Golden Era Records artist Vents is set to release his highly anticipated second album Marked for Death which will be in stores and online on May 13, 2011. The first single History Of The World has already been released to a whirlwind response. We catch up with Vents below for a quick chat about his new LP, the release of the single and much more.
You have just dropped the first single from the soon to be released sophmore LP titled ‘Marked For Death’. The first single ‘History Of The World’ is a cracker. Tell us a little bit about the concept behind this track?
It’s been around three years since I wrote that, but I guess I’m trying to convey the idea that the history of society is really the history of the class struggle. The class struggle is the motor that drives society; it’s a historical “process”, if you like. And really, if you’re born working-class, you have three options: work, crime, or the dole. And even if you find the dole a desirable alternative, it is getting much less realistic as an option. So most of us (where I’m from anyway) will take a job in the call centre, or an insurance firm, or retail, doing work that we most likely have no control over, and probably bringing us very little joy. We spend most of our lives trying to get away from “work”; recreation is just time spent winding down from work. I could go on, but the song’s really about what we call “work” in a capitalist society, and the alienation and unhappiness that it produces in individuals. I’m not saying to tell your boss to, “go fuck himself”, just that if it gets a few more people thinking critically about things, I’m happy.
Why did you pick ‘History Of The World’ as the first single?
I originally suggested another song as the first single but it was inferred that radio would be more inclined towards spinning ‘History of the World’ if we picked that one, so we changed the single. We got put into rotation… radio has played it a few times so far. You do what you can.
Does the ‘History Of The World’ give us an accurate taste of what the full album is going to be like, concept, beat and lyric wise?
Trials and myself are probably five years older since we made the last album, and we love what we do – the artform – and we’ve both continued to make music together during that time so this time around the beats are better, the ideas are more evolved, the album is more varied – I can’t wait until we can put the whole thing out there for people to hear. Lyrically, I covered a pretty wide range of topics on this album – alienation, depression, drug use, militarism, technology – sometimes in the same song. Adfu is a now a full-time member of the group now and has had a huge influence on the overall sound of the album in every department.
May 13th is the date slated for release of the LP ‘Marked For Death’. Was there any particular reason behind the release date? Are you at all superstitious?
I don’t have much say in things beyond the creative side of things. Which suits me just fine. I’d like to think I’m not superstitious in the slightest. Raised pretty Catholic, though, so I probably carry some of that around with me.
‘History Of The World’ dropped the on iTunes the other day, followed by a killer film clip. Tell us a little about the people behind this great clip?
The film clip was a collaboration between quite a few parties. I worked with videographer Selina Miles who suggested an infographic video that bombarded the viewer with facts relevant to the song. A friend of mine who runs a blog (slackbastard.anarchobase.com) compiled the data, which I took to Adelaide-based visual effects company Resin, who created the motion graphics. The goal was to inform and engage viewers, encourage them to discuss and even argue, and I’m happy with how it turned out.
One of the stats that really caught our attention, was that 1 in 4 Australians illegally downloaded content in 2010. What are you views on downloading illegal content. Firstly as an artist and secondly as a consumer? We see a clear argument for downloading information when certain groups and companies try to control the flow of information and products. What’s your thoughts on this?
Good question. Firstly, as an artist, I encourage everyone to download my music and hopefully they play it to their little brothers, out the car window at full blast, at school, etc. I figure, the more people who hear it, the better. Also, I haven’t really ever seen any money whatsoever from CD sales so I am usually pretty insistent that people download my music even when they tell me they went out of their way to buy it. Whatever small amount of money I’ve seen has been from touring. At the same time, I recognise there are certain contradictions inherent in being an artist and being a commodity. In order to exist – or survive at all – you need money. You probably need a record label. The label needs money, or more importantly, a return on their investment. I’m (now) lucky enough to be on a label which is owned by friends who don’t really have exploiting artists as their main source of income – it’s more of a hub for all of us to put out music through – it’s something that feels like it’s “ours”. So yeah, we have to sell some records. That’d be the ideal scenario. At the same time, I would never get on anyone for downloading my shit. If they were selling it, it might be a different story.
Secondly, as a consumer, I think it’s great – awesome. I download shit all the time.
You’ve just mentioned Golden Era Records, tell us a little bit more about the set up there.
Golden Era is our record label – Hilltop Hoods, Funkoars, Vents, Briggs. It’s our new home, so to speak. Suffa helps me with everything. I basically confer with him before I make any decision regarding music. He is superego. Debris lets me hang out at his house quite a lot – he’s also a good friend. The other guy is Pressure – a strange and mysterious person with a shaved head who I still think he is probably the best MC in the country, for what it’s worth.
Will we be seeing a national Marked For Death tour this year?
Yes, Adfu and myself will be doing capital cities sometime around mid-June most likely.
Over the whole recording period, your time in Take Away studios and filming clips etc what is your favorite part of the whole album making process?
Just hanging out with mates and creating something that we’re proud of. It’s a good buzz. It’s one thing that I can say for certain I am sure life is really about. Recording with Trials is good times – he is a hilarious motherfucker. His mind is always completely on his work and I trust him 100% with regards to music. That, and listening to a track when it’s done!
Most enjoyable track to record for the album and why?
Probably ‘Marked for Death’. That’s probably my favourite song and the first track on the album. I am very proud of that one. Lyrically I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written, and the beat is disgusting.
We recently saw Vents appear in the Rappertag with a few mates. Did you have fun doing that?
I was in Melbourne staying with Conrad, (the drummer in the video) and I got tagged by K21, who funnily enough I used to live with for a year. I highly recommend it! Contrary to popular belief, the Porsche 911 was there purely for its use-value: we had the windows wound down and the beat was playing out of the car stereo.
Pretty sure Bunks and them just killed it though. Thanks a lot, Billy.
Final Comments, words of wisdom or hello’s to ya mum!
Thank you! Be kind to people. ‘Marked for Death’ comes out May 13th.