MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – VASA
This month saw the release of Heroics, the new album from Scottish post-rockers VASA (you can check out our review of the record HERE). Ahead of the release the quartet unveiled a video for Mini-Boss, a song that serves as an open letter to victims of bullying. Wanting to know more we sat down with drummer Niall MacRae, who directed the video alongside Alice Restrick, to talk about why Mini-Boss is a standout track for the band and stories behind the video.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you as a band?
Mini-Boss is a perpetual flurry of swift kicks to the balls, basically. We spent a lot of time writing the album and this song was the first one that really resonated with us; the first one we didn’t hate. The bar was set and the floodgates really opened for us creatively from that point onwards.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
This song kind of hit us out of nowhere actually! We were hammering away in a studio for days and then that arpeggiated lick just sort of… happened? The whole song then fell into place within a few hours. We kept it relatively light but the inclusion of synths and other electronics was eye-opening. It inspired us in the writing of the rest of the album and really became a staple in the overall sound.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
It took us about three years to write this record and in that time a lot can happen, outside the music especially. A lot of personal growth and big changes. We became a lot more reflective and it wasn’t a case of going into the album with themes in mind, but it naturally bleeding into the writing. It wasn’t until the end when we realised we had ten tracks that tell this story. Shared experience really is at the core of Heroics and the hope is that people can reflect upon themselves and their lives as we did during this process. All said, this particular track is about overcoming strife in those teen years – Mini-Boss meaning that little bully who would seem laughable to you now.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
Because we wrote an album that’s essentially up for interpretation (with a little bit of hand-holding via the track titles) the video followed suit. I (drummer, Niall) didn’t want to make a video that nailed this song to a particular story so we kept it performance based, using super 16mm cameras to try and link it to the filmic quality of the album and single artwork.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
It was very much by the numbers on the day but we were obsessed with that incredibly well lit pillar – courtesy of my lovely co-director, Alice Restrick.
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
We sincerely hope that you all enjoy this album even at a fraction of how much we enjoyed making it! And…everything is going to be okay.
VASA‘s new album Heroics is out now via Dome A Records, available to stream or purchase HERE.
See VASA live at one of the following dates:
Sat 29th – LONDON – 10 Years Of Chaos Festival
Thu 20th-Sat 22nd – BRISTOL – ArcTanGent Festival