Vvlva - these are five young men from Aschaffenburg, who have dedicated themselves to the 60's/70's retrorock and now after the 2018's "Path Of Virtue" with "Silhouettes" present the second album. Vvlva not only confirms the quality of the debut, but also enhances it. Eclipsed spoke with singer Tobias Ritter.
eclipsed: Already after the first album there was an interview with eclipsed. Now also after the second album. Great odds, huh?
Tobias Ritter: Of course, it's a big deal for us!
eclipsed: Now so shortly after the release of the new album: Can you say what you think about "Silhouettes"?
Ritter: We are all incredibly happy that the disc is now seeing the light of day. In contrast to "Path Of Virtue" the record was made with more time and peace, because we knew about what to expect during the recording and production process. We are very satisfied with the result, because the songs don't differ too much from the live sound.
eclipsed: The album says "All music written and arranged by Vvlva". Does that mean that all of you are developing the songs together in the rehearsal room? Or does someone with many ideas come from the quiet chamber and then everyone is working on it?
Ritter: This happens sometimes like this, sometimes like this. It is usually a basic idea to which everyone contributes something and in the end we don't even know anymore what came from whom. That's not important to us either. Being creative and writing songs is as beautiful for us as performing.
eclipsed: Your website says "Finest Organ Driven Heavy/Psych Rock". And of course there is a lot of Hammond organ on the new album. Do you deliberately give this instrument so much leeway? Or is this happening unconsciously? What is the charm of the Hammond organ for you?
Ritter: We simply want to give the organ exactly the same status as the guitar. It should not be merely an accompanying instrument. Chrissi [note: Keyboarder Chris Karl] does his job damn well and his way of playing doesn't only hit the mark with us, as the audience reactions at the concerts show.
eclipsed: The song "Gomorrha" is also sung in German. Also on the first album there was a song in German. How come you guys ever write a text in German?
Ritter: At the moment there is so much more idiotic, German uniform mush on the radio, which I absolutely can't understand. It's probably a defiant reaction on my part to write such a thing. Maybe we can reach someone who doesn't speak German and would like to hear another German song than "Engel" or "99 Luftballons".
eclipsed: Especially to "Gomorrha": You can interpret the lyrics in very different ways: biblically, or as German classicism or even brand new on all the populism in the political/social scene. What do you have in mind with the lyrics?
Ritter: A little bit of everything. The world is going crazy and every day brings a new bad news. You stand there and you can just shake your head. I was more interested in describing that feeling of helplessness.
eclipsed: How did you get such an authentic 60's/70's retro sound?
Ritter: So "Garage" like the first album "Silhouettes" doesn't come along anymore. But the sound is still far away from polished high-gloss rock - we just can't do much with it. It just doesn't generate heat when nothing crackles. The old instruments and microphones as well as the mix do the rest.
eclipsed: What is the further development compared to the previous album?
Ritter: The change of drummer has already changed a lot. The songs just come along in a different dynamic and everything has more pressure. I think we've just gotten on with the game. When it comes to songwriting, we have set ourselves no limits and each song has its own characteristics. We gave free rein to our creativity and packed a bunch of ideas into the songs. Nevertheless the songs are catchy and don't seem too overloaded - we are very proud of that.
eclipsed: How does a young band get to dedicate itself to this retro sound at all?
Ritter: It is the music of our parents and therefore also of our childhood. I don't think anyone can deny that it's timeless music.
eclipsed: You're swimming on the Retrorock wave. How can you stand out between all those bands?
Ritter: Every other band asks itself this - referring to itself - secretly also ... to evaluate to what extent we succeed in this, I like to leave it to others.
eclipsed: You performed at the Herzberg Festival this year. How'd it go?
Ritter: The festival is really unique and that we could play there at such a time, in front of so many people, was really awesome. We were just a little too early on the site and let the Vibe infect us. By the time it finally started, some of us were a little bit buzzed. The feedback was still awesome and it doesn't seem to have bothered anyone that we beat each other up once or twice. We would be very happy about a next gig there!
eclipsed: You'll be on tour soon. Is the excitement and anticipation already rising?
Knight: Less excitement than anticipation! We are extremely hot and want to give everything in every city! No matter if in front of 5 or 500 guests, we always have fun on stage and I think you can tell that by the way.
*** Interview: Bernd Sievers