V2A -- snow cannons in the desert— always expect the unexpected!
This year the Fantasy Festival Annotopia showed the Industrial Band V2A in 4 places in Germany (Rotenburg a. d. Fulda, Pattensen, Bad Mergentheim, Lüdinghausen). They are originated in Britain and we took the chance to invite them to a sit-in with coffee and listened to amazing band stories. Around the table there were Mechanized, Judgedrone, Cymek, Bullet Farmer, Stig and the two Darkmusicmaniacs Gabriele and Giuseppe.
Autoren: Giuseppe Gallo, Gabriele Grimme
photo by StigAKA)
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see also: Annotopia concert review 11.09.2022
The text has been shortened -- full length you will find in the audio files.Text marked with time stamps.
GG+GG: [00:00:04] Welcome in Rotenburg to Annotopia. We're happy to have you here. Would you introduce yourself, your style of music? Who are you?
Mechanized [00:00:17] We are V2A. We are coming from England. Based in England. Except myself. I'm based there and I'm German originally. And yeah. So we are a combo of sing, Keyboard, drums, normally guitar, which we didn't bring this time. So yeah, that's us. Our music is very much like a mixture of industrial electronic synths kind of music.
V2A is neither like the most industrial nor gothic band. Their musical and clothing style is settled in between a very special scene: the post-apocalyptic. It can be compared to LARP and/or cosplay. As in LARP you give yourself another character, build your own costume and give your character a name and an own history: maybe a post-apocalyptic warrior comes to life then or in fact of V2A — they give their music to mix up any post-apocalyptic party.
Favorite song: Atomic, Bological, Chemical
"Everybody is going crazy. And normally I jump in their arms and it's my finishing stage dive and off I go to the bomb. So yeah, so that's my favourite."
GG+GG: [00:03:12] I see you live a certain kind of style. What is that costumes, is it DIY? Where do you get this?
Mechanized [00:03:27] Yeah, well, it is because it needs to be good quality because we have lots of shows in the world and we travel and we fly and, you know, pack in pack out, put on and off. So it's very good quality. So my costume is built by a guy who's doing the costumes for Doctor Who in Britain. So he's a proper professional costume builder. So it's all handmade by that. So it's a unique thing which we built over the years. So yeah, on that.
Drone [00:03:50] But also with the whole post-apocalyptic thing, it's easy to get into yourself. You can just get some old clothes if you're not very good at building things is even better because you use gaffer tape or you cable tie things on. Bleach is good. There's no rules, there's no rule of paint. If you've got old stuff, go wild with it, have fun, watch a Mad Max film, get some inspiration, stick a lampshade on your head.
Drone [00:04:19] One thing. The one thing which is quite interesting when we play like Wave Gothic Treffen etc. is you've got the whole goth things about which is very dark and very clean. And then you say, Well, I'll find you. I mean, I look like I've been dragged through mud!
Drone [00:05:09] A Beginner's Guide how to build post-apocalyptic outfits, there is a really good German builder called Nuclear Snail. He's on YouTube. He runs a YouTube channel and it shows you how to start making clothes weathering effects. The good bit with the post-apocalyptic there is no wrong. It's your character.
Drone (Vocals and programming)
„My favourite song is called Freak Show. Sometimes just because the way you look, people think you're stupid or they're prejudiced against you. And the whole idea of freak show is, I don't care, it's my life.“
Mechanized [00:00:55] Yeah. It's like a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style. So which is, I think, currently on the gross in Germany. So we did a lot of shows abroad like we would be doing like England, America or we did. Eastern European was very, very big already because of a lot of LARPing events. We do like Mad Max and possibly LARPing events. But it now starts to grow as well all over Germany. So now, hence the reason that we had invited over and played the shows over here (Annotopia).
Drone [00:01:25] And the whole post-apocalyptic scene is just as I said, it's just grown all around the world. So it's very interactive. You can turn up people make costumes. There's buggies, flamethrowers. It's something you can interact with. It's something you don't just go and watch. You can actually dress up and be part of the whole thing. Join the tribe, go mad, play the game.
Mechanized [00:01:52] And create your own character. What you ever want to be.
Drone [00:01:56] And especially around the world, it's all getting bigger and bigger. So we headlined Wasteland, the biggest Mad Max festival in the world. So we we've got a big fan base there. Also Australia, where all the Mad Max films are filmed, we've been asked to play, Japan in two years time because they are fanatical over there. Japan, we've got a big fan base and but now we're concentrating as well on Europe and Germany.
Cymek (Keyboards, backing vocals)
Stig (photography + video): „I also like Divided by Dreams. The highs and lows of the piece. And there are the quiet moments.“
Listen to them you quickly understand that it is not only a show for special festivals but V2A live what they love what they are mad about. Even for Judgedrone and Mechanized it was a life changing encounter with the post-apocalyptic genre.
Drone [00:08:12] I was about seven and I accidentally saw Mad Max two and it changed my life.
GG+GG: [00:08:47] First there was Mad Max and then comes the music?
Drone [00:08:51] Yeah, well, even with Mad Max. So as I said initially when I was seven, I watched Mad Max and I loved the feral kid. He is now 50. Who's Emil Minty? The actor.
