Saturday, 10 November 2012
Death In Vegas
Before last September's Trans-Love Energies, Death In Vegas hadn't released a record for seven
years. When Richard Fearless finally decided to bring his cult electro group back, he did so with an
entirely different approach.
The news that long time collaborator Tim Holmes, who also happened to be the only other
permanent member of the band, would not be returning shocked many Death In Vegas fans but
Richard has been quick to play down Holmes' role in the group. Having spent the majority of the
band's hiatus living in New York, the duo had drifted apart and by the time Fearless was ready to
take it up again he felt the need for a change.
“I started doing a lot more engineering. My role in the band was not on that technical side, I was
more the ideas person and production and Tim's an engineer. So the more I started getting into
engineering I was basically at a point where I didn't need someone else in the writing process, we
kind of drifted apart on that level. I saw Tim when I got back and as soon as I got back I decided I
was going to do the band and I knew that it made sense to do it on my own at that point. Tim and I
are still close and he kind of understood where I was coming from.
Death In Vegas has always been my band, I guess that was just the way I worked because that
was the way I had to work at that particular point. You know, through someone else, through an
Earlier Death In Vegas albums have frequently featured collaborations with guest vocalists,
including Liam Gallagher and Iggy Pop, but Richard decided to forego that route on Trans-Love
Energies, and take over vocal duties himself. He realised of course, that he could have been setting
himself up for a fall.
“I wouldn't say it's a position I love being in but I made some decisions with this record. One of
the things I knew was that if I did this record, I wasn't going to be working with lots of singers.
Working without Tim I felt that I was kind of setting myself up for what could have been a real
hammering because there was no one else who could really be blamed. I'm behind the mic and i'm
doing it all.
I guess there was a bit of apprehension there but I definitely didn't want to work with lots of
vocalists because I kind of felt that it sort of overshadowed the music too much. With other records
it became too much about what it was like to work with Liam or whatever, rather than the actual
music underneath there. So that was a conscious decision”.
With a headline slot at this year's Forbidden Fruit festival in Dublin and a string of other festival
appearances across Europe already booked Death In Vegas look set to reclaim their vacant electro
throne. However finding the right way of presenting his electronic tracks in a live medium has
always proved problematic for Richard.
“It was a tough one at first because I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do the record live, since
it is such a studio based electronic album. Pretty much all the records have been very much studio
records but then it's like 'How are you going to interpret them into a live album?”. After about five
weeks of solid rehearsals I think we got there, there were ups and downs but the last run has been
really good. We played a fantastic show with the Prodigy last weekend and it seems to be back to
full sonic assault”.
Richard also confirms that there is another Death In Vegas record completed, but at the moment
there's no telling wether or not it will see the light of day.
“It was a performance we did, a kind of live record that we recorded and then we did these surf
films and we scored them, but we spent three months writing it, it was a project we put a lot of
time into. Then we went into the studio three days later. But, I don't know, I keep thinking about
the possibility of mixing it but it feels a little bit like it'd be stepping backwards too much right
now. I'm trying to make things sound as fresh as possible and I don't really want to look back at the