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In conversation with… The Vincent(s)


In the first installment of  In Conversation With..., photographer Brid O’Donovan captures Margus and Shane from Cork “death pop” five-piece The Vincent(s) visually and in conversation about the band and their music. This is where we would say “awesomesauce” if we sucked – which we do so … awesomesauce.

[On discovering music as a kid]

Margus: “I had a friend around the corner. We moved into this estate when we were young and you’d see someone wearing a band t-shirt and you would be obsessed. You call round to their house when you’re not invited. Then I found his collection and he had everything that you’d ever want as a kid. He was maybe five years older like. He gave me my first cigarettes too.”

Shane: “It’s better when it’s (music) not at your fingertips. I remember, I used to tape loads of stuff, I used to borrow CDs and tape the CD and listen to it over and over again.”

Margus: “I remember the Dave Fanning show, hitting the record button and just listening to it constantly, like, until the tapes wore out.”

[On how that music influenced music they are now creating]

Margus: “I definitely think it’s always in the background but I have moved on from it now, very much so. I definitely find that grunge, being the first thing we listened to, plays a big part in our music. We don’t sound like a grunge band but we are definitely grunge influenced.”

Shane: “We get told that we sound like loads of different bands. People seem to compare us to really different bands all the time. It is like whoever listens to us, picks a band that they know and compares it, makes an association.”


[On the underage Blastbeat gigs held in Cork]

Shane: “I served my time playing Blast. They don’t have those types of gigs anymore now.”

Margus: “Those kind of gigs show you how a band, at it’s early stages, sounds like and how to entertain a crowd, by just going to the gigs every weekend. It’s really good. It’s great to talk to the people who were in the bands and you might find someone that they know who plays drums or whatever and you can put your own thing together. It’s only when you start going to those gigs that you think it’s possible that you can play yourself. It’s really important.”

[Creating music as a teenager]

Margus: “I remember I got a Tascam two track recorder for my 14th birthday. It was just absolute drivel that i was putting down back then, but you know, you were learning how to put things down.”

Shane: “I’ve been round the place since I was 16 and I’m 24 now so that’s 8 years. I started off playing those Blast gigs and then playing in a couple of bands and we recorded an EP and loads and loads of recordings and playing underage gigs and by the time we were 17/18 we were playing in pubs and stuff like that. I think that when I was 18 I was like ‘Yeah, I’m doing it!’. Now I don’t give a shit. When you are 18 you get a delusion of grandeur – ‘ Yes I’m gonna be massive’. Now I don’t give a shit. I don’t care if anybody listens to it as long as I like it. I think what happens to some people is that they initially start off really optimistic, they have high hopes and they want to do their best. But then, just because of the way it is, it’s so stupid, the whole process of it, how to become successful, it’s stupid, you have to sell a lot of yourself. People then give up and they become these bitter musicians. Some people get Bitter Syndrome. Even in 20 years time if we didn’t do really well, I’d be very happy.”

Margus: “I think when you start doing it for yourself, it’s a lot better. It can go one way or another. You can get bitter if it’s not going anywhere or you can accept that you are just doing it for yourself.”

[On The Vincent(s)’ music]

Shane: “I think it’s important for the songs not to be too structured because you don’t want it to get stale. it’s nice knowing that you are going to do something a little bit different every time. I don’t mean drastically change the song everytime but I don’t know, there’s just something about it – regurgitating the same song over and over again. Even if you can play it really well, it’s fucking boring, really boring. When you go see a band you can see them feeding off each other and going for it and they’re just, like, in the zone. Maybe some of might be shit but it always comes to a point.”

Margus: “If you are doing something like a robot, like playing every night and playing the exact same thing at the same level you have played it all along, well, for me I don’t get anything out of that. Right now, we are doing it for ourselves and if you can’t get some new enjoyment out of doing the next gig then there’s no point in doing the next gig.”

Shane: “We are constantly refining the songs every time we play. We cut a bit off or we put a bit on or even if it’s a recording, even if we like a part but it’s too extreme we’ll take it out and just think about it more. The more you are playing them the more you think about the structure. The structure of things come together. We have to have some sort of a structure for any track we are going to release. Live, it doesn’t have to be like that at all. People, with the single, expect you to play it exactly like that.”

[On the process of creating the E.P.]

Shane: (about Margus) “He’d have the bones of it there, he’d have the melody and the lyrics. When it comes to the music there is a basic idea behind most of it and the rest of it is jammed and we put it together on the spot. You throw yourself into the shit and you have to dig yourself out.”

Margus: “I have another eight track at home with like hundreds of ideas that I have just recorded when sitting around and feeling the need. Then I go through the recordings and find what’s good. It could take days to find something that I want to work on and it might not even be English that i’m saying but it could just be a very basic idea that I work on for a week or so and then I bring it to the guys and they help me out. Once it’s forming into a song I have an idea that if I’m interested then I’ll write lyrics to it and find what’s the emotion in it and what it’s about.

“When you are actually recording the EP you get so caught up in these songs that you are doing, it’s great to just, you know, leave it for months, which is what we did. We left it for months and then came back and then mixed it and it was fresh again. We were able to have a full focus on what we were actually doing and trying to get it done cos there was a time limit to getting it done. When you leave it all breathe for a while, when you come back to it you have a better idea.”

Margus: “It’s just about finding our sound at the moment. The EP is the foundation to our sound. Jonathan is a noise art guitarist so he will never play the same thing twice on stage. He has his riffs that he has learned but he creates whatever he wants on the night, like. We are the only things that are really structured.”

Shane: “We keep a ground on it, we keep the structure there but everything else is a bit different. The way Jonathan plays is something you can’t even rehearse like. You need to be there doing it because if you were just sat at home making crazy noise – I imagine it would be hard to get into. You need to be around other people and just doing it.”

Margus: “Being spontaneous in the band is probably the most important thing.” Brid O Donovan