In our latest Band Spotlight, we chat to Terry Abbott about the band’s reemergence, new material and more.
S] What is motivating you guys right now, in 2019 outside of work, think specific people, movies and spaces?
It’s impossible to ignore the sense that things aren’t going so well. There seems to be ever more division, more hatred, more confusion. It’s a kind of stubborn miasma that’s spreading and it’s having a profound effect on society. As civilians we have a responsibility to one another that often it’s all too easy to forget.
It’s really the first time my disenchantment with the wider state of things has permeated my writing. Mainly, I feel, due to it being so unavoidable. I feel we’re facing some incredibly important decisions and I hope that future generations will look back at this moment as a turning point. We’re in such a fragile state you have to give respect to those fighting for change. Greta Thunberg for example, is asking people to think differently, adopt a sense of urgency and demand essential change.
S] It’s good to see you back, talk to us about the motivations behind that?
Thank you. Well, I think collectively we all felt that there was more life in this band. We had been toying with new material for a little while but never really found the momentum to push it along. But then slowly we started to amass a body of pretty nice songs and decided the time was right to invest some decent time into them. Musically, it’s amazing how quickly we can create the same atmosphere and sink straight into the same ‘Vex Red’ vibe we used to, given how different our lives are now to how they were. I suppose we’re still very much the same people though and the music we make still has the same effect on us as it always did.
S] How do you look back on your early work now?
Fondly, and I hope we continue to do so. It was such an important time of our lives. Although we were perhaps a little unprepared for many of the challenges associated with such a dramatic change to our circumstances I feel we created some nice music. It had a special atmosphere, it had integrity and I feel very proud of it still. Last year we played our album ‘Start with a Strong and Persistent Desire’ in its entirety for the very first time as a one-off performance and actually, it felt great to do so. Showcasing that collection of songs with a live string section was an unbelievable feeling. A couple of them we updated stylistically to accommodate the strings which was a lovely thing to have had the opportunity to do.
S] How do you define success as a band nowadays?
That’s an interesting question as success for us was never clearly defined. We were full of youthful hyperbole and aspiration/delusion and perhaps we all had our own ideas of what might constitute success. For me, having confidence that what I created was worthwhile and relevant was most important. I think that’s still true today.
S] What would you say the biggest challenges you face as a band are?
From a very practical sense – logistics. Very boring, I know. Just trying to organise get-togethers is a frustrating task in itself.
We have a fairly unconventional working method and the single biggest difficulty is finding the necessary time. Keith (Lambert) and I have embraced a different song writing method now which has made things a little easier but still, getting everyone together on a regular basis will probably continue to be our biggest challenge.