I was lucky enough to catch up with Vulgarians’ frontman Ryan Wilson-Preen at an exciting time: “The future is bright… We’re going to be touring the UK throughout May. Touring is the most enjoyable thing about being in a band. We’re fortunate enough to be going back to a few of our favourites, such as Brighton. Anywhere with pebbles on a beach and an ice cream parlour has our vote. We’re really excited to be visiting Scotland for the first time, too. After the tour we’ll be throwing ourselves head-first into festival season and recording our debut album with MJ of Suburban Home studios.”
Although essential for building a fanbase, Ryan admits that not all gigs go swimmingly: “I don’t want to name and shame any places we’ve played. I guess every band will play shows that are slightly less favourable than others. In terms of the strangest gig, we’ve had a few. We once played a festival in Scarborough for a good friend of ours in our very early days. We were on quite early and we played to around fifteen people, which contained numerous toddlers. They’re the fans you need, though. Those guys will stick with you through to their adolescence!”
Aside from the toddler demographic, do Vulgarians feel connected to a particular scene? “I wouldn’t particularly say we’re part of any form of underground scene,” Ryan insists. “We initially started putting on our own shows in our practice space, which generated some excitement, but in terms of an underground scene, I don’t think one really exists in Hull. It’s an extremely communal music scene to be part of, and I think the strength of said scenes is becoming more and more evident.”
Mixing performances with the production of new material can be difficult. “Our creative process isn’t really anything out of the ordinary,” Ryan says. “It’s typically an idea that someone will bring to the table. Due to the nature of the band, in that we’re usually busy touring etc., we’ve found it quite hard to find time to continue writing. So more recently, we’ve had a break from playing live shows and just released our energy into writing a series of the sexiest songs possible.”
Performing and writing may be the essentials of being in a band but Ryan acknowledges the challenge “of breaking through and broadening to a larger fan base, which is always going to be a necessity if you aim to climb the toxic ladder of popularity. I guess the biggest challenge tends to be sourcing finances to fund the band… We’re currently in the process of preparing to record our debut album, which we’re unbelievably excited about, but it can be such an overwhelming struggle to find such funds. I guess when you get to that point, the real challenge is having money to inject into the work you’re doing.”
A band needs to stand out to make this happen, and it helps if you have some characters on hand. One fellow northern band I interviewed last year humorously described their colleague as a “loose cannon . . . a fuckin’ mad’en . . . uncontrollable”. Is it the same for Vulgarians? “I’ve thought long and hard about this question, and come to the conclusion we’re all pretty weird in our own unique way. I guess if I had a gun to my head, I would pick Luke Ellerington, aka Moo. I’ve never seen anyone do the things he does.”
If Moo is the oddball of the group, ‘Oddly Poetic’ has become something of a catchphrase for Vulgarians: “This was actually extracted from a recent review of our single, ‘Hands Around The Waste’. I guess we just found it amusing. We’ve been called a lot worse, and we shall use this slogan to advertise our Vulgar credibilities from this point on!” Catch Vulgarians on tour in the UK to see this oddly poetic future take shape.
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