This is the transcript of the Vagabonds’ first radio interview ever, Fall of 20xx, somewhere in the US with a cool radio station 🙂
DJ Russ Goodwin: Hi, gang. Rockin’ Russ is on the air, and I have here in the studio today the five young ladies that make up the rock band the Vagabonds. The first thing I’m struck by is how young they look.
No offense, ladies. Why don’t we start there? Just how old are you all?
Barbie Bennett, vocalist: Old enough to not have to answer that question.
Liz Mayer, rhythm guitar: Does it matter? Aren’t we viable musicians, no matter what our age?
Russ: Ah, Liz. You mind if I call you Liz? You have hit the nail on the head. I think it makes your music even more impressive. How many artists struggle and write and perfect their craft before they are what we consider good—or even great? Success doesn’t usually happen overnight and the Mozarts of our world are few and far between. So, let me tell you, it impresses the hell out of me that you girls aren’t old enough to vote but are rockin’ with the big boys. You don’t want to answer the question? Fine. But I think your audience respects that you are young but writing and playing music we hear from bands twice your age.
Kyle Summers, lead guitar: I’m seventeen.
Russ: Kyle, right? Okay, folks, if you haven’t listened to the Vagabonds yet, let me play a little snippet—a solo from their first single ‘Dream World’.
Second chorus, followed by guitar solo, then fade out of the Vagabonds’ first single “Dream World.”
Russ: Kyle, you wrote this solo, right?
Kyle: Yep. With some inspirational help from CJ Slavin.
Russ: As in the band Death Crunch?
Kyle: Yeah. I call him Siege.
Russ: Siege? I like that. So…you say he helped you. Helped you how?
Kyle: He kind of helped me think outside the box. You know…kind of reimagine the solo I had and just kind of…let my soul take over.
Russ: Only an artist would answer the question like that. But back to my original point. You girls are playing at a level far beyond your years. There are grown men in their forties who would kill to play like that.
Kyle: Well, they won’t get there by just dreaming, Russ. It’s hard work, man. If you don’t work for it, you won’t get it.
Russ: Ah. Tell me more about that.
Kyle: I was twelve when I first held a guitar, and it was a passion for me. I learned everything I could about playing. My mom is a music teacher, so she taught me the basics—you know, chords, sight reading music, and stuff—but I took off from there. I’d play one of my favorite bands and then try to duplicate the song. I couldn’t get enough. I devoured it, and if you—
Russ: Let’s talk about that. Who are your idols?
Kyle: Oh, God, I have so many. My main idols, though, are some of the greats, guys like Randy Rhoads, Kirk Cobain, Dimebag—
Russ: Only the dead guys. You heading that way, Kyle? What about you, Liz? Who are some of your idols?
Liz: I have a pretty diverse taste in music. Probably one of my favorite bands is the Black Eyed Peas. But then there’s Paramore. Actually, Paramore is probably one of my biggest influences. Then there’s Nirvana—I think Kyle and I agree on that one. Also Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Radiohead…there are so many. I think it would take the rest of your show for me to name them all.
Russ: What about the rest of you?
Barbie: Oh. I have so many influences and so many idols. Lady Gaga is number one in my book, but then you have Madonna, oh, and Britney. And then, of course, some of the greats, Celine and Whitney.
Russ: What I’m picking up on here, ladies, is how musically diverse your tastes are.
Barbie: You got that right, Russ. Our lead guitarist is constantly moaning, “Harder, harder!” But you’ve got our rhythm girl Liz who also writes all the songs trying to do it more laid back—and that leaves little ol’ me, struggling to belt it all out in the confines of our tunes. It’s rough.
Russ: You seem to do all right.
Barbie: Thank you. It’s been some adjustment for me, but I think we’re all kind of fitting together nicely.
Russ: What’s your background, Barbie? Are you classically trained?
