INTERVIEW: The Vessel | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Vessel is an exciting new project, born from lockdown, as two friends join forces once again to create undeniably fast, loud rock music.

Idene Roozbayani and Dave Barlow’s new project is a dirty, foot-stomping mission to create loud and proud rock tracks, which have already caught the attention of a fresh new audience. With a minimalist approach, Idene combines thundering bass and a penchant for grand storytelling, with Dave’s anchoring drums providing a rocket-fuelled backbone.

The first session is hilarious now, looking back on it!” Idene muses, reflecting on the early practice room days. “Dave wasn’t even a drummer when we started, we weren’t crazy proficient by any means! Looking back on that first session, we were so proud of it, but it’s a hysterical train wreck compared to now. Turns out singing and playing bass isn’t easy!”

What started as an excuse to change their daily routines, providing a break from hours of Call of Duty, turned into an album. Although they don’t consider their debut a ‘lockdown album’ they talk about how the restrictions provided an intense level of focus for their creativity. “We sat around jamming, bashing out thousands of ideas and riffs, just having a laugh, occasionally recording moments here and there on our phones. We were able to zero in on certain ideas, develop a formula that was us.”

the variety of sound is extraordinary, encompassing rock, metal and doom-fuelled soundscapes which underpin a riveting tale of “impending doom and personal transformation

Considering just two instruments are used on their self-titled release, the variety of sound is extraordinary, encompassing rock, metal and doom-fuelled soundscapes which underpin a riveting tale of “impending doom and personal transformation”.

What’s clear, both through our conversation and the sprawling odyssey of the duo’s debut, is that at the heart of this album is a trusting, close friendship. The seasoned musicians have been in bands together previously, creating grunge records during the haze of the 90s. As the years progressed, both members pursued other sounds and styles, but 2023 sees the musicians return to form with a sound that is drenched in that signature 90s veneer. The messy gloss of the grunge movement hangs proudly over The Vessel as they talk about their formative years of music exploration.

Hanging out in The Green or Pet Sounds Records, you’d always have someone show you something new. The 90s were full of variety, every band sounded totally different. There was so much flavour out there, be it breakbeats or thrash, the floodgates opened. You could find yourself opening one door, then another and suddenly you are in a whole new world. There was a community that curated that sense of discovery – it completely shaped who we are now.”

As stories of Pet Sounds and The Mayfair whirl, the band take on a beautiful sense of wistful nostalgia, excitedly discussing the word of mouth that would spread through the community, and the giddiness of the 90’s is palpable within the duo’s sound.

If you want to see where we come from, we’re always casting back to the thousands of bands we’ve picked up through those discoveries. Last we did it, we were 16, now we’re picking up where we left it!”

The Vessel release their self-titled album on 5th August. The band play Trillians, Newcastle on Thursday 7th September in support of Melbourne post-rock band A Gazillion Angry Mexicans.

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