We first encountered Vokxen when Northern Ireland's finest indie accelerator, the Oh Yeah Centre, brought over a host of Belfast acts to the much-loved Neukölln hotbox, Loophole. Songwriting that recalls the glory-days of The Bangles, Bananarama and The Go-Go's gets the Vokxen treatment with soaring vocals and a refreshingly joyful stage presence. Lead vocalist and keyboard player, Claire, chats to us about their upcoming Berlin show.
BangOn Team: Tell us a little about your band. What’s your sound?
Vokxen: We're an indie/pop band hailing from Belfast. We love dark-electro synth vibes and huge harmonies (as well as the occasional cheeky disco element thrown in for good measure!) We have Jayne on drums, Beccy on bass/synth and I’m lead vocals and keys (Claire).
BOT: How do you go about songwriting?
V: Each song is different, although more recently we’ve been loving ensemble writing! Sometimes writing with another person just brings out ideas and elements you might never have thought of before. There’s an endless creativity and possibility when you choose to share your art with another human and that feeling alone is pure magic!
BOT: Who are your biggest influences?
V: Our main influences include the likes of Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Eurythmics, Haim, London Grammar…and the list goes on! A lot of artists inspire us from soul & blues, to visual and performance art, the theatrical world and everything in between!
BOT: What’s been your lowest and highest point as a band/ project?
V: We’ve had some awesome experiences and played some truly memorable shows and festivals such as Women’s Work festival and Stendhal Festival of Art. Some of our favourites were performing in Berlin (our first ever international show!) with Oh Yeah Centre, also, being invited to perform at Belfast’s huge official Pride ‘Party in the Square’ concert. Alongside these incredible highs, life inevitably insists on balancing things out with the odd low or two! For us, we’ve learned if anything gets tough, just remind yourself why you’re doing this and why you’re the musician that you are. Being an artist in this industry has got to be for the pure joy and love of making music and this will always outweigh any lows.
BOT: What’s your ultimate aim?
V: To share our music with the world, keep on creating and performing shows both far and wide whilst continuing to check off our musical bucket list!
BOT: You have the chance to play one song for a legend of your choice. What do you play?
V: If we could pull some strings (maybe in a parallel world) we would host a legendary groove session for the legend himself. ‘Lets Dance’ for the late, great, David Bowie. Nothing beats a good old-fashioned boogie!
BOT: What does playing Berlin mean to you?
V: It’s so amazing to be in a city with such a rich cultural heritage when it comes to music. From the cabaret scene, the classical world, to punk in the dive bars and the all-night raves. It’s such a beautiful arts hybrid of a city. You can’t visit Berlin and not leave feeling creatively charged. It's so great to be back in the city. We’ll definitely be making the most of our time in Berlin both exploring and ‘recharging’ pre and post-gig!
BOT: What do we have to look forward to in the coming months from you?
V: Two new singles and a brand new EP is all under wraps as well as new videos, gigs and tour dates to be announced for the coming months. Super excited to get all our shiny new material out there in the big old musical stratosphere!
BOT: Which muppet would you take in a fist fight?
Claire: I’d take on Miss Piggy.
Beccy: Are you for real? She would destroy you.
Claire: Thanks. Well, who would you fight?!
Beccy: Statler and Waldorf obviously.
Claire: You would punch old people?