
Dan: When Nick came up with the song Kiss Of Life we knew that with the strength of the song and the name itself that it would be a great name for the album. It was a no-brainer and throughout the whole working of the album, we just knew it would be called this. The cover artwork was designed by Richard Mace, who's talents have been loaned to many albums. Frontiers came up with the concept and Richard executed it. It's a classy piece of art in our eyes and can be interpreted in anyway the viewer sees fit. I like to see it as a bubble of air and water just about to burst!
Nick: The song is also very important in terms of subject matter. The 'kiss of life' can be anything that pulls you out of a dark place, it could be someone or something. The hope is that our album could have that affect on someone.
You did a video for the title track. Who's responsible for the concept? And where did you shot it? Looks like a movie theater... And tarot cards shown at the screen...
Dan: We wanted to film a video for the song Kiss Of Life and we searched for a few directors to help us bring our concept to life. We found this in a director called Chris Flynn. We shot it at an old cinema / theatre in the UK coastal town of Scarborough. Myself and Nick came up with the idea and we believe it works and portrays the song well. Chris came up with the awesome background, on screen, montage. Chris and his team have recently followed us around for a few weeks for a documentary leading up to the release of the album and the gigs we did before Christmas.
Will you do another video? Which song would you like to visualize?
Dan: We really want to do another video soon. We have narrowed it down to two songs, so watch this space!!
Nick: Indeed. We do have a documentary that will be available on our website when that launches in March. www.vegatheband.com
Can we expect to see Vega live soon?
Dan: We always knew that we wanted to gig this band and didn't want it to just be a project. We did our first gigs in December, the week the album came out in Europe. We have a couple of definite gigs booked-in in 2011, including Hard Rock Hell Road Trip in Ibiza, Firefest in the UK and couple of others. Our agent is working on some other European festivals and tours so expect announcements throughout the year. Keep checking www.vegatheband.com!
One off topic question... Just a few days ago the rock / metal world was shocked to hear that Gary Moore passed away. Do you have any memories / experiences you would like to share?
Dan: I remember enjoying the Still Got The Blues album on a family holiday and waking up to Always Gonna Love You every morning on my CD player as it was the first track on the Ballads & Blues album. Still Got The Blues is an amazing album.
Nick: I actually saw him play live a few years ago. There is no denying he was an amazing guitarist. One of my all time fave tracks is Out In The Fields with him and Phil Lynott.
Anything I should have asked? Something you want to add?
Nick: It's been a pleasure, let's do this again. ;0)
Great to hear that there are plans to tour and for some more videos. I'm looking forward to see the documentary and if they hit the road and I get the chance to see them live, then it would be my pleasure to continue this interview... Or do another email interview when the next album is ready for release.