Interview: Vida Cain

Published in The Music (WA) | 18.09.13 | Issue # 6



Spawned from a hatred of modern-day music, Vida Cain aren’t sitting around waiting for destiny to ask them out. Vocalist Josh Johnstone tells Daniel Cribb about the driving force behind their passion.

They’re a self-proclaimed punk band, but it’s not so much their music, rather their approach to it that justifies such a label. Raw rock supported by a carefree attitude is echoed through the band’s 2012 debut EP, and continues with their first album, The Rule Of Gravity.

Listening to the record, it’s surprising to discover the four-piece have only been together for a year and a half, especially since we haven’t seen their name around town much. Fresh off the stage in Kalgoorlie, frontman Josh Johnstone explains why Vida Cain has spent most of its existence on regional tours. “As you can hear, there’s bogan bikers driving past,” Johnstone laughs, quickly relocating to a quiet corner. “Regional tours were a pretty good way to get the band sounding tight very quickly, because when you’re on the road, it’s not just the playing everyday, it’s the hanging out everyday and bouncing ideas off each other, as opposed to meeting up once a week. Regional tours have been very instrumental in getting the band developed so quickly.” The band had no set direction in mind starting out, so disappearing into the country for weeks on end to clear their heads and figure out what sound they were chasing was the perfect recipe. “Initially, I was picturing this band as quite indie, rock, acoustic and mellow; that was always my intention. Then we started jamming and the first things were hard riffs – so nothing like what I was expecting. I still think we are figuring out what we are and where we’re going, but by all means, we’re all very proud of how it’s coming together.” No matter what sound they take on next, their recordings will always be as stripped back and as raw as possible, with Johnstone expressing a passionate distaste for the over-produced way in which most records are done these days. “Nothing has longevity anymore because everything’s too over-produced; there’s no mistakes left in anymore, and it’s those little mistakes that start to grow on you and give the songs character. If you listen to the old recordings by The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, there are plenty of mistakes in there, and I’d really like to see music get back to that charm.”

An extensive national album tour will follow the band’s Perth launches, and that’s just the beginning. “We’re trying to be proactive. I’ve heard of a few bands imploding because they’re sitting around and waiting for people to do things for them, and as much as it’s really tough being independent, it is nice being able to make your own destiny. We all really feel that if you put enough energy into something, you can make it happen.”

Daniel Cribb