Barbie: I had some formal instruction, but I’m mostly self-taught. I did it by listening to the greats and imitating them. And I think the sound I bring really enriches who we are and the message we’re trying to share.
Russ: You girls are amazing.
Russ: Okay, we’ve got to take a short commercial break so we can pay the bills. We’ll be right back.
Several commercials, followed by Russ introducing the full track of the Vagabonds single “She’s Okay (She’s with Me).”
Russ: All right, folks. I have with me here in the studio the ladies from the band the Vagabonds. You just heard the second single off their debut album. So, ladies, I want to ask you, even though we already talked a little about this. Your first single, “Dream World,” is fast becoming a favorite among a wide variety of listeners. Who wrote that song?
Liz: I wrote the basis for the song, but it evolved as we went. Like Kyle said, she, with the help of CJ, rewrote the solo, but she had already changed the sound of the song a little anyway. I think you’ve already gathered that I prefer a mellower beat, a tune accessible to the masses. Kyle likes her songs hard and heavy—and I’d like to think that, together, we blend really well and have come up with a unique sound thanks to both our contributions. Barbie rewrites some of the lyrics and she’ll be doing a lot more lyric writing for our second album. And then, of course, what the hell would we do without our rhythm section? Vicki is amazing on the drums and does things I never would have dreamed—but that’s why she’s our drummer and I’m not. And Kelly too. I play bass too, but that’s not my forte—not like the way Kelly plays. I have to give Peter Cyrus, our producer, credit. The man had a vision and assembled us based on our talents, and I think he’s brilliant. We’re sitting here today because of him.
Russ: Wow, Liz, that’s nice praise for your entire team. Vicki, how do you feel about your drumming? How integral do you think it is to the sound of the Vagabonds?
Vicki Graham, drummer: Sorry—could you repeat that?
Russ: How integral do you think your drumming is to the sound of the Vagabonds?
Vicki: Oh…sometimes I feel like nobody could do what I do, but then I think, “Oh, it’s just f—— drums, you know?” Oh, sorry. I guess you’ll have to bleep me out, right? I forgot.
Russ: I think you’re too modest. What about you, Kelly? Do you enjoy being part of this band?
Kelly Cambridge, bassist: Yeah. I love these girls. A year ago, I never would have dreamed I’d be doing anything like this. I mean…I’ve played bass the last two years, starting in my jazz band at school, and I always enjoyed it, but I never in a million years would have dreamed it would be my job. And it’s the coolest job in the world!
Russ: All right. Let’s talk more about what makes you unique. Most kids your age would be in school, you know—going to classes and dances, playing sports, playing in the band, applying for college, all that jazz…and here you are, living the dream. Which one of you wants to tell me what it’s like touring for the first time?
Barbie: Oh, my God. What a blast. First of all, we get to see parts of the country where we’ve never been before. And then wow! The fans. I never would have dreamed that many people love us. It’s so cool getting to perform night after night.
Liz: I have to agree with Barbie about the fans. I’ve written lyrics for years and to have people feel something from your words—it’s priceless.
Kyle: And the music too. I agree. I never would have known what a rush it is to share with an audience. We’re so lucky to be able to experience it—there’s this bond you form with the audience that you just have no idea exists until you’re living it.
Russ: Let’s talk about that—your audience. Who are your main fans?
Barbie (laughs): Men! A lot of teenage boys but mostly young men.
Liz: We’ve got a lot of girls too.
Barbie: Yeah. It’s mostly the younger set…so when I see someone who’s balding or has gray hair, I kind of freak out. We’re definitely for younger people.
Russ: Okay, folks, I’m going to play the Vagabonds’ first single “Dream World,” and then we’ll be back with more questions.
“Dream World” by the Vagabonds plays.
Russ: That was “Dream World” by the Vagabonds, the first single off their debut album, and I’ve got these five dreamy ladies in my studio right now. For those of you who just tuned in, we’ve been talking about how they’ve taken the rock world by storm. They’re with me for a little longer, and I’m going to ask them a few more questions, and then I’m going to open up the rock lines and take a few questions from all of you. You can also hit me up on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll take a couple questions there as well.
