The last time we spoke to Velvet Code‘s mastermind Marlon Wurmitzer it was 2009 and his band were breaking on to the US scene with a mix of electronic sounds and infectious pop-rock. These days, Marlon finds himself on these shores in London and having played his first UK gig recently, we thought it would be a good time to catch up with the jet-setter to talk about his new home, sonic direction and future plans.
“My biggest problem is getting away from the chip shops”
S] What prompted the move to London?
M] I’ve been talking about it for a while, and thought, it was time to expand my horizon. I also was sick of eating bad fish and chips. Now my biggest problem is getting away from the chip shops.
S] What major differences in terms of culture and musical preference did you notice first?
M] Well, that’s a loaded question because when I got here, all I heard was Cheryl Cole, Jedward, JLS, Alexandra Burke and Sugababes. I was like…’Who are they? I’ve never heard of them but damn, I love the music!’ It turns out, they are the biggest pop stars in Europe at the moment. I guess Simon Cowell‘s X-Factor really is a huge phenomenon here.
S] How was your first live performance – were there good and bad points?
M] I have to say, I was a bit nervous about holding our first ever live gig in the UK at this venue, because it’s a prestigious one. But my bandmates turned it out. I was the one who had the sound problems! I had a case of Adam Lambert-itis! The exact same thing happened to both of us during our UK debut – our mic didn’t work! I had to switch mics in the middle of the first song, and from that point, everything went fine. All in all, I was pleased with the outcome. Jammin’ J was flawless on the DJ rig and keyboards, and Ricky Lee was outstanding on the drums! Good on ya mates.
S] Have people welcomed your sound and style – what kind of connections have you made?
M] So far, so good! I hope that we continue to get the type of reaction we got at the first show. We are making some connections in the industry, but I really just want to focus on reaching fans and potential fans. Without that, who really cares, right?
S] Will you be touring up north in cities like Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds?
M] Absolutely. I love Manchester! I’m aiming for October to do a little mini-tour of the UK.
S] Has or will the move influenced your writing at all?
M] I’m much happier with my life here, and my confidence is building again – I was feeling a bit unsure of myself in New York. So, I think you’ll start to see more upbeat, dance-focused material from us shortly. We’re already in the process of working on new material for our next show, so stay tuned!
S] How is your drive to create different now?
M] It’s fuelled by a good synergy with my bandmates. I really want them to get involved more. At our next show, we will have a few new tracks that showcase our work together as a team. I’m really looking forward to seeing the reaction!
S] What has been your biggest challenge since the move?
M] My biggest challenge? To let go…of the past, of the mistakes, of the lost loves. Once I did that, I was free again.
S] How have your sonic influences progressed since we last spoke?
M] Absolutely. These days, I listen to a ton of pop and dance music. One of my current favourites is Monarchy Sound. I’m also a huge Calvin Harris fan. And of course, there’s Kylie!
S] Tell us about this new era for Velvet Code and what it means to you?
M] It’s simple. Have fun. Life is too short. Whatever that means to you: drink and dance the night away, or travel the world, whatever. We’re all free.
S] What kind of themes are present on new material and how does it move away from your previous work?
M] It’s about having fun, being sexual, dance, lose your inhibitions, and enjoying life.
S] Have your musical goals changed at all?
M] I still want to make music that makes people feel good, but I think now I want to make people dance – so if you come to a show, please dance! As Kylie Minogue said in one of her tracks, ‘What’s the point of living if you don’t want to dance?’
S] Will you still be travelling back to the States to do shows?
M] I hope so. If a tour opportunity comes up that makes sense – hello Scissor Sisters or Kylie, are you listening?, I would love to consider it! I’d especially like to hit California and Idaho. Some fans there are screaming for a live show!
S] Taking into account new single ‘I Never Want To Feel’ would you say that you are headed in an even more pop-focused direction on new work – what prompted this decision?
M] Well, I would say that the direction is fluid, and ever-changing. The newest material in the works is definitely more dance and pop oriented, with a splash of electro. Working with Swedish producer, Peter Bostrom has been exciting. He really has an ear for the pop radio market. I’m excited to see what our collaborations will lead to.
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