Catch up with bassist Marc Ligenza of Vinyette, listen to latest single "Just To Get Away", and look for more music coming soon.
What brought the band together?
Marc: Well, they've been together for a long time, years. I just got on about a year and a half ago - they needed a bassist and I didn't know how to play bass guitar and so I learned - but I've known them for a while. John, the drummer, and I, we worked together on a bunch of their shows; we used to take video for the guys, do some stage photography and stuff like that for them, so, yeah, they've been my really close friends for a long time.
Are there any artists you guys tend to take inspiration from?
Everything that we've grown up with, everything that's inside of us always comes out when we're jamming. Just, the rhythms, sometimes you'll hear something and [the music] really does have a lot of different genres in it; sometimes it can be really funky, sometimes it gets a little bit metal like a kind of grunge, sometimes it's just reggae or pop-y and when we're jamming we'll just go slow and out of all those different kind of things, the inspiration's just the sounds and vibing off each other, you know, sometimes you'll have a hip hop-y melody coming out of Nathan then it'll be a classic rock kind of tune.
How does the writing process work in the band?
It's an oligarchy of four [laughs]. It's pretty democratic, it's probably the most democratic process I can think of. Someone will come in with an idea, that always happens, and everybody's minds are open and so, if someone comes in with an idea that they've been working on and they share these lyrics and whatnot, no one's going to shut the door. Most of the material, we start in rehearsal just jamming on a riff that Danny has or a riff that I'll be working on on the bass and we just jam on that and the songs come out of that. "Just To Get Away" that particular song was another one of those situations where just, I had this bass line that I was fooling around with and then they listened to it and were like 'do this here and do this here', and then all four of us just started jamming on it. Then, the lyrics, I just kind of had something in my mind that I really wanted to just get down and brought it to the guys - I was a little nervous, I wasn't sure they were going to like it.
So what was the inspiration for "Just To Get Away"?
It's just like, you're working a lot and you're like 'I'm going to quit my job, I'm getting out of here, I can't take this anymore' and, you know, you say these things to yourself but you're not actually going to do it, and so the words are just "I quit my job, locked the flat, wrote a note and I never looked back" just that whole verse about getting away and then the real inspiration is that second verse where it's just like 'working too hard, I don't know if I'm ever going to get out of this,' that juxtaposition of I'm free or no, I'm not, but I want to be, that kind of thing. The inspiration just came out of that chorus, "I'll hitch a ride out to the airport... park my car beside the ocean"; I just had those words inside my head and was trying to figure out what the song would be about if you had that as a chorus.
Have you guys been working on new tracks?
Yeah, we're definitely working towards another album, we've got so much stuff. Right after we got back, we wrote a bunch of songs and "Just To Get Away" was kind of the last in the batch; there are four or five new songs and those are pretty close to done, that was definitely a progression from the stuff we were writing while we were on tour to this. Now we're working on a whole other batch of stuff that I think takes us even further towards just, like, for lack of a better word, this indie grunge pop kind of sound, you know, go back and forth between having a really pop-y hook but then also letting the distortion fly a little bit. Just that hard hitting sound that we all love.
How do these new songs compare to the older ones?
Every Little Mouse Runs is definitely a vibe-y album, it's got a lot of space in it, it's got a lot of feeling, definitely got some funk elements to it. I think the newer stuff is just a little bit more, it's a little bit more filled out with that kind of distortion sound where it's a little more filled out because it's a little bit more raw. It's a little bit less produced, at least in the recording of "Just To Get Away". I don't know [laughs], so hard to put a sound to words. I guess, yeah, I mean, my style of bass playing is definitely a lot different than Jay's style of bass playing. Jay's like really amazing, he does a lot of flat work, he's got a great funk background, I'm more of a rock and roll kind of background, like grunge background; that's not to say Jay can't do any style he wants. I think that, coming from that perspective, being that we're only based on the guitar, changing the bass definitely changes a lot. I think we're definitely attacking the choruses a lot more, trying to be as pop-y as possible without being cheesy, without selling it out.
How would you describe your sound?
We were at the house in Michigan and we were just recording a couple of songs and we'd been hearing a lot of like, 'oh, you guys really have a lot of soul' and so I was like 'okay, cool, so if we're like alternative rock and we have a lot of soul, alternative soul anyone?' and there was like silence, crickets, and, no, they didn't go for that [laughs] so indie grunge is what we came up with, so it's not alternative soul. It's basically like you take some of those really popular contemporary elements, like some repeating arpeggio and throw on a bass line, like an Alice In Chains style bass line, with a Nirvana style sounding guitar, and Nathan's voice, he can hit everything and he's got a lot of soul in his voice - we do a cover of Otis Redding and Nathan just kills it - and a lot of his vocal lines are very soulful, along that Otis Redding kind of line, he's just got that in his voice. We say indie grunge pop, but we take a combination of those elements and borrow bass lines from this sound, it sounds like it could have been off of any of those albums from the '90s. We started mixing up the hard, mixing up the soft, and the pretty and the vibe-y.
What do you want to say about your music?
I'd say this music that we're writing right now, it's really honest and we're not trying to do anything too cryptic, we just want to tell an honest story about the things we feel, especially about this journey of becoming a musician and working on this art form and we just want to create something that's going to have people relate to that experience and I think that's really what we're going for. Especially living in New York, there are so many artists, so many people just constantly working on their own particular form of self expression and I think lyrically and through the music emotionally, it will definitely have that energy. As far as us in the band, I think, and as far as our music, our live show, the fact that we are really four incredibly close friends who spend literally all rehearsal either playing our music or laughing, that energy, our camaraderie, our friendship, and our love for what we do, we definitely want people to experience that through the work that we do and also through the live show; just that high energy, positivity, we want that to come out, we want people to experience with us, and we'd love to be able to put on a better show each time. We want to finish this album, we want to get it out there, we hope people love it; those are our goals for right now. Our plan is just to keep writing and go on a little tour in May, we're going to hit a bunch of cities in the Midwest, and come back this Summer, finish our new album, and hopefully by Fall have that all ready to go.
I know we're releasing another single "Charlie", that's an older single, we wrote that before we wrote "Just To Get Away". That's coming out, but that one's a little bit harder, that one's like classic rock-y; we recorded that one in Michigan and it's got a cool sound, we recorded it lo-fi, but that's coming out soon and the album will be out by the end of the year, November, December.. you know what they say, best laid plans of mice and men [laughs]. We just want people to get the chance to hear our songs, that's pretty much it, and have fun with it, hopefully people connect with it. The song "Just To Get Away" is really one of those opportunities that you really hope someone listens to like a piece of art that you're showing them; some songs are fun, this particular song I think is fun, but it's also really a chance for us to be able to connect with people.