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Exclusive Interview: Vox Rea Talk The Beast And Contradictions Of Humanity | The Honey Pop
After working on it for more than three years, Vox Rea have finally released their debut album! We were honored to get to chat with Vox Rea for this interview, where we discussed everything about creating the album, and also got a little existential.
Aptly titled Vox Rea, the album is about the complicated nature of humanity and takes you on a journey of self-reflection. As Vox Rea unpack in both their album and in our interview, human nature is inherently contradictory, and we love that this album provides space for vulnerability and the chance to analyze our own contradictions! Vox Rea embraces change, and we really admire their point of view!
Without further ado, we’ll let Vox Rea do the talking, and we hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as we enjoyed doing it!
Vox Rea On Vox Rea
You released ‘Dose Me Up’ back in 2020, and this album has been in the pipeline for a long time, how does it feel to finally have it out in the world?
It feels awesome. There’s nothing more terrifying and rewarding than putting music out into the world.
our discussions of the human experience are very raw, as well as relatable! What is the feeling you ultimately want fans to take away from hearing the album for the first time?
Probably the biggest takeaway from the album is the nuance of all these existential feelings. Nothing is ever black and white. The human experience is complex and there are always a million different ways of understanding our lives and emotions. How you feel today is not necessarily how you’ll feel tomorrow. If there is a moral to the story of the album it would be something about embracing change and learning to be in the flow. The overarching feeling is one of groundedness in motion.
Was there a song you were most nervous or excited for fans to hear?
‘Damn (Unstuck)’ is probably the most vulnerable song on the album. We lost our uncle to an accidental overdose in 2019 and this song speaks to the cross-generational ripple effect addiction has on families. Addiction is a common motif in art that is often romanticized. In popular culture, we often tell a narrow story of what addiction looks like, exaggerating its horrors and pleasures until it becomes a caricature of itself. With this song, we wanted to testify to what addiction is and what it means in all its complexity—the day-to-day struggle of living with addiction, the siren song of consumption, and the heartbreak of never getting to say goodbye to someone you love.
You wrote and recorded a lot of the album in isolation – does that change the process, or how you feel about it at all?
You know it’s funny – we actually finished recording the album in December of 2019 and ended up having to delay the release because of the pandemic. We sat with the music for a long time before it came out and in a way the album became even more relevant to us and our experiences during that time. The pandemic put a lot of us face to face with our deepest insecurities and the album is definitely all about that haha.
We love your discussions on the inherently contradictory nature of humanity. What led you to make that the focus point of the album?
Thank you, that means a lot. The album was written as we transitioned into adulthood, and part of being an adult is realizing that there is no one objective and eternally true way of living. There are so many more questions than answers. Every choice you make is a million other choices not made. The album is about coming to terms with those choices. With both the roads you walk and the ones you leave behind. Then choosing to embrace the experience of walking the path despite all of that.
One of the contradictions that stuck out to us the most was on ‘We Are The Wild Ones,’ the song feels gently relentless to us, if that makes sense. Can you talk a little about the creation of that song in particular?
Ah yes. That song was written during a summer that we lived in Berlin which was a crazy time. “Gently relentless” resonates in the sense that this song is about choosing to love the journey and the process of walking up the mountain of life regardless of what you find at the top.
We were lucky enough to get to watch The Beast before it released and we were blown away. Why was it so important for you to have such a fully-realized visual aspect of this album?
So cool that you’ve seen it! The Beast is a continuation of the story that started in the ‘Dose Me Up’ and ‘Dufferin Ave.’ videos. We wanted to tie all of the worlds together and juxtapose these parallel universes as a means of deepening the metaphors and themes on the album.
How did you decide which songs, or which parts of songs, would be included in the short film?
We started The Beast by doing a lot of abstract concept work but from there really just let it show us what it wanted to be. The songs that were featured were the ones that ended up fitting best with the story we wanted to tell. All of the sound design you hear also comes from the album so we got to sneak in a lot more of the music that way.
Tell us about the filming process! Was there a section, or song, that was the most fun to shoot?
We shot the whole thing with just the four of us and our videographer Lon Gross. That let us be very hands on with the entire process – from doing all of our own styling and set design to holding up lights for each other while we shot scenes. The most fun scene was definitely when we got to get into bed and pretend to be asleep. We listened to Max Richter’s The Four Seasons and blissed out for an hour.
Some of it was pretty scary too! Were there any scenes that were intimidating or difficult to shoot?
The water scenes were probably the most challenging to shoot. Freezing ocean water + absurdly heavy dresses = a deeply humbling shooting experience.
We loved the styling choices throughout the film. Other than music, who or what inspires your style? Both inside and outside the film.
We’ve done all our own styling for Vox Rea and we’ve loved exploring that art form. We wanted the visuals to exist outside of a specific time so they were not so much inspired by any set reference as by us going to vintage stores and looking for pieces that fit in the aesthetic world we were building in our heads. That being said, one of our looks in The Beast was very much inspired by The Matrix. That was a fun one to do.
It’s clear that touring & live performance is very important to you. What are you most looking forward to with playing these new tracks live?
We’re just so excited to be back playing in front of people. One of our favorite things about performing live is that it’s a conversation between us and the audience. We feed so much off of the energy in the room and love that every show is a unique experience.
We’re somehow already almost halfway through 2022! What goals do Vox Rea want to achieve by the end of the year?
I know! Time flies, eh? Our goals are to play as many shows as possible and to get back into the studio to record some of the new music we’ve been working on. We have so much we want to share with you.
Thanks so much for chatting to us Vox Rea! We couldn’t be more grateful for your time.