Vöödöö is a Norwegian hard rock quartet formed in November 2015 that has so far released two singles, ‘Lay Me To Rest’ (January 2018) and ‘Dots’ (April 2018). ‘The Secret’ is the band’s third single, and was released on Indie Recordings on June 8th 2018. Down the Front Media spoke to lead singer Gøran ‘Euran’ Skage about the meaning behind the song and he said, “This is a song about the struggle to let go of something that once was your everything, but now drags you to the darkest depths of your mind. All the questions to answers you will never know. It can turn into an obsession if you feed it…the need to know. A free mind is a free soul, and to free your mind you gotta let it all go. That is The Secret”.
The opening beat of this third single instantly reminds me of ‘Unskinny Bop’ by Poison, but all similarities to the hair metallers fade as soon as the first riff starts, and it’s one that’s been stuck in my head since I first heard it. From the opening line “I got a question I cannot ask”, the story in the lyrics have me hooked. Skage’s vocal really draws you in, working seamlessly with the other instruments in the band, and they really sound like a tight unit. Although Skage was initially only hired as a session singer for a string of gigs that drummer Giuliano LoMonaco, bassist Stian Brungot and guitarist Sveinung Bukve had booked, the chemistry was instantaneous as soon as the four guys began to play together, “after the first rehearsal we all knew this was it. Vöödöö was formed”. I can see why; he has one of those voices that gives me goosebumps.
‘The Secret’ has a rousing chorus that has me banging my head to the beat, the driving beat of the powerful rhythm section drags you along, those soaring riffs get right under your skin, and Skage’s melodious vocals layered on top add another dimension that take this track right out of this world. This track has heavier moments where the vocals are almost screaming and nicely distorted, the thumping drum beat and driving bass supporting this feeling. The much lighter interludes really show off Skage’s vocal prowess and the musicianship of all four members working in harmony…I can’t get enough of this track!
Vöödöö’s debut album, ‘Ashes’ is due for release on 14th September 2018 and the album as a whole appears to have a theme. Skage says, “The lyrics for our upcoming album ‘Ashes’ are based on Giuliano's personal experiences and about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when sorrow corrupts our mind”. It sounds like a very deep, personal album, but with a positive spin. The band members are already busy writing new material for further releases, and tend to “all contribute to the creation process and we all feed off each other's energy and creativity. Some rehearsals someone has a solid idea that we work on, while on others we just jam and something develops into a song”.
Here at DTFM we’re very interested in hearing what influences and shapes new music, so we asked the members of Vöödöö what kind of music they listened to as they were growing up, and also who they’re listening to right now. Brungot said, “My mother is Latin American so there was a lot of Gypsy Kings and Latin music around when I was growing up. In my teen years I was more focused on heavy music, with bands like Sonata Arctica, Children Of Bodom and Deep Purple. It was here I discovered my love of Rock & riffing. I am a music omnivore, and listen to anything regardless of genre as long as I find it catchy”. LoMonaco recalls, “I grew up listening to everything from Led Zeppelin to Queen and Prince, and the diversity has never changed. Today I love bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Matthews Band, Manchester Orchestra and Katy Perry. Anything that makes you feel is good music”.
Skage listened to a lot of ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s music that his parents listened to. He says, “My father listened to a lot of Beatles, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan & Doobie Brothers, while my mother was more on the funkier side with Earth, Wind & Fire, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder. Both of them were very fond of The Eagles so you could say I grew up in a home with a variety of genres, and a love of music that I think has shaped me a lot. As I started to explore and define my own taste of music in my teens I fell head first into the Alternative Rock genre with all its variations. U2 was the big one in that genre for me and made me a sucker for the "Big Stadium" choruses that has influenced me as a songwriter”. Bukve added, “I grew up listening a lot to The Beatles, David Bowie, Radiohead, Wilco, The Flaming Lips & Blur, just to mention some. These are bands and artists that I still listen to, and I find inspiration in their music”.
Both Skage & Brungot are also keen video gamers, and have often been inspired by the soundtracks, or plot from games. Aside from playing music in ‘band time’, all four members are always writing, playing, practicing or discovering music in their free time too. They find it a great way to relax and release tension. They also like to spend time with their family and friends, particularly outside, as the weather in their native Bergen has been somewhat tropical over the last few weeks!
Vöödöö have an upcoming gig at Klubbøya in Oslo on 7th August that they are very excited about, and are planning a promotional tour in the autumn after ‘Ashes’ is released. Of course, like most bands, they dream of playing the big festivals and of travelling all over the world playing on the biggest stages, but for now, their feet are firmly on the ground. They say, “The response we have gotten so far has been so great and we hope that continues and that people find our music and hopefully it will make them feel something”. If they have any advice for new bands just starting out, that would be to rehearse every detail of the set, “Practice every aspect of it and keep getting better. Believe in yourself and your ideas, don't be afraid to show it to people. And most importantly of all, have fun!” Sounds like pretty good advice to me.
Gøran ‘Euran’ Skage - lead vocals
Sveinung Bukve - guitar
Giuliano LoMonaco - drums
Stian Brungot - bass
Buy ‘The Secret’ here:-