Vanity Blvd. Interview

January 15, 2012

Interviewer: Gemma-Louise Johnson

Having received a frosty reception with 2008’s debut ‘Rock N Roll Overdose’, it’s safe to say that Vanity BLVD have dealt with their fair share of rock ‘n’ roll tribulations along the way — including the departure of bassist Marty, who was shortly replaced by newcomer Pete Ash. But having already established themselves as one of Sweden’s leading glam-rock bands, the female-fronted Vanity BLVD are sharpening up their act and ready to hit the studio to record a new album. First though, leading lady Anna Savage, along with new bassist Pete Ash, set the record straight about Marty’s departure, what went wrong, and what’s next for Sweden’s finest.

Sleaze Roxx: Do you wish you could have gone a bit further with the band’s last album ‘Rock N Roll Overdose’? Was it due to the promotional side of things that the album didn’t do as well as it could have globally?

Vanity BLVD Sleaze Roxx InterviewAnna Savage: I totally agree, We had some rough times right after the album was released and things just got outta hand. Our bass player left and we focused all our time on finding a new band member, instead of focusing on the album. We didn’t give the album a fare promotion — of course we worked to get the album out but not as much as we could have, and that’s sad cause we really put our heart, soul and sweat into that album.

Sleaze Roxx: Do you plan to take Vanity BLVD as far as you can with the next album?

Anna Savage: We’re gonna go all the way! Of course we’re gonna do our best to promote this album far more than we did with ‘Rock N Roll Overdose’. We’re gonna make sure that every rocker on this planet hears it — and we’re gonna gig as much as we can.

Sleaze Roxx: Pete Ash is the newest addition to the band, what was the reason for Marty’s departure?

Anna Savage: Pete was what this band needed… the missing link. We have had a lot of issues and problems to deal with in this band — its been exhausting, depressing and rough times in all of our lives. Now we’re finally on the right track again and everything feels amazing. We’re all just ready to kick some fucking serious asses again — we have had a break for too long, now its time to get down to business again.

Sleaze Roxx: Pete, how did you come into the band and how are you settling in?

Pete Ash: Everything is smooth — there are no issues, we just like to hang out and have fun. When we rehearse it’s just so damn fun, we could go on all night until the police come to kick us out. I’ve known Traci Trexx (guitar) and Frecko (drums) for a couple years now and we began jamming at the rehearsal set… just having fun. About two years ago they asked me if I could fill in for former bassist Marty because he couldn’t make it — they had one gig and asked if I could fill in and I said of course. Out of the blue they just asked me, ‘You wanna join?’… something like that (laughs).

Sleaze Roxx: Does it feel strange, as the newest member of the band, to hear Vanity BLVD’s debut is still charting number 1 in Sweden, even though you’re not on it?

Vanity BLVD Sleaze Roxx InterviewPete Ash: It feels great because I’m responsible for it going number one on that chart. You have to be from the region to enter that chart, so I sent in our stuff and boom… number one! I try to do as much for the band as I can to move us forward, and this was one idea which I think turned out pretty good.

Sleaze Roxx: Any hints as to what we can expect from the next album? Will it portray the same sound as before?

Anna Savage: You’re in for a treat! We still have the same sound, but this album is gonna be something really special.

Pete Ash: I think mostly it’s gonna be the same, the songs rehearse pretty much the same. But it depends on who’s gonna produce the album, their touch will have something to do with the finish and the actual sound — but yes, I think it’s still the same.

Sleaze Roxx: Any release date set for the new album?

Anna Savage: Not a specific date set yet, but hopefully we’ll go into the studio before the summer of 2012.

Sleaze Roxx: Do you plan to do a tour outside of Sweden with the next album?

Anna Savage: We don’t have the tour settled yet, but we all would just love to reach out to all our hungry fans abroad, so we’ll do whatever it takes to go to as many places as possible.

Vanity BLVD Sleaze Roxx InterviewPete Ash: We are trying to book as many shows as we can here in Sweden. Its hard and its very tough because we have like a million rock bands here in Sweden. That’s the problem, Sweden is kind of a small country so there’s not enough venues for us. Its big competition and venues don’t pay anything unless you’ve toured around Europe and after awhile they’re like, ‘Woahhh! This band is pretty good’ — but it takes a couple of years of touring Europe. After that, yeah you can get paid in Sweden too — I don’t know, it’s weird (nervous laugh).

Sleaze Roxx: If Vanity BLVD could support any band on tour who would it be?

Anna Savage: There are lots of bands we would love to support, but I would probably say The Black Crowes or The Quireboys because we have the same groovy sound and I think we would get along just fine. I wouldn’t turn down Whitesnake either.

Sleaze Roxx: All of your songs are in English, is this because it is your main intention to take Vanity Blvd across the world, where English is a commonly spoken language?

Anna Savage: I’ve never really reflected over that, it just feels natural to write in English. I never felt that comfortable singing in Swedish so… and yes, we want to reach out to every soul on this planet, so its easier done in English.

Sleaze Roxx: Do you think bands with your type of sound in Sweden generally find it hard to make it big where this type of sound is not as anticipated, in countries like the UK?

Anna Savage: There isn’t any band in Sweden with our sound, and I believe its harder for us to make it in Sweden then it is in the rest of the world. If we look at the reviews, interviews, and sales, it shows that we are more popular in countries like the USA, England, Italy, Spain and Germany, than we are in Sweden.