Songwriting UK — Winter 2017

(Axel Boer) #1

then you’re like ‘OK, I’ll practice this later.’ But
it still has this vibe of working in closed spaces,
with restrictions, and I like restrictions. I think
that sometimes there is too much access and that
equals too much of everything and everything
then becomes boring if you have too much access
to everything.”

You play all the instruments on Infinite
Worlds. How does playing everything affect
your writing?
“I taught myself how to play drums and bass
and synth, and, I guess, how to use Logic. It was
incredibly ridiculous to take all that on, but I’m
really glad that I did. Because I knew what kind
of musician I wanted to be and I needed the
agency to be that kind of musician - if I wanted
to tell people how to play then one I needed the
language, two I needed the knowledge, and three
I needed the respect, from myself and the person
that I’m delegating to, to be able to do that.
“It was, of course, really difficult and trying,
but I’m really proud of what I’ve done. I’m really
proud that some of my favourite drummers
cannot play a beat that I wrote, or that they have a
hard time with it, because it’s the instrument that
I’ve been playing for the shortest amount of time
and it shows me that I’ve really put the work in.
“For me it was more about having creative
control and agency that no one can take away
from me, so that even if all my equipment broke
(though, I’d be upset) I could just go out on the
stage and play. I have a set that I can play by
myself that I’m completely ready to play and
which I feel great about.
“It was really important to me to have that,
where I knew that my career as a musician, as
Vagabon, is me - you hear about too many bands
that break up and I didn’t want that. So I just did
it in the most stubborn way that I could which
was teach yourself everything and then it’s yours!”

Do you get a different, lesser, or greater
enjoyment out of playing on your own, as
opposed to being in a band?
“I get greater enjoyment most of the time. And
you might be getting this answer because you’re
asking me at a time when everything is breaking!
“The one thing that I have which I feel like I
can connect with people is my singing, so when
I get frustrated that all these robot machines are
breaking I just crave that simplicity. And I always
mix playing solo into my set, even when things
are working, and play at least three songs on my
own because I just enjoy the intimacy and hear
the songs played in the way that they are meant to
be heard.”


Vagabon’s debut studio album, Infinite Worlds, is out
now. To find out more and keep up to date with her
latest news, head to


“I just did it in the

most stubborn way

that I could which

was teach yourself

everything and then

it’s yours!”


Free download pdf