An interview with Vulvodynia
South African purveyors of brutal death metal Vulvodynia are back from their six-date African tour, which included Mozambique and Botswana.
2019 was an incredible year for the band, they’ve released their new album Mob Justice which was supported by tours in Europe UK, America, Australia and New Zealand.
I caught up with bassist Chris van der Walt to talk about the past tour, the new album and their plans for this year:
You just came back from a tour around South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. Tell me a bit about it: How were the crowds in our neighbouring countries, which were standout shows and what were a few highlights on the road?
The neighbouring countries are always the greatest experiences. In Botswana, they would do the craziest dance moves and do ring around-the-roses, while in Mozambique they were doing exorcisms and building human towers (it was also the hottest show we’ve ever played). South Africa also had a great response, all the clubs were full, and we had an absolutely fantastic tour!
That’s awesome, you’ve had an incredible 2019! From launching a new album ‘Mob Justice’ to touring Europe, UK, America, Australia and New Zealand, it was really busy. How were you received overseas and how are the crowds different from those in SA? Also, if you could choose one right now, which country would you return to purely based on its metal scene?
It’s hard to single out a single country because everyone brings something special. We’ve gone on tours not knowing what to expect and the response has always been unbelievable. It’s crazy to think people listen to our music all over the world! We would love to go back to Australia, maybe even do some kind of benefit for all the damage done by the fires.
That would be amazing! So, with this album, you’ve focused a lot on some issues in and around South Africa. What are some of those and why did you decide to use this as the theme for the new album? Also, how is the core message different from that of your previous album, ‘Psychosadistic Design’?
With this album, we didn’t have to look far for horrific inspiration. PD was focused on fictional serial killers and their perspective. Mob Justice focused more on real-life horrors like addiction, famine, misogyny, child soldiers/slavery, mob justice, etc. Sometimes real life can be scarier than fiction.
Indeed. So, tell me a bit about the process around creating this album: Who worked with you and was everyone in the band equally involved?
Kris and Luke brought the songs to the table. We chose the best ones and recorded the album at my studio. Thomas produced the drums. As we went along, there might have been some changes or suggestions from the members, but the feel and delivery of the album were very organic with great synergy. We all discussed lyrical ideas, but Duncan took it all in and created something incredible. We then sent it to the guys from Brojob to mix, and Yanek from Despised Icon mastered it. We are incredibly happy with how it came out.
You are definitely setting new standards in the death metal scene in South Africa. For any upcoming metal bands, what is some advice you would give them to make a name in the country and to start touring overseas?
Keep pushing, don’t ever stop. Be busy with something all the time. Write your best songs, write 100 of them! Invest in merch, advertising, PR… Check what your favourite bands are doing and use those tricks.
I read that you, unfortunately, had to postpone your first Asian tour. So, what do you have planned for the time being? Are you working on anything else?
We are working on another tour which will be announced soon, and we are also working on some new material to be released soon. So, a lot of exciting things ahead. It really blows that we can’t do Asia anymore, but we have to consider our safety and logistics when travelling so far.
Of course. So, where is the best place fans can get their hands on some merch?
risingmerch.com, Lacerated Enemy store, Crowdkill Apparel store.
Lastly, where can we catch you live next in South Africa, if you have any upcoming shows?
There might be a show coming up in October in Pretoria, so keep your ears and eyes peeled.