There are times when you think how did I get so lucky … I was asked if I wanted to interview The Virginmarys ahead of their forthcoming tour and this was one of those occasions! I thanked my lucky stars whilst Ally Dickaty (guitars and vocals) answered my questions.
If they are playing anywhere close go and see them, as well as being really lovely people they play some sublime music that will make your heart leap with joy. (The Dates are at the end of the interview)
How excited are you about the upcoming tour?
Can’t wait, it’s been a long time since we’ve played a few of the places and some of them we’ve never played before so it’ll be cool to tread new ground.
Is there a venue or place that you are most looking forward to playing and why?
It’s always a buzz for playing in Scotland, so the Edinburgh date we’re really looking forward to.
The Primordial Radio bash in Lincoln will be an ace day, they’ve got a great line up and we really love those guys and what they’re doing with their station.
One of the most special will be the Mansfield date, we’re returning to the studio that we recorded our EP Sitting Ducks, we’ve never played a gig where we’ve recorded before.
To tell you the truth though, were looking forward to them all for different reasons.
Can you give us a glimpse into your life on the road? Do you have free time? How do you fill it? Do you enjoy it? What are the frustrations?
It’s always a good laugh, we’ve been doing it for that long now that we know who to travel with and the right people to have around us. It can be difficult being at it all day in one way or another and it’s not always for everyone. We have a laugh though, we all bounce off each other and look after each other. It’s frustrating when things out of your control happen but I guess that’s all part of it. I think I enjoy it more than ever now.
What can we expect from this tour?
One of the best, most real and intense shows you’ll see all year.
You do a lot for charity what is the reason behind this?
We’ve done a lot of work for foodbanks and the homeless because we feel a duty to. If we stop looking out for each other and see life as a competition, it’s a sad and empty place to live. Everyone should be able to eat and have shelter in order to function and sometimes make necessary changes. Most of us one time or another have hit the bottom and we never know what’s around the corner. We just want to see the world as brothers and sisters rather than us and them and do what we can to address what the government chooses not to.
Your music can be really eclectic, moving from rock to more soulful how do you go about constructing a song?
I sit with an acoustic guitar and write, or I’ll have some lyrics or a line I love and write around it. It’s what I love to do. I pick out the ideas that will be great to jam out with Dan and we get to it. I listen to a lot of eclectic stuff and I love the depth of soul and the style so that’s often what comes out.
Who has the ideas for the songs?
I write the songs, we take them to the practice room, jam them out, work on the dynamics and get them down.
Your lyrics can be extremely moving and beautiful, how does this connect you to the audience when playing live?
Really well, the live shows are something else, the vibe is incredible. I think by being brutally honest in your lyrics, and when people can tell its sincere, it allows them to make a connection. People connect with your story or feelings and its really powerful.
What are your future plans for the band?
Keep creating music and getting out to the fans, there’s always a better song we can write and show we can play. That keeps us going.
What do you love most about creating music?
It allows us to express ourselves through a different channel, we communicate with people deeper than we would in a conversation and something very powerful is created.
You have previously toured with some amazing people, Slash, Shinedown, Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age to name just a few, who is left on your list of people you most want to tour with and why?
There’s loads we’d love to tour with, we have great respect for a lot of different acts. I think a tour with Neil Young would be something else!!
What made you change your website to 3D?
Danny does all the artwork and graphics, he’s out to make it fresh and different to what’s out there, the same way we approach the music.
We’ve got a lot more freedom to do what we want and try shit out, now we’re running the whole show.
Do you have any guilty secrets you are willing to share with us and if so what are they?
Pickled onion monster munch, I’m all about them. Ever since I was a kid they’ve blown my mind, they’ve locked that snack down!
Go and see The Virginmarys on their tour, I know it will be something really special. I am also pretty sure that Ally will be inundated with Pickled Onion Monster Munch 🙂
The Virginmarys live:
5 April – SHEFFIELD, Cafe Totem
6 April – LEICESTER, The Soundhouse
12 April – CARDIFF, Clwb Ifor Bach
13 April – BIRMINGHAM, The Actress and Bishop
14 April – MANSFIELD, The Old Library
19 April – NEWCASTLE, Think Tank
20 April – EDINBURGH, Opium
21 April – LINCOLN, Primordial Radio AGM Festival
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