Having met in Edinburgh back in 2015, The Violet Kind have received acclaim from the likes of PRS Magazine, The National and Tenement TV. Now, tackling heavy subject matter with their poignant new concept EP OXTR, we caught up with the Katya from the band to find out more.
Hi The Violet Kind, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hey! Thanks for the kind welcome! We are The Violet Kind, and we love creating music which is melodically pretty but also stylistically clever and carefully crafted. We love bringing all our different influences together to develop a sound which is unique!
How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Katya started out performing acoustically as part of a trio and played at a festival run by Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh. The drummer brought in Liam to play bass after this and within a few weeks, The Violet Kind started playing gigs! A year later, Kyle joined us and we played the o2 ABC in Glasgow which was a really fun show to start off with!
Your new EP OXTR is out very soon – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
OXTR is a concept EP so there are heaps of themes running throughout it; some which are intentionally obvious and others which add to the depth of how it was written – much like the idea of a speakeasy bar, I wanted to keep some ideas hidden. The overall theme is sexual violence. Understandably, this was a difficult subject matter to write about but I feel like more than ever, people want to have this conversation; to stand up and say enough is enough. OXTR is about giving a voice back to the survivor. The EP is split in to two halves; the first concentrates on the villain whilst the second is focused on the hero. Influenced by film music, there is a motif present in every song. In ‘Speakeasy’, a long descending motif represents the perpetrator. A section of this riff appears in ‘Good Behaviour’ to highlight the damage that is done to a survivor when people blame her. This song is re-harmonized, and an ascending motif then represents those who believe and support survivors; organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Women’s Aid. This riff is reformed rhythmically to create the final song, ‘Science’, which acts as a song of self-care. Hopefully, by learning about the way the female brain reacts to trauma, one can find some sort of relief from the pain of the experience. Throughout the EP there are lyrical ideas which are repeated and reformed, as well as the same rhythm which is repeated in every song – sometimes on guitar, on vocal lines or on the bass and drums. We wanted to make a really strong coherent piece and we’re really pleased with how it turned out.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Paramore and Sløtface, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
You have no idea how pleased I am to be compared to Paramore! They’ve definitely been a massive influence on my musical career and I think having the likes of Hayley Williams appear on music television when I was a teenager made me realise that the music industry wasn’t just a place for guys – that women could do it too. I do also love the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Now Now, and also Alt J and Foals. I love pretty sounding melodies against a backdrop of a strong rhythm section, and I feel like that’s the sound we go for as The Violet Kind!
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
It’s great! I’ve just moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow! Unfortunately, Edinburgh has seen a lot of it’s venues close down even within the past year so it’s really nice to be part of the music scene in a really vibrant, artistic city! I’m lucky enough to work in a music venue so I get to see a lot of great bands coming through the doors and have the chance to meet lots of musicians! I think it is so vital to support each other.
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
We love connecting with each other on stage and with our audience – people always tell us how much we obviously love to play together. I think our shows are captivating, honest and emotional! Those moments where people will be talking and then, all of a sudden everyone is just standing there in silence listening to you – that’s really special.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I can’t stop raving about Eliza Shaddad! We got to support her when she toured her EP, Run, and it was just the most fun gig ever! She’s just been in the studio so I’m really looking forward to hearing what she’s been up to! Threads by Now Now too – they’re also releasing new music so I’m excited for that too!
And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I think there are lots of opportunities at the moment but also think you have to be active about getting out there, meeting musicians and playing lots of gigs. There seems to be a real rise in supporting women in music; I felt really honoured to be invited to attend an event called Girls I Rate at PRS in London last year which was run by Carla-Marie Williams in association with Island Records. I think the music industry can see that they need to open more doors for women and it was really encouraging to see so many female artists doing so many different, great things! It can feel difficult to get noticed sometimes but I believe it’s important to stay true to your voice, develop your craft, make goals and then work towards them – then eventually, people do notice you!
Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for The Violet Kind?
We’re really excited for 2018! We’ve made a music video which will be out next month and we’re recording a live session in an old converted church! We’re in the studio too so there will be lots of new music and we can’t wait to share it with you! Keep in touch with us on social media for tour dates, which will be announced very soon!
Thanks for your time, Get in Her Ears! What you’re doing is really cool!
Huge thanks to The Violet Kind for answering our questions!
OXTR, the upcoming EP from The Violet Kind, is out 16th March via Kindness Records.