Vic & Kepi – After The Flood (Q&A)

Kepi and Vic made a record together. On ‘After The Flood’ you hear two friends who just want to make music and decided to press the record button. No frills, no hassle. Uninhibited and energetic.

R O C K  A N D  R O L L!

Did you think the end result would sound more like Hank Williams than The Ramones when your collaboration started?

Kepi: We Like it all! If it has roots or a rhythm, we like it! I think we are just happy whenever we get to play or record, so hopefully, that comes through!

Vic: Kepi and I have always been into old Blues, so that’s the main thing we were thinking on this recording when we thought of covers… We are always feeling the old-school blues and real rock ‘n’ roll… Like T-Rex or the NY Dolls or Johnny Thunders… Kepi’s got the mainline on Chuck Berry too, so it’s like that…

Kepi, Carly Simon is great. You recorded it before. How did that song come about? Do you start with the idea that you want to quote Coming Around Again, or does that idea arise while you are looking for the right words for the story?

Kepi: I had never heard that particular Carly Simon song, but I had remembered that title… It just seemed like a good positive line that I needed to remind myself that eventually everything comes back around, so I used it! I think it did its job! Years later, I was in the supermarket and heard Carly Simon singing the ‘Coming Around Again’ line and thought, “This must be that song!”

Vic: Hahaha, that’s so good. I do stuff like that too. Hahaha, I thought it was named after some dude or somebody that happened to have the same name… Who knew?

What’s the energy? What connects the two of you? 

Kepi: My guess is just a love of music, I dug Vic’s stuff from the first time I saw him, and I’m sure that we have just been talking about music for the 15 years since then…

Vic: Yeah, there are people you meet sometimes, and it takes like five minutes of talking, and you know you gonna be friends. I think it’s when I was standing at the merch table and Kepi handed me all these fanzines he made… Just looking at what was in them and the fact that he was making all this stuff, I knew this dude was like my kinda people. You don’t just have dreams; you live in them every day…

It starts with a good song. You both wrote plenty. Finding the melody and words is probably different now than when you started? 

Kepi: It has never gotten particularly harder or easier for me… Hopefully a little better each time. 🙂 The songs tell me when they are done, I try not to rush them… I guess it is like baking bread; you put them in the oven and hope that they come out ok!

Vic: Yeah… I got better at hearing the transmission and tuning it in. That’s all… That song “Do Unto Others” is a hook I’ve had kicking around for 20 years… I sang it for this hippy girl back then, and she was like, “Yeah, Vic! Right on! That’s beautiful!” She was too, So I never forgot it… Then I played it for Kepi, and I had like only half a verse… So he filled in the blanks, and that was that… It must have taken like half an hour.

In another world, you easily traveled the globe twice after making such a record. A bar stool and a guitar, you don’t need much more. Was the record supposed to have that vibe?

Kepi: Absolutely… This record is so simple and minimal; I remember literally taping a mic to a broomstick for certain songs in Vic’s place. 🙂 We have played houses in the desert and sailor bars in Hamburg, and all kinds of crazy stuff, and that is definitely the vibe that this record gives off… Two friends traveling and singing and hanging out… It can be the very best thing in life sometimes.

Vic: Haha yeah, there was no choice on this album what it was going to sound like… It was in my little basement apartment, and I’m not known for being the most pristine engineer anyway… We just knew we wanted to do something together, and that was a moment we could do it… One of those takes was a practice take and we weren’t even near the microphone haha. When I gave it to the mastering engineer, my buddy Mitch, he said “You’re really making me work for my pay this time huh?!” Hahaha. But I got to be honest, it sounds exactly how I wanted it to sound.

When did you decide to start asking for opinions on the new songs? 

Kepi: We didn’t.

Vic: You just gotta play it and see what happens, right? You never know who’s gonna like something.

If you could tour the world with two other bands, who would you ask, and why?

Kepi: No other bands could keep us with us. Maybe Joan Jett could!

Vic: Whew!! Yeah, who does trips like Kepi?! One time you guys were with Kevin Seconds and you guys kept coming back to my place in New Jersey like a homebase… I remember one time it took you like six hours to get back from Long Island… I’ve never been as impressed by anyone as your van team with Kevin… Yes, I do believe we take a cue from the early hardcore scene when it comes to touring… Honestly I don’t feel like I’m on tour unless I’m sleeping on a couch or in a van… I hate to admit it… I would say Chris Murray can hang! He impressed me on the road! He’d take over the stereo at an after party and be like “Are we gonna dance or what?!” Haha. It takes all kinds… I can see Kepi doing the same… 

When was the last time you thought, ‘I just wrote a hit!’?

Kepi: Each time after finishing a song, I will be right one day!

Vic: I can’t say much for myself, but every time Kepi teaches me one I’m like “Damn why didn’t I think of that?!” I felt like the bass player on “Brown Eyed Girl” on this recording… Nobody knows who that guy’s name… (I think I met his daughter once) but like everybody around the world has been singing his bass part ever since… “Dum, dum du-dum dum, da dum dum-dum, dum da-dum dum…”

Thanks for your time!

Kepi: Thank you for this! Cheers!

Vic: Indeed… Gracias!! Peace.

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