So…rumor has it that one of you goes by a stage name, and I’ve also heard about a nickname—Sticky Vicki. How’d you get that name, Vicki? Or is it something you can talk about on the air?
Vicki: I dunno. They just started calling me that. You know—”Vicki’s the girl with the sticks” soon became “Sticky Vicki.”
Barbie: Oh, that’s not the only reason, Vicki.
Russ: Really? Do tell, Barbie.
Barbie: Well, Kyle will be the first to tell you that Vicki’s one who constantly manages to get herself in and out of sticky situations faster than I can rip off my undies.
Barbie: There’s one other reason, Russ, but I’m not gonna tell you because…it’s private.
Russ: I think it got hotter in here. [Barbie laughs.] I’ve heard another rumor, and I’m asking you all if it’s true. There’s talk floating around that you’re all lesbians. [Kyle laughs.] But I’ve especially heard that Liz and Barbie are the leaders of the pack. Can you confirm this?
Liz: Seriously? I didn’t come here to discuss sex. Why can’t you just ask us questions about our fucking music?
Russ: Oh, okay. Folks, Liz has left the building, so to speak. (Laughs.) Okay, I guess that’s my cue to take questions from the audience. We only have a few minutes left, so let me see how many I can get in. Folks, the rock lines are open, so call in. In the meantime, let me see what questions we have online. Okay, here’s one for Barbie. A Facebook user named Miguel wants to know if your hair is real. Oh, and your breasts as well.
Barbie (laughs): Those are all me, baby.
Russ: Folks, I suppose for authenticity’s sake, Barbie is yanking on her hair. It appears to be on there tight. But, no, I will not be touching your goods, Barbie. Thanks for the offer.
Russ: Okay, caller. You’re on the air. What question do you have for the Vagabonds?
Caller One: Well, I was wanting to ask Liz a question, so hopefully the others can answer for her. I wanted to know how long it took her to write all the songs.
Barbie: Well, I know she’d written and rewritten the ones on this album more times than you’d believe, but she seems to have hit a stride. She writes about a song a month nowadays. We’ll be ready to record our second album by the time we come off tour if that’s any indication.
Kyle: But we’re also hoping to do more collaboration with this one.
Barbie: Well, yeah.
Russ: Thanks, caller. Okay, next caller. You’re on the air. Do you have a question for the ladies in my studio today?
Caller Two: Yeah, this is for Kyle. Kyle, what’s your favorite guitar?
Kyle: Well, I learned to play on a Fender Strat, and I loved that guitar, but on the road, I’ve been playing my Gibson Flying V. It’s an amazing axe.
Caller Two: Thanks.
Russ: One more from Facebook. Jerry asks, “What is your favorite song on your album?”
Barbie: “Dream World.”
Kyle: Yeah, me too, but I also love “Monster in My Head.” I like the dark undertones of the music. It still gives me chills.
Kelly: “Dream World” is definitely kick ass, but my favorite is “Keep Me Close.”
Vicki: I’m with Kyle. “Monster in My Head” is so different and unexpected—and so real.
Russ: Okay, we have time for one more question. I got this one from Twitter. Taylor asks, “Dear Vagabonds, what advice do you have for people who want to be in a band?”
Barbie: Believe in yourself.
Kyle: We got lucky, man. I guess that’s a part of the formula, and Barbie’s right. Definitely have faith in your abilities, but my advice? Practice. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a rock star. If you want it, you can’t make it happen without getting good at playing.
Russ: All right. Big thank you to the Vagabonds for stopping by the studio today. Their show tonight with Fluidity and headliners Black Matter is sold out. But I just so happen to have two tickets left to the show. Give me a call during the commercial break and cross your fingers. Those tickets will go to caller number twelve…