Chicago has so many bands of so many genres, but I still haven’t heard one that sounds anything like Velocicopter. The band’s hard rock ruckus hits a number of styles: punk rock, alt rock, stoner rock, post punk and more. Basically, if it rocks Velocicopter are all over it, and that’s proved on their 2011 debut EP. The seven-song set is chock full of raging bangers from the racing riffs of “Common Bones” to the Nirvana-esque punch of “Ghost.”
Velocicopter will be releasing a new record later this winter, so below is a casual conversation (via Facebook) with Velocicopter singer and guitarist David DuCasse about the band’s formation, their new material and their new jam, “Clerestory Windows,” which was recorded exclusively for LoudLoopPress.com by our own Damian Wiseman and is available for free download at the conclusion of this post.
LLP: When I listen to Velocicopter I hear a lot of things – punk, stoner rocker, alt-rock and so on. What I’m wondering is when you guys (and girl) first started, was there a particular direction you were aiming for or just a free for all “let’s see how this goes” type of thing?
David: When Meg [MacDuff] and I first got together, we both had our own idea of what we wanted to do. We both came from bands doing very different things from each other. But as we kept working with each other, the blending of the two became sort of a free-flowing, anything-can-go direction that we just rode with. We would feed off each other’s ideas and soon songs were coming out of it.
LLP: Were those bands you came from punk bands?
David: I mean some. Meg was in a lot of different punk and surf bands, like The Groodies, Bone Tosser and Alright Alreadys. I have always loved punk bands, but never really played in one. I was doing more alt rock stuff in Sweet Polly and briefly Stoop Goodnoise.
LLP: I thought I should ask since it got some attention on the AV Club’s 2013 in band names list, who came up with Velocicopter?
David: [laughs] Yeah, we struggled with finding a band name for ourselves. One day out of nowhere [bassist] Brett [Klein] came up with it. We decided to ride with it.
LLP: It’s funny because it’s perfect.
David: I know. We had no idea it would describe us so well.
LLP: So, you’re currently working on your new record. What I loved about your debut EP was its raging energy that definitely had punk roots. But I’ve heard some of your newer material live, and it seems to be more carefully constructed with many more moving parts. Would you agree?
David: We started exploring new ideas on this new record. We didn’t want to do the same thing over again. We love those songs off the EP as they captured us in our early stage of figuring each other out musically. Basically, a group of drunken savages cranking out stuff we liked at the time. After a while, we found we all had a lot different things we could bring to the table. We all like different genres of music, and I don’t think there is ever a point where we are all listening to the same band or style of music. With the new stuff we are doing, the various dynamics started to show, and we wanted to have fun with it.
LLP: I told Meg once at times it sounds like stoner rock being played by a band high on coke.
David: [laughs] That’s another thing – playing those songs live was always intense on us. They were physically demanding to play, and we would finish a set and be ready to pass out.
LLP: How far along is your new record?
David: It’s in its last stages. We have been working on it for a while. We took a different approach this time around. We did a marathon recording session, and then would walk away revisit what we did a week later to see what we liked and what we thought needed to be changed or redone.
LLP: For us you recorded, “Clerestory Windows.” It’s a very rad tune, but definitely moodier than I’ve heard Velocicopter in the past. Where did it come from?
David: It was a killer time doing that stuff. As for the moodiness, maybe we are all secretly Cure kids? Meg had come up with the riff, and we built a song around it. At first it had more of a frantic sound to it, but eventually we toned it down and started to play around with a general groove.
LLP: Was that the obvious choice to record as a single for you?
David: Actually, it was more like, “Shit, we have this single to record. What are we gonna do?” And the song became the product of that mind set.
LLP: So, the song was written after you already knew you were going to record for us?
David: In a sense, yes. We had just put everything we had into the new record. We were starting to write new material again to take our focus off doing that. But it worked, and the urgency of it and time frame opened up a floodgate of new ideas. I think we, at times, thrive on panic. We have been writing a lot of new material ever since we did this song.
LLP: Just one final thing: when will be seeing the finished new Vcop record?
David: We are hoping by late February or maybe early March. We are trying to get it out as quickly as possible.