So today we get to chat with a band that is truly on the move. VAMA is an independent top Romanian rock alternative band. Anyone that works-out @ lafitness has heard their hit “Memories Now.” We are so excited to get to talk with VAMA and expose their amazing sound & movement @skopemag. Lets do this!
Skope: What are two goals in music that you would like to take on this year and how will you do it?
They’ve been around since we started to make music. To expand our fanbase and try to reach new territories. But it wasn’t until recent that we had a brand new album in english.
Skope: Vama has been around since 2006, amazing. What is the key to your longevity and ability to stay together and make music?
Could be passion. Then every member’s opening to understand we are different: in tastes, vision, musical background. That’s a good first step towards working TOGETHER. We realise we could have done a lot more if we shared many more common ideas, but perfect gatherings are rare. Probably when they happen you see one of those iconic bands.
Skope: What made you decide on the name VAMA?
VAMA means customs in romanian. Customs is related to border, travel, distinction, edge. And often our own life makes us feel like passing through customs or, even worse, living in no mans land:) In the beginning the name was Vama Veche (the name of the first group Tudor – vocals and Eugene – guitar belonged) which is a small village at the border with Bulgaria. In the early nineties this was a wonderful place at sea where one could spend perfect quiet days in an almost wild scenery. A handful of houses, sandy roads, a small bar on the beach and the eternal sea. We were inspired, and we sang about the place. Our music spread and many say we made that place so well known. Now it’s one of the most crowded resorts at the Romanian Black Sea. We hate it as a resort. When we separated from Vama Veche we kept Vama. Vama Veche meant Old Customs.
Skope: You have been working with English music producer James Lewis, how has that been and how has James lifted your sound?
I ll use a comparison with theatre. Before James showed up we were a bunch of actors in need of a director. Actors can be talented, dynamic, hard working, but they are always in the centre of their work with no real possibility to extract themselves. So they lack an objective vision over their work. A producer is a director. James forced us to simplify. We spent a lot of time making more from less. We worked on drums more than ever. Guitar sound shaped. James encouraged a positive competition where everyone struggled to deliver his best. It’s a lot. Writing lyrics in english for 12 songs in eight weeks was a terrible chalenge for me(Tudor) but I am proud of the result.
Skope: We love your song/video for “Memories Now.” When did you write/record that and how does the video express what the lyrics are about?
Memories Now was our first son with James. There were two sessions: pre production in Bucharest and recording and mixing in London and Peterborough. This happened in the summer of 2015.
The song is a call to the action of being present and living one’s life beautifully. As a consequence beautiful memories will unfold when confronted with the last movie any human will watch: the quick movie of past life. We need to be aware of the latin “carpe diem”.
The most powerful memories anyone has are related to high school times. Everyone recalls happy moments from high school. It’s where all the energy and hope are mixed in an explosive cocktail. So, Gabi Achim, the director imagined one of those moments. The “running from school” day of three rebel girls. It s a common story told in a very cinematic way. And the option for long slow motion shots emphasises a feeling of nostalgia and longing.
Skope: On January 20th we will inaugurate President Trump in the USA. Do you think we are nuts or are you not too concerned?
We just hope that US political system and its mechanisms won’t let this guy accomplish everything he promised he would in the campaign, the way he promised he would. It is strange and uncomfortable to see how divided America is over the election of their last president. There are many questions rising, it’s too early for answers. One question would be about the long term circumstances which favored the rising of Donald Trump. Or maybe, who’s failure is Donald Trump?