LOUDER WITH: VUKOVI at Slam Dunk
With the Download Pilot already under their belt, Scottish duo “Vukovi” were anxiously awaiting their performance at Slam Dunk. We had a chat with them to discuss everything from the meaning behind their new singles, to dogs always being better than humans!
Aside from playing the Download Pilot a few months ago, it has been a long time for you without performing, how are you feeling about playing Slam Dunk today?
Janine: Nervous, obviously. Anxious like everybody else. Once you get on site you feel fine but once your stage time gets closer that’s when it starts to kick in. I always feel physically sick and it’s the worst feeling in the world, but then you step on stage and it’s the best feeling in the world.
Hamish: If we hadn’t done Download, we’d probably be freaking out right now.
J: Yeah, I’d be in hell!
H: That release – oh my god did we need that! Suppose you can judge it for yourself tonight if we’re shite!
You’ve got a headline UK tour coming up in October, how’s the prep going? Have you got anything exciting lined up?
H: Prep is non-existent!
J: Honestly, we’re really happy with the tour. It’s a really good line-up and I’m not that nervous. For me, a festival is more traumatic, there’s no soundcheck…
H: And it’s not your crowd!
J: With headline shows you know you could do anything but they’re there for you, whereas with a festival it’s like there’s a conveyor belt of bands and people just pick and choose who they want to see.
You recently released new single “HURT”, and it has surpassed 100k on Spotify, how does it feel knowing you’re finally going to be able to play it live?
H: We’ve been talking about this all day. We rehearsed it yesterday a couple of times and that’s all we’ve had chance to do. It’s fine but it’s not fine haha. We’ve never opened with a new song before either, we just wanted to switch it up. It’s actually quite a good starting song because there’s just so much energy.
“HURT” has an absolutely stunning video – what was the inspiration behind all the imagery in there? Is it all intentionally quite biblical?
J: Yes! I am so glad that you’ve said that because you have this idea in your head that you want the viewer to see, and I always worry that it’s not obvious enough or that they just won’t get it. I really wanted the message to be clear.
Off the back of that, how soaked were you both by the end of filming?!
J: You got used to it!
H: Yeah, we did four or five shoots each and it was really satisfying.
J: The rain was meant to be representative in a biblical sense. I’m not going to get the quote exactly right, but it was supposed to be like the holy ghost raining down and washing away all your sins.
H: And there’s a lot of them!
Janine, a big theme on your recent album “Fall Better” was your battle with OCD and how it manifests itself as almost a shadowy figure in your life – how important is music for you in fighting those demons?
J: Honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to cope. Music has been like therapy for me, it helps to open up and let it out. Then when people come to you with a similar story and they say that your music has helped them, it just feels worth existing because you’re helping them.
Lots of your music has pop structures at its core, despite being very ferocious in its delivery – do you think ‘poppy’ is a dirty adjective in rock music circles?
H: That’s quite deliberate actually!
J: Again, I’m so glad you picked up on this! Sometimes I think people must think ‘what are they doing?!’. We are both big fans of pop music.
H: There’s a reason its popular, its pretty good!
Do you take much inspiration from pop music, either older or modern?
J: “Lady Gaga”, “Halsey”
H: “Post Malone”
J: “Billie Eilish”
H: They’re all amazing!
J: I love “Justin Bieber”, I love “Ed Sheeran”, but we also love bands like “While She Sleeps”.
H: The formula we aim for is a pop structure but with heavier notes, it’s just what works best for us. We are so not music snobs at all, our playlists are just full of mental shit!
Going back to the music video, while you seemed on pretty good terms with that snake in the video, if you could speak to any one species of animal, which one would you choose and why?
H: Has to be dogs doesn’t it.
J: Dogs are class!
H: You just know cats would be condescending little dicks. I kind of like cats but they’re dicks. You just know dogs would just be like ‘YEEAAHHHH HI’.
J: If I could speak to dogs I wouldn’t speak to humans, I would wash my hands of humans.
H: Dogs can’t hurt you but people can hurt you!