Merch, tattoos, and that hiatus that never happened: A chat with Violent Soho

Next weekend, Australian music heroes Violent Soho will be taking to Brisbane’s Riverstage stage as part of Brisbane Festival’s epic closing party.

But before then we caught up with the band to chat about their favourite bands right now, that ‘hiatus’ that never happened, merch, tattoos, and a whole lot more.

Ahead of their performance at Brisbane Festival’s Closing Party next weekend, we caught up with Violent Soho to chat Aussie music, tattoos, and that ‘hiatus’ that never really happened.

HAPPY: Last year just before you played Groovin The Moo, rumours started flying around the web that you were going on hiatus. Obviously that never happened. Where did these rumours come from? Was a hiatus ever something you considered?

VS: We have been on a bit of a break from touring but it’s just us working on new material and chilling with our kids. We would never use a term like “hiatus” to describe that but yeah I guess people can use whatever word they want. The rumour came as a result of being misquoted in the media and shit spreads pretty quick I guess.

HAPPY: While you haven’t gone on hiatus, everyone seems pretty busy doing a range of other things at the moment… do you find you still all find time to work on the band? Is that ever difficult?

VS: Oh yeah, we have a lot of new material we are working on. We love what we do and having the privilege to take our time on something is just an amazing opportunity for us.

HAPPY: One thing I’ve always really loved about Soho, is it feels like you’ve always prioritised giving smaller acts a go on your lineups. Are there any particular Aussie bands you’re really loving at the moment?

VS: Yeah we love discovering new bands and get excited when something rad comes along. We just wanna share cool shit that we discover with people and who better than Soho fans?

James started a label recently (Domestic La La) and all of the bands he’s involved with over there are amazing. I really love the West Thebarton LP from earlier this year and can’t wait to wrap my ears around Dear Seattle’s new one real soon.

HAPPY: On your last Australian tour, you were supported by The Bronx… and since then, they’ve been down here like five times. Are there any other US bands you think would resonate well with the Aussie audience like The Bronx?

VS: Oh man, there are loads. It would be so hard to name everyone, but yeah we are stoked with the bands on SideOneDummy, our label in the US. PUP are in Australia at the moment. They’re amazing and it’s so cool to notice Aussies falling in love with them these days.

S1D also put out probably our favourite LP in recent years, Title Fight’s Floral Green from 2012. They are just the fucking best band. We would lose our shit if we got to tour with them over here (or anywhere).

HAPPY: I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of VS tattoos popping up lately. Do you remember the first Violent Soho tattoo you ever saw? What were you thinking at that moment?

VS: It’s a mind blow for sure. All I’ll say is… your skin, your choice. Nah, I don’t remember the first one. Haha! There are too many now.

HAPPY: Back in 2016, you released the Home Haircut/Domestic Lala 7″, which you’ve never put out on any streaming services. Do you think there’s still value in purchasing physical copies of music?

VS: It’s just your personal preference I suppose, but I know each of us as individuals and as music fans do see that value. Owning a title is a much more pleasurable experience than just accessing it through a subscription. It’s up to you as a music fan as to what you prefer at the end of the day.

HAPPY: You guys have always released really killer merch… are merch designs a big consideration in the band?

VS: Yeah they certainly are. I don’t see the point in releasing merchandise if you aren’t going to treat it with the enthusiasm and careful aesthetic expression as you would with your music.

It’s an extension of the overall experience a fan takes from the band at the end of the day. Ya gotta enjoy it and make an effort. I think most artists do, but some merch blows hard for sure.

HAPPY: Next month, you’ll be returning to Riverstage for Brisbane Festival… do you find there’s an extra energy in the live performance when you’re playing those huge hometown shows?

VS: Oh bloody oath! We are playing after the Brisbane Festival Riverfire Fireworks finish up in a mega outdoor amphitheater cradled by Brisbane’s Brown Snake. It’s going to be set alight by the local council and we got the airforce showing off their weapons with a tonne of locals coming to suss it out so for sure it should be a huge turn out for Brissy folk who honestly do need something to cheer about what with the Broncos being on holiday already.

So after the Fireworks ya get an hour or so of us. That is a mind blow and just a massive honour for us to be asked to perform so yes definitely we will be pretty emotional and excited for this one.

HAPPY: Finally, Can we expect any new music soon?

VS: Mate, yes, alright?

Catch Violent Soho at Brisbane Festival’s Closing Party. Grab more info here.