Aussie cults and leopardskin jumpsuits: a conversation between Vast Hill and Not A Boys Name

Vast Hill and Not A Boys Name are two of our favourite acts currently making the rounds. With their two respective brands of off-kilter pop music, the two acts have already produced some of our favourite songs of 2019.

So we asked Elle and Adin from Vast Hill to catch up with Dave from Not A Boys Name for a quick chat. Here are the results:

Aussie cults, clip-on earrings, and leather leopardskin jumpsuits: We asked Vast Hill and Not A Boys Name to interview each other.

Vast Hill interview Not A Boys Name

VH: You’ve worked with some amazing artists to date, what’s been a real “far out, I can’t believe this is happening” moment?

NABN: I mimed keyboard for Enrique Iglesias on TV once. That was pretty far out. He came up to me and said “Hi I’m Enrique” and I just said, “I Know”.

VH: If you had to organise an all-star lineup to play with you and headline some crazy big Live Aid-style festival here in Australia, who would you get in it and what roles would they play?

NABN: John Lydon as MC, Lars Ulrich on drums, Mick Fleetwood on drums too, Phil Collins sitting on a stool, the guy that played Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody because let’s face it, he looks more like Brian May than Brian May does, Olympia on guitar, and Shania Twain on bvs. Me on lead vox obvs.

VH: What inspired you to do the kinda cult theme in the Cut It Off video clip?

NABN: I did a bunch of reading on “The Family” (Melbourne based cult from the 60’s) and was totally fascinated by the idea of something like that existing in Australia. You hear about it in the states all the time… TV evangelists gone rogue and that type of thing, but it always seems so unfathomable, like a Hollywood movie. I thought it would be fun to inhabit that character for a while… and it was.

VH: You’re already a multi-instrumentalist, but are there any instruments you wanna get around to learning?

NABN: I’d like to learn saxophone. I mean, I’m not committed to taking any lessons… but if I could magically play baritone sax that would be pretty exciting.

VH: How do you find transitioning from working on other peoples music to working on your own music?

NABN: It’s all a big blur at the moment. I find that my instincts are always focused when it comes to my own music, but if I spend too much time inside my own head then it can be hard to find the perspective to work with others.

VH: Who is your #1 fashion influence? And how would you describe your aesthetic in 3 words?

NABN: I’ve always been pretty conflicted when it comes to fashion choices. I like mods AND rockers. Robert Smith AND Seth from the OC. My aesthetic in 3 words would be “Shiny, Stripey, Lightning”.

VH: Are there any genres you’d love to get into as a side project or anything else in the future? Even if it’s something that would be super far out of your comfort zone…

NABN: I always hear stuff on the radio and think “man I should try that”. Mumble rap, Tibetan throat singing, Death metal.

VH: What song do you wish you wrote

NABN: Rise by PiL

VH: What kind of musical comparisons have people given you that you love?

NABN: Talking Heads comes up a lot, and I am totally onboard with that. Also, The Killers?

VH: What is your choice thing to do when you’re taking a break from music?

NABN: I’m a film buff. Specifically 80’s cinema..oh and Spanish films! But I’ll watch anything. I also really enjoy watching cringe compilations on Youtube when I have insomnia it’s so fun.

Not A Boys Name  interviews Vast Hill

NABN: Where did you guys meet?

ELLE: We met at uni actually, doing our music degrees and I think the moment I realised that Adin was going to be my partner in crime was when he sang and played bass to Come Together by the Beatles on the stage for someone’s assessment.

ADIN: She asked me, out of a class full of mostly guitarists, if she could borrow my ‘guitar lead’. So I gave her the most tangled up, coiled instrument cable, which was all I had at the time. Fun Fact: she still asks me for instrument cables at every gig.

NABN: At what stage of the writing process do you decide to commit to a song? What does it take for a song to be deemed “Vast Hill appropriate” in your mind?

ELLE: For me, I think it’s when I can start to create a catchy melody over a progression I like. Obviously has to have a mix of synths, pop elements and a hint of nostalgia ya know?

ADIN: Probably after I listen to it on repeat for about 100 times and still wanna play it one more time. I usually put something on the backburner if after the 100th time I feel physically ill.

NABN: I’m sure being in a duo results in many creative conflicts. What’s your conflict resolution strategy?

ELLE: Oh god, I wish we had a strategy! We have a bit of an unspoken rule that says “If you brought in the song…it’s your song”. We very rarely write a song from scratch together – so the person who wrote it usually has the final say on a matter.

ADIN: We’ve never had to veto anything from one another, and luckily we have identical musical influences so the songs end up sounding like they are written by us as a unit, haha.

NABN: Elle, who’s your all-time heart throbbiest of heartthrob singer people that you aspire to be like?

ELLE: Oooooh, can I say a boy? It has to be Paul McCartney. And Bowie. Actually, if Bowie and McCartney had a daughter… it would be her. I would want to be their love child that was never born.

NABN: Adin, are your earrings real or clip-ons? (Asking for a friend)

ADIN: I tried clip-ons and they made my lobes all red and swollen, so I ended up getting real ones.  My sister constantly loses one earring, so I end up with all the odd ones left.

NABN: Favourite love song duet?

VH: Easy! “(I’ve had) the time of my life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes from Dirty Dancing. 

NABN: If you could bring back one discontinued snack product from the past what would it be?

ELLE: Ok, so do paddle pop thick shakes still exist? Because we never see them anywhere and they would hands down be the snack of all snacks to bring back!

ADIN: MILO bars! I feel like I’ve seen them around but always remember they’ve had a rocky time keeping the bars on the shelves.

NABN: Where do you find all of those dreamy outfits on your instagram?

ELLE: U-turn (vintage) in Newtown and Marrickville, and Mitchell road antiques (on Bourke Rd/St). Not really that secret but they sure do have some amazing vintage finds!

ADIN: You have to get down and dirty in the op-shops and don’t get disheartened. Always think … “Today could be the day I find that leather tight, leopard skin, jumpsuit with beaded tassels I’ve been looking for.

NABN: When’s your next show?

VH: April 12th at The Lansdowne Hotel supporting our amazing friend Florian for her single launch.

NABN: Can you put me on the door?

VH: You are already on there, baby!

Vast Hill’s new video for Heartbreaker is out now. Watch above.