EMQ’s with VULGARITHM
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with East Midlands, UK based Riff-Rave project, Vulgarithm. Huge thanks to main man, Andy McGurk, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Andy “Dirt” McGurk, I play and programme every instrument for Vulgarithm, and this outfit has spent all of its life as a Covid band as it’s never had a chance to play live in front of people. Born in early 2020, Vulgarithm have released many videos on youtube plus 2 EP releases.
How did you come up with your band name?
A spark went off in my head whilst driving, I don’t know what I was thinking of at the time but yep, that is how.
What country are you from and what is the Rock/Metal scene like there?
From the UK, it’s a particularly busy scene even during these unprecedented times, which on one hand is great for the industry in the future but can be difficult to get yourself noticed. That’s why visually and sonically I’m trying to create something completely different to everything else at the moment.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
The most recent release was the 2nd EP in a trilogy called “Share If You Disagree” with lots of experimentation of genres and themes. The key with this EP trilogy is to find out what is best about Vulgarithm from my point of view and everyone else’s point of view. There will be a 3rd EP coming soon in 2021 called “Share In The 3rd Degree”.
‘Out My Way!’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a musician who has predominantly been a down tuned riff-based guitarist, my biggest influences have been Nine Inch Nails and Tool, and anything Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan have collaborated with. I would like to emphasise however that Vulgarithm as a musical project has been more influenced by 90’s dance artists such as Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Faithless, Leftfield, Underworld, Orbital etc. After watching these and other similar acts at Bluedot festival it inspired me to create a more visual musical outfit.
What first got you into music?
I was fairly musically orientated as a small child, started learning the piano aged 6 as my sister was learning and I wanted to copy. It wasn’t until I started listening to Britpop in the 90’s and witnessing someone play the guitar with their teeth live that I wanted to learn the guitar as well. At this point I started taking it seriously, and here I am today.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Like before, probably either Trent Reznor or Maynard James Keenan. The layers and details that go into their music has also been another level to most musicians on the planet.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
There are so many great festivals around the world, however I’m going to be boring and choose Download festival. It’s hallowed ground for any rock and metal band, and it’s also pretty local so I wouldn’t have to drive far.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Don’t think I’ve ever had any gifts from fans, maybe they don’t like me hahaha! I do teach the guitar for a living though, and I do get Christmas gifts sometimes. The nicest gift I got I think was a £20 gift voucher for John Lewis, a middle-class shop in the UK.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Buy all my music and merch and let me live on Vulgarithm only! Seriously though, all bands and artists are all struggling to stay afloat in these tricky times, and soon British bands will have touring restrictions and streaming services have taken over how we listen to music. It is now more than ever to support your local bands by getting physical copies of their music and buying merch from them. Spread the word about them to your friends and tell them that without normal people helping, music will die off.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Oooo that’s a tricky one. So many incredible artists that are sadly no longer with us. You know what, I’m going to go a bit leftfield and say Beethoven, so how he handles the instant demand for music in this day and age. Would be interesting.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The music itself is so important in all of our lives whether anyone realises it or not. There are themes for TV and film, Xmas carols, religious services, parties etc. I just happen to enjoy music more than the average person. It is for these reasons why I don’t understand how people view musicians as just a person with a hobby, this is what I hate. We are seen as disposable members of society sometimes and that’s a real shame.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
More music for independent artists for streaming (as we’re never going back to download buying) and also better algorithms for streaming sites which recommend bands in your local area. People don’t go to gigs that much these days, especially now, so allowing a streaming service to know where your local area is might help expose local bands to new people. e.g., Spotify has a release radar playlist, maybe within that it plays music by 1 or 2 artists who live locally based on the listeners music tastes.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
So many great albums, but I’m going to go with “Lateralus” by Tool. It is one of those albums which I keep hearing new things and enjoy it on a brand-new level each time.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I grew up with the boom of the CD, and whilst Vinyl has the best sound, cassettes were convenient and Downloads meant you could listen to anything anywhere, CD’s are the overall winner in my eyes. 2nd to Vinyl for Sound quality and artwork, better than tapes and downloads can either be too compressed, take too much space or make a noise when connected to a phone in the car. Plus, with the CD, listening to an album is just the album, no switching half way through, no accidentally playing a different artist, just the album in its purest form.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I’d love to tell you that when lockdown is over, sadly the only gigs so far have been online streams.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
My job is being a musician, and as I realised that music was the one thing I could excel at I never really tried anything else, or interested in anything else. Maybe a failed actor, because I do enjoy performing but I don’t know how good I am.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Wow, these are not easy questions. I’m going to aim for non-musical people…
Trey Parker (South Park Co-Creator) – Love the show and I’d love to know how his mind works.
Any member of the Red Dwarf crew – again love that show, they may have to flip a coin to see who joins.
Brian Cox – I know technically he is musical, but it would be interesting to hear what he says.
Karl Pilkington – I’d like to hear a back and forth with him and Brian Cox.
Neville Southall – I love my football and a big Everton fan, and this man is not only one of the best goal keepers of all time, but he is a hoot on twitter.
What’s next for the project?
3rd EP release, wait for gigs to happen and start writing a debut album. Once that is achieved then world domination.
You can find our music on Spotify, Apple music, Amazon, Deezer etc.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake, too spongy for a biscuit and you can’t keep them in a cupboard.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
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