On Friday January 29th, Ecca Vandal dropped her debut EP, End OF Time, with no warning at all. The EP features five tracks with her 2015 hit singles, End Of Time and Battle Royal and three brand new tracks. The genre-bending EP features elements of hip-hop, punk, and dark electro pop that is perfectly crafted to show off her unique style whilst sharing themes about politics, anti-authority and racism. We recently got the chance to talk to Ecca Vandal about her powerful EP, her upcoming tour and what else she has in store for 2016.
Courtesy of Kidnot
The first track on the EP is Running At People Exiting, which immediately opens with gruelling imagery of a blood thirsty wolf over jerking synths. It then abruptly picks up speed with Ecca Vandal’s forceful vocals washing over you whilst scuzzy guitars and thrashing drums play loudly in the background. The track closes with twitching, disordered soundscapes with creepy samples and robotic audio fragments. In comparison, End Of Time is filled with minimalistic, electronic production with Ecca Vandal’s delicate, sultry vocals at the forefront as she spits out anti-authority and sinister lyrics.
The shortest track on the EP is Truth To Trade, but it brings an absolute explosion of punch. Opening with samples of retro arcade games which then picks up with her howling vocals sitting over the top of powerful riffs and heavy percussion. Divided is the most thought-provoking track on the EP, with aggressive lyrics discussing confronting issues about racism and cultural differences. The final track on Ecca Vandal’s End Of Time EP is Battle Royal, which burns through with ferocious melodic hooks, grungy guitars and vicious drums. The whole EP delivers a heart racing urge of aggression that immediately demands your attention. She is also hitting the road this month for her national tour with supports from WAAX.
Courtesy of the Artist
Outlet: Firstly, thanks for talking to Outlet Magazine, can you give us an idea about your background in music?
Ecca Vandal: Thanks for having me! Well I’ve been around music since I was a baby, mainly because my family love to sing, so music has always filled the home. I started getting a bit more serious about music towards the end of high school and fell in love with Jazz. I studied Jazz at Victoria College of the Arts for a few years.
O: What made you decide to release the EP as a surprise?
E: I love surprises! Well, truth is…. There aren’t that many surprises in life so why not? And also, releasing and sharing music is pretty easy with the internet these days, it’s pretty much a click of a button. I didn’t want to wait around and was keen to cut out some of the extra BS that goes with the music industry and just go direct and get it out online.
O: I have seen a lot of reviewers try and describe your music in terms of genre and end up writing a long list, in your own words how would you describe your music and do you think it fits in any particular ‘genre’?
E: Yeah I guess it doesn’t really fit into a particular genre which makes it a little hard to describe. When I gave a muso buddy of mine, Joelistics, a preview of some of my tunes last year he described it as post-grunge/future dance-floor! We had a laugh about it at the time, but it’s kinda stuck!
O: What is the writing process for you, do the lyrics come first or does the instrumental and production side?
E: Typically it’s the music and instrumental side that comes first. But it can change – there have been times when a lyrical concept or story for a song has come before the music, so then I can craft the instrumental and mood of the track around that
O: You recorded all the instruments yourself with Kidnot for ‘Battle Royal’, was that the same for the rest of the tracks on the EP?
E: Yeah we wrote and played all the parts on the EP and tracked the majority of them aside from a few vocals which were tracked with our mix engineer Hadyn Buxton.
O: Your track ‘Divided’ discusses some powerful subject matter, were these drawn from personal experiences or where did you get the inspiration from?
E: It’s actually sparked from a story my friend was telling me about an experience she had with an old boyfriend. Basically the guy didn’t want to peruse a relationship with her because of cultural differences – he just got the shock of his life being introduced to her family and getting to know her cultural roots and his parents convinced him that a relationship with her would be a bad idea.
O: I really loved the track, ‘Running With People Exiting’, can you tell us what inspired the track and how it came about?
E: Thank you!! This is a track where the concept inspired the song. It came about when I was reading about a few women’s stories and couldn’t stop thinking about how messed up some people’s views were in support and in defence of sexual harassment and assault. So I thought I would flip the perspective and write it from the point of view of a scumbag predator trying to justify why he ‘own’s the right’ to act like a douche bag.
O: You have a really strong visual aesthetic when it comes to your Instagram, the EP cover and video production, do you have a strong interest in art and design or do you feel they go hand in hand with the music process?
E: ah cheers 😉 I think it comes from both, I’m really interested in visual art and design but also believe it is super linked to music. I like to say some people listen with their eyes! With the net, I feel we’ve all become pretty visually orientated, so why not create something to go alongside the aural experience. It’s a rad opportunity for even musicians to fill our ‘news’ feeds with art! There is a negative side to the progression in visual content online as it has fueled image obsession and some whack views on body image, which i really don’t dig…but that’s a whole other conversation….
O: Will elements of these visuals be integrated in the live show and what can we expect from your upcoming tour?
E: You can expect a whole lotta crazy! Loads of energy and double the amount of sweat with the dope opening act, Waax, who are coming along for a whole bunch of dates too! Come get loose with us! :)
O: Do you have any big plans for the rest of 2016?
E: More music!! More shows !! More travel!! All the good good things:)
Ecca Vandal’s National ‘End Of Time’ Tour Dates:
February 20th | Jack Rabbit Slim, Perth WA
February 25th | The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
February 26th | Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA
Febuary 27th | Howler, Melbourne VIC
March 3rd | The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
March 4th | Newtown Social, Sydney NSW