Originally Posted on: September 20th, 2013
Charlie JJ Kruger sits down with Vic Victor, lead vocalist and upright bassist for the band Koffin Kats.
H-P: Ok, so, the sound on this new album, 'Born Of The Motor', is amazing, and the songwriting sounds evolved a touch from the past, what were you listening to when you wrote this one?
VIC: Hey, thanks for having me. That's a good question. Since the last album our collective music tastes all pretty much stayed the same. I know this because I've been no more than 10 feet from the guys for most of the past year with all the touring. Same iPods full of bands from Bad Religion, to Mad Sin, to Waylon Jennings. So I can't really say there was anything new and inspiring entering our ears. Just the same ole bands we love. I think the change in sound is just natural progression of 3 musicians playing and recording together so much. We also never want to rewrite a record of ours from the past. Gotta keep it fresh and exciting. Or at least try to haha.
H-P: What brought you to the title 'Born of the Motor'?
VIC: Same answer on why I used Koffin Kats as a band name... It sounded cool and nobody else was using it! I also thought it was a bit of a nod to where we live. At one time it was quite the motor city.
H-P: You guys are one of the MANY influential and gifted bands from Detroit. What is it about Detroit that makes you so proud of it?
VIC: It's cool to be from an area with so much history, musically and industrial. But all the legendary stuff happened years before us. As a kid you could have put me in any basementor garage across the USA, practicing with a band and I'd probably be in the same spot today. Just because my musical influences growing up were not only from the Detroit region thanks to CDs and cassette tapes and radio that wasn't run by Clear Channel. (Remember those days!?) I guess my biggest connection to Detroit is that's where my family has been for generations. I have a lot of good but also bad memories as a kid thanks to the big 3 moving most of it's production out of the state and the toll it took on not only my family, but also the majority of people I know or knew. So I don't know if proud is the word... It's just home.
H-P: Are there any films in particular that helped you write any of these songs? Or at least, films that you drew some imagery from to help with you lyrical illustrations?
VIC: Any time I'm writing subject matter pertaining to drugs and that life, I think of 'Requiem for a Dream' or 'Drugstore Cowboy'. Or songs about bad relationships... The settings in movies like those come to mind. 'Leaving Las Vegas', that's another one.
H-P: Are there any young bands out now that you think are ones for us all to keep our eyes on?
VIC: This answer could fill 10 pages. Playing out as much as we do, I see promising bands almost every night. Check out Against The Grain from Detroit. I say this because they are a solid band but also are doing it right by throwing all caution to the wind and busting their asses touring as much as possible. If there's any advice I can give, it's no matter how awesome you are, the crowd on the other side of the country isn't gonna come to you. You gotta take the show to them.
H-P: The song 'Giving Blood' off your new album is more than just stuck in my head, so I have to ask, what is this song about? Is there a story behind it that you would like to share?
VIC: It's fictional. I thought the verse music sounded too "happy" so I needed to counter it with a song about being trapped in a world of bottom feeders and the endless circle of shit that comes with that way of life.
H-P: Also, the song 'The Collector', the vocal hook in the chorus is really breathtaking, what is the story behind this song?
VIC: I read an article about a guy who picks up the unclaimed bodies in Detroit. The ones who died without family that knew, or the splattered crackhead on the street. It inspired me with lyrics about making an honest living off of misfortune.
H-P: How did you come to find Adam Ayan? His work on this album (as "He Who Masters") is really REALLY good, and the sound you guys have here is the best I have heard from you guys on record.
VIC: Towards the end of recording, the usual question of where to master came up. Then the questions of how much it really mattered came up. Along with what the hell is mastering really?? After ten years you think we would have a definite answer on all that. Well, we were so excited with how the sound was coming across with the sessions that we wanted to take no risk in losing any of it. Adam was suggested by our studio guy. We looked into and saw Bad Religion and Kelly Clarkson in the group of artists he worked with. We were sold.
Another lesson. When it comes to sound, there really are some things worth spending money on.
H-P: You guys have accomplished so much in your career, it must be hard to even envision bigger things, but what is your dream band to play with? And who was the most fun band you have played with so far?
VIC: We really want to do a show with Alice Cooper. It should go without explaining what his influence was on the darker side of the Rock and Roll world. We just played with a band that is the embodiment of positive party time Interactive rock and roll fun. They are called Peelander Z.
H-P: Seriously, Freddy Vs. Jason. Who should win?
VIC: Jason, because his remake sucked less.
H-P: Thank you so much for this interview, I hope this album takes over the world the way it should! Is there anything else you want to add?
VIC: I want to thank you and anyone else who takes an interest in us enough to actually listen to the music! Support live entertainment so people like us can keep touring and bringing the show to you.
Visit Koffin Kats online: koffinkatsrock.com