Whilst Hard Rock becomes more and more popular, very few bands are finding their way out of the underground scene to crack the illusive big time and earn the popularity and success they deserve. Sweden's Vains of Jenna are an exception - through shear hard work, commitment they continue to lead the pack, holding onto the dream they started almost five years ago and continuing to tour the world gaining fans and praise the more rock shows they perform. Now the band are back with a bang, a new album 'The Art Of Telling Lies' and a touring schedule to make any band quake in their boots! TrashPit spoke to guitarist Nicki Kin to catch up what's been happening.
How was it returning to the US this summer - was it like you'd never been away or like coming home?
Yeah it was kinda like coming home, but at the same time we've been touring so much that a lot of different places feel like home nowadays. I love being out on the road, that's my real home!
How many of the new songs from the album 'The Art Of Telling Lies' have been 'road tested' - I know you've done 'Enemy In Me' and Tom Petty's 'Refugee' for some time and at the Nottingham show we saw you did 'Mind Pollution' - what about the rest?
We do those three plus another two or three every night, so about half of the album is played. The crowd seem to enjoy the new songs and I can't wait for the album to come out so they can learn the lyrics and all that stuff.... Nottingham was fuckin' great by the way!
What was the recording process like on this new record? Do you feel like this is your first proper album as the first record was said to be just polished demos?
Totally, I feel really good about it this time, 'cause it really sounds like us. The first one was how we sounded the first month of being in a band, and that's what some people think we sound like still, three years later, because we haven't released anything yet! So now I'm really excited to get the new shit out there and for people to hear it! Ideally, the recording process could have been a little faster, but whatever, now it's done.
How did you handle the songwriting on the new album - were all songs written within the band or did you work with anyone else?
Lizzy and I usually write most of the stuff but this time our producer Brent Woods co-wrote a bunch with us. It was great, he knows his shit!
When you first began playing around LA you seemed to be one of the only original bands genuinely trying to bring back Hard Rock with a vital edge. How is it now you've established yourself on that scene?
We have a realy good fan base in LA right now and more bands are starting to do the rock n roll thing, which is fuckin' awesome!
Vains of Jenna have had some great exposure through the likes of LA Ink and Bam Margera's TV Shows - does publicity like that have a lasting effect on the band?
I think it's good to do stuff like that, more people find out about our band. Bam and Kat are good friends of ours that genuinely like the band, so anyway they can help out is great.
Vains of Jenna have comfortably fit on quite varied live line ups from Poison through Viking Skull and Wednesday 13 - is there still a band out there who you'd consider to be ideal touring partners should the opportunity arise?
Hhmm? Avenged Sevenfold, Buckcherry, AFI - I think that would be a good fit and I would love to tour with Muse cause they're my favourite band! Actually, there's a lot of bands I'd be happy to tour with, just as long as we can stay on the road it doesn't really matter if it's Cradle of Filth or Poison!
You recently had some guitars stolen at a show which must have been a nightmare. Any word on where they went?
Well, guitars are very special, you can't just get another one that feels the same so - you don't fuck with anyone's guitars! I'm so pissed, but there's nothing I can do about it. I have some friends looking around for them, but nothing yet.
You've had Stevie Rachelle from TUFF and Metal Sludge on board as a Manager for a few years now - does he still offer advice to you guys?
Yeah, Stevie's great, we're a team and we're trying to do the best of what we have, like releasing this album by ourselves.
Who are some of your Guitar playing influences? Are you always learning from bands you tour with and people you meet?
Anyone from BB King and a bunch of blues players through to Dimebag, Slash, Zakk and people like that. Dave Gilmour's fuckin' awesome and being on the RATT tour was great, cause I got to watch Warren Demartini play every night and he's fuckin' great! I've been really into some funky groovier stuff lately too.
Once the album is released do you have a game plan for the next tweleve months or are you just going to see what comes up?
We're gonna tour as much as we can, hopefully go to some new countries we've never been before and we're releasing a covers / live album and a DVD this winter, so we're busy working on that.
For more information on Vains Of Jenna and the new album 'The Art Of Telling Lies' visit www.myspace.com/vainsofjenna