Interview: Vodsel

Hey guys,

Vodsel is post punk duo from Manchester and Wrexham, United Kingdom.
It consists of Paul Davies (vocals, synths, percussion) and Chris Williams (guitars, synths, drums).

They started working together in 2012 and so far they released two EPs, a compilation and their debut album. You can listen to buy all of their work via bandcamp so make sure to check out the links below.

Paul took some time to answer a few of my questions about not working face to face, new year's resolutions, Top Ten lists and a lot more.
I think you are going to enjoy this insight.

house in the sand: First of all - Happy New Year! Are there any new year's resolutions for the band?
Paul: 2013 was a great year for Vodsel. We released a lot of songs, got a variety of exposure and gained a lot of new fans and friends. If we can do the same again in 2014 then that would be wonderful. 
We have an EP due out in February with a new song preview on 11 January so we are getting of a positive start!

house in the sand: You sent me your press story and it says you've released two EPs, a compilation and a debut album - that's a lot of material and that's impressive. But what's crazy about this, is you didn't record it face to face but online. How can that work?

Paul: We just record our separate parts and then file share putting the song together that way. Initially there were loads of songs written before we became a duo so all that was needed was the vocal parts to be put down over any mixes and then just master the final version. As time has gone on the song writing and mixing has gradually become more of a shared process and now each individual part (bass, synth...etc) is exchanged and then mixed and the vocal can fit in easier.

house in the sand: Do you think it would have been easier the other way?
Paul: The other way is more conventional perhaps but the method we use allows us to get on with it without the distraction of rehearsing or gigs.
We'd never have got so many songs done in the traditional way, plus there would have been extra costs such as travel, studio time, etc.
We've been in bands separately and together where we've played loads of gigs but only ever had a few songs done in a studio to show for it. Our method means you can create a legacy with a large selection of songs plus you can work on stuff at any time. We've always got songs on the go in the background.

house in the sand: Your song "Necrodancer" is available to download for free - great for all fans and listeners. Why did you decide to make it a freebie?
Paul: We always like to keep things fresh and try new things. When you exist mainly online, you are surrounded by bands in similar positions vying for attention so you have to stand out. We have released freebies before, one was available for just 24 hourse, but it acts as an incentive for new people to check us out and hopefully go on to hear more of our songs. In this case it was coming up to the end of the year and our first year as a duo so it was a kind of thank you to anyone who has been there through it all with us.

house in the sand: Now while we're talking about this song - what inspired it?
Paul: It was recorded in the usual Vodsel way but with a more pulsating, almost dance-based, rhythm than usual.
I normally get a melody first for the vocal and then write lyrics to fit. I found some lyrics for a song I'd written about 2 years ago called The Lamplighter which I hadn't done much with. A lot of the lines are taken from that. It's basically about a mysterious character who shows people the light. It's up to you as to whether that is a good thing or not.

house in the sand: For the next album - do you want to meet up for it or do it online again?
Paul: I imagine we will stick to the tried and tested methods used to date. It works well and I don't think it's second-best to doing it the traditional way in a studio. In reality, you record your parts seperately in the studio anyway so it's just an extension of that way of doing things. It might be good to get a different set of ears to master our work to put a fresh slant on things but this is additional cost and we have been pleased with the results so far. We'd never rule anything out though so if someone gave us a wedge of cash to go in the studio, we'd be up for that!

house in the sand: You created a Top Ten list on your website, really cool idea! What do you think, will it change a lot over 2014? Or are some songs still going to make it to this year's list?
Paul: Thanks, the list was made up from streams and downloads for each song over the year which gave them a ranking. We also had an influence by listing our own favourites but neither of our favourite made the top! The songs that have been available for longer have naturally had more plays overall but it was really cool to see several o the newer songs in there. Over 2014 I imagine we will release more songs so there will no doubt be changes and new entries of we do the same task again.

house in the sand: Assuming you're online fans, what is your favourite social media site?
We use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Each has its own benefit and these have stuck around for a while and remained vital (unlike some others) but it is disappointing to hear that Facebook posts from pages are not reaching the target audience without payments. We may use Mailchimp over this year to connect with fans via the old fashioned method of email so they don't miss out. 

And that's it. A big thanks to Paul for answering all the questions and giving us a really interesting insight of their recording process.
I really enjoyed learning something new! 

Vodsel online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

Thank you for reading!


  1. Interesting insight into the marketing as well as the making of the music. So much good music out there and I know it's a challenge to get heard/find it.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Chris! It really can be a challenge for both sides - the artists and the listeners. But I think there will be a lot of good music shared on house in the sand in 2014. So if you feel like coming back to check some out - just do it. :) Cheers!


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