Scottish alt-rockers VUKOVI invite you into their sci-fi world on fired-up concept record, NULA.
The two-piece comprising of Janine Shilstone and Hamish Reilly has spent the last several years building up a fanbase thanks to their signature heavy rock sound, they’ve released two studio albums, and played numerous festivals and even supported the likes of Enter Shikari and PVRIS. The duo have dropped their anticipated third studio LP, NULA, through Lab Records. A record that is filled with big, punchy riffs combined with extreme pop elements. Most ambitiously, it’s a concept record that charts this character’s journey (called Nula) in a distant, far-off, Sci-fi world.
1883 caught up with Janine from the band to discuss how the album came together, and what she’d like to manifest in 2023.
Hi Janine, thanks for chatting with 1883. VUKOVI’s third studio album NULA is out now. Arguably it’s the band’s first concept record. Can you tell us about the theme and how it slowly came together piece by piece over the last two years? Was it always planned to be like this?
NULA is an alien found by accident during the first landing on Mars where she was kidnapped by the multifaceted capitalist company Sanctity Corporation. Fast forward 20 years where the album begins is the first Colony ship headed to Mars from Sanctity Lunar Port. What has been done with NULA and her otherworldly powers all this time and is she on the ship? NULA represents the thoughts and feelings of a survivor; realising their own strength and resilience.It represents life after trauma and being in the darkest headspace imaginable but finding that inner fighter within them to slowly piece themselves back together again.
NULA represents female empowerment and inspiring others to feel like they are enough. NULA was a result of Hamish and myself finding our place in the world and having the confidence and belief to create something that unapologetically comes from the depths of their souls. I took an edible one night and ended up writing the story of NULA and it grew arms and legs from there. I’m hoping to release the full story as a graphic novella.
Simply, what are you most proud about the record and why?
We are proud of the whole piece, I think it reflects how far we’ve came since the last album not only in our musical abilities but as people. We’ve grown and evolved and I think it shows in the music.
I remember first being introduced to the band’s music back in 2016 after hearing the track Animal, it must be a firm fan favourite still surely. A lot had changed over the last six years since then, so what do you think have been the biggest lessons you’ve both learnt throughout your music career so far?
Not to be lead by what society thinks is “cool”, the world needs individuality, everyone has that but it can be scary letting your guard down and secondly; don’t give up no matter how hard it gets. If you’re pursuing something that you believe is the reason you’re on this earth for.. keep going!
Following on from that, how did the writing dynamic change for yourselves once the other members left and you became a duo?
As the new album has a distinct sci-fi narrative as it follows the character Nula in a distant and far-off world, what are your favourite sci-fi films?
Alien (all of them), Intersteller, Fifth Element, Love Death Robots, Star Wars, Maze Runner Death Cure, and Blade Runner.
We need to chat about your forthcoming UK tour this month. What can fans expect from the shows?
Sweat and chaos.
It sort of feels like elements of nu metal and heavier rock are infiltrating the mainstream charts again – you can take Rina Sawayama as the most recent example. Are there any musical genres or trends you’d like to see come back into mainstream popularity?
Y2K trance like Touch Me by Rui Da Silva.
Finally, what is one thing you’d like to manifest for yourselves in 2023? It could be literally anything…
Japan, arena support tour with one of our favourite artists, America. I’d love to launch a clothing line too.
NULA is out now. Follow VUKOVI @vukoviband
Interview by Cameron Poole