The phrase that I always find amazing to read is ‘all-girl band’ because they never write ‘all-boy band’.
Ali: Well, unless you’re a boy band.
Cassie: Unless you’re ‘N Sync.
Katy: That’s an on-going joke with our friends Male Bonding, a band from London. We always joke with them, ‘Male Bonding, what’s it like to be an all-boy band in London?’.
As well as putting up with that stuff, you’ve had to put with people who were annoyed that you weren’t proficient or something. I read that stuff and went ‘isn’t everybody in music always learning?’ Didn’t you feel like you had to learn in public in Vivian Girls?
Ali: Vivian Girls started getting popular while it was still getting its legs in the music world. So people are judging the band on the same plane as a band that’s been around for years, whereas Vivian Girls is still a very young band.
But I guess if you had to start it all over, or would you want to do it the same way or would you spend a year honing your craft and your outfits before you launched yourself on the world?
Cassie: Well, really, I don’t think we asked for this much attention. It just kind of happened to us, so I don’t know what we could’ve done differently to stop it. We just wanted to play music, go on tour, make albums, have a good time and then the attention started coming at us. So I don’t really know what we could’ve done differently.
Well there’s no looking back now, for album number two you’ve completely sold out. For Everything Goes Wrong, you spent eight days recording that record.
Katy: (laughs) Yeah, we really laboured intensely over it.
Did it feel like you were sitting in the lap of luxury then? You went to Costa Mesa or somewhere to do it?
Katy: We did kind of sit in the lap of luxury in the great OC.
How come you went to California to make the record? It still doesn’t sound like a Fleetwood Mac record just yet, but how come you took Vivian Girls out of New York to do the new album?
Ali: That studio in Costa Mesa, a lot of bands on In The Red (Vivian Girls’ record label) record there and we like the way the albums that were done there sound, so figured it would be a good match for us.
Is it that kind of thing where if you had 16 days, you’d spend 16 days making a record or would you still do it quickly?
Katy: I think that for both our records we used the exact right amount of time. For the third record I think we’re going to actually be playing in something slightly differently. I feel like it was the good amount of time for those records to be recorded.
I guess you haven’t had the experience of doing it the other way, so you don’t know what it’s like to take an Axl Rose amount of time in the studio.
Cassie: I don’t think it would’ve worked for the first two albums at all, because there’s a real sense of urgency I think that comes from having to rush a little bit that is important for those albums.
You’ve also stretched your wings song-wise, on Everything Goes Wrong. There’s a track like “Tension” that’s Phil Spector drum-beat about it, and that lilting ballad on “Before I Start To Cry”. Were you conscious of wanting to throw some different things onto this second record?
Ali: With “Tension” I knew I wanted to do that drum-beat because it’s such a great, classic drum-beat, so I knew it had to go somewhere.
Cassie: I think we’re always trying to expand our mindset as a band and expand everything that we’re all about. We’re still growing, we’ve grown a lot from the first album and we’re still growing now. So I think the second album is a good indication of that growth, and there’s still more yet to come.
Well it sounds like you’re already thinking about album number 3 then, are you?
So is it going to be an album a year from here on in?
Cassie: Maybe a little bit longer.
Katy: Depends on how long it takes to record it.
Ali: Definitely not four years or anything.
When you’re spending that time making the 15th album, I’m going to come to you and go ‘remember when you said you could do an album quickly?’ and you’re like ‘no, I just need another 6 months’.
First broadcast on Static on 24/09/09. Static can be heard on Sydney’s 2SER (107.3 FM) and via the Internet (www.2ser.com) every Thursday evening (AEST).
Vivian Girls second album Everything Goes Wrong is out now through In The Red/Inertia.