Mechanized [00:09:15] You know, we we are very much in contact with a lot of, you know, the actors, some, unfortunately, who have passed on in recent years. But we met them and spoke to them and their friends before they died. So it's like so we are very much, you know, part even of the max movie scene itself. So yeah so we we are due to play the Australian Mont Marks the 40th anniversary of They Are because it's filmed in Australia. So on this festival it was planned when originally and COVID kicked off. So that had to be stopped and all international travel because Australia used to be very strict. So now it seems like it's going to be 2024 when it's going to happen.
GG+GG: [00:13:47] Do you have future plans concerning music and band?
Mechanized [00:13:13] First Annotopia we played, we had Gandalf opening up our sets. So, you know. That's only happening in Annotopia because they're here. We will play goth festivals, but we will play major festivals.
Drone [00:13:36] Also comic cons. We've been asked to play San Diego Comic-Con and Dragon Con next year, and that's like 150,000 of people.
Mechanized [00:23:20] Because of COVID, everything came to a standstill. So we've got to go to the studios. But then you don't release anything because you can't tour. So as you know for the music scene are now really hard times. So it's not like you you put a CD out and you make money these times are gone. You know, Spotify pays you £0.0001 for every hundred play. So you don't make any money on music. So the only way because it's a lot of money to put in into production,(…) So you need to be really thoughtful before you release something because it's a lot of work to record it all. And so we are now front of stages. So in the spring it's going to be released. So it's already ready.
Drone [00:24:04] It's called Doomsday. There are ten tracks. It's awesome. We've wrote about 25 songs.
Mechanized [00:24:30] We have now six albums out and we started in 2001, 2002 when the first album came out. So obviously, you know, the songs need a little bit of sprucing up and bring to 21st Century.
Mechanized [00:24:47] So if we bring out a remix album, so there's a lot of things happening.
Mechanized [00:13:50] Well because we are V2A, we always go, go, go, go. So V2A formed over 20 years ago and also we are going for a long, long time. But we've more concentrated on abroad, we did not do things over the years in Germany but majority was abroad. So but because then Covid happened and we didn't stand still and we have our contact as well in the movie industry and in film industry.
Drone [00:14:21] Yeah. So being a massive comic book fan, most of comics, most of my friends are comic book artist for either Marvel or there's an English comic called Judge Dredd. So for a lot of my mates are comic book artists and a lot of the comic book artist nowadays do storyboarding for films. So all our friends, so we've now got loads of connexions to do with films, major films, TV shows, a lot of films in the UK. So it's we wanted to create our own graphic novels and what we've got is we've got the top artist from Marvel and 2000 AD. We give you a comic later on today. So our first issue has just come out. It came out about a year ago. And this Christmas as Kickstarter, we've got the big book. It's a full graphic novel and which is really, really cool.
Mechanized [00:15:14] And which as well than features people out of the movies. So we have like not just the comic, but the characters within the comic books are like people you've seen on Mad Max or other films who now are part of our comic, which then over the years when the comics is released, you know, form a whole.
GG+GG: [00:16:47] Where do we get this graphic novel?
Drone [00:16:50] It will be released fully in all comic shops after Christmas. So and this was during the two year of COVID where we couldn't do anything. So we did that. We've started to do some music for TV and film stuff, which we can't talk about, but also we've done some music for computer game as well, which is awesome, called Desert Pirates.
Bullet Farmer (Drums)
„War Boy actually is one of my favourites. This is quite random just to play and bits of breakbeats in there for me on the drums and stuff.“
The connection to the apocalyptic scene is much broader and global than expected. They are not only playing music on that kind of events or feasts, they are a part of that special kind of role play life. Let us talk about the fan club, the Cult of V2A!
Mechanized [00:18:20] So we've got our own tribe. So we are a worldwide tribe which is called the Cult of V2A https://v2a.co.uk/cult-of-v2a. All our fans are signing up to the cult. We have our own temples now installed indifferent areas. So we will soon have a temple going around with Annotopia and we have the various V2A gods based at the temple.
Drone [00:18:49] We actually built a god of chrome and, and we built a temple in America. So, so for new people when they join the cults would be to say, we come into the temple, we've got our own religious ceremony that we made up literally about ten activities people.
Drone [00:20:27] There's going to be five around the world. So there's one in America, there's going to be one in the UK, there'll be one in Annotopia in Germany, there's going to be one in Australia at the Mad Max Museum and there's one going to be in Japan.
Drone [00:30:59] But I think that's really funny. One of the other things is we don't rehearse.
Mechanized [00:31:04] As a band, we only meet on stage.
Drone [00:31:06] Yeah, and we do that because it's fun for us. And so we send out the songs to everybody so we can do the main stuff.
Mechanized [00:31:13] We've rehearsed ourselves, but each person rehearsed for themselves, but then we meet on stage together the first time.
Drone [00:31:21] For us that's why you can see the excitement in our eyes because we don't quite know what's going to happen. And that means every gig is slightly different every other day because we even as we're not sure what's going to happen next month.