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| 27 September 2012 | Reply

By Trulie Pinnegar

Hi Vikki – Firstly, congratulations on the new album NORMALITYVILLE HORROR – how does is it differ from your debut album?

Thanks, we’re really proud of it, can’t wait for everyone to hear it. It’s a very different album for several reasons. Firstly, we wrote it together as a band.
The first album was a collection of songs Zion had written over the years which we decided to record. As we wrote it as band, it is a much better reflection of what we are. The other big difference is how it was recorded. It really captures a live sound- which is something people had commented on negatively with our first album, we were often told that we were much better live than we were on that album, we’ve definitely sorted that out in Normalityville Horror!

What can you tell us about recording with the mighty Dark Lord himself – Producer Chris Tsangarides?

It was amazing, Chris is an absolute legend- look at all the amazing artists he’s worked with, he has an astonishing history! You’d think he’d be intimidating to work with, but Chris is a really, really lovely guy! He’s so laid back and fun, and he really knows how to get the best out of the bands he works with. We all greatly enjoyed the experience, and look forward to doing it again.

What did Chris bring to your original demos?

Chris knew exactly how to capture the live essence of Spit Like This. He helped us bring to the fore that which makes us a great live band, and pin it down on cd.

Let’s go back in time for a little bit…what sort of a kid were you? How did you discover music and start playing?

I was a freak child. I had my pet rats and cats and my dog and ferrets and my bass guitar and everything else could pretty much go fuck itself as far as I was concerned. I got hell at school – pink hair, pet rats, veggie – what do you expect?? But it just made me more determined to do things my way. After all, these people were horrible, why would I change how I was to be like them when they were nasty and mean?

I have to give my Dad credit for discovering music, he used to play guitar and he bought me my first bass. I chose bass as I already knew loads of guitarists, it seemed there was a gap in the market for bassists. Seems I made a good choice!

At what age did you decide this was what you wanted to do with your life – and what influenced your decision?

It became very clear to me from a very young age that I wasn’t going to have a normal 9 to 5, I don’t know at what point music became the chosen path, I just knew I was going to do something creative which made me happy. As I got older, music became a bigger and bigger part of my life, going to gigs, hanging out in music shops. Looking after touring bands pets – it just seemed to naturally happen. Then of course, I met Zion and everything became crystal clear!

You’re the sole woman in an otherwise all-male band. It’s obvious you are well respected by the guys in the band and your fans, but did you have to work harder at that to prove yourself?

My guys respect me because they know first-hand how hard I work. It’s better than it used to be on the live circuit now, I don’t know if that’s due to us being much better known or what, but I remember about 5 years ago walking into a venue with a guitar case in each hand and some bloke stopping me and asking “are you with the band, love?” Cheeky bastard! Didn’t ask any of the guys that! Luckily, both my hands were full…

I’ve had countless comments along the lines of “You’re pretty good – for a girl” and “I didn’t think you’d actually be able to play, but you can” which are seriously annoying, but again, these are fewer and fewer as time goes on. It astonishes me that so many men just presume that if you have a vagina, you must not be able to rock a bass. Morons!

I know I’m good at what I do – after all, I just recorded an album with Chris Tsangerides, signed to his label, have done hundreds of live shows and have full endorsements with EMG pickups, Dean guitars and Dunlop pedals – now would they want me if I was no good at what I do?? I do believe that as a woman, you do have to be better than the men in your field to be seen as an equal. Sad but true.

My pet hate are women who are bad/mediocre musicians or performers, who seem to think they can get away with it by having boobs. They ruin it for the rest of us who want to be as good as we possibly can be.

As a role model to teenage girls and an object of desire to teenage (and not so teenage!) boys, do you feel pressured to act in a particular way? Or, as a strong, independent woman, do you feel it’s more important to just be yourself?

I am 100% ViKKi SpiT. I’m not out to appear all sexy, I can’t take myself seriously enough to do that! I think if you are comfortable in your own skin, you feel confident, and if you feel confident, it shows.

I did used to worry that by wearing very little or skin-tight outfits onstage I might be judged by my appearance, but again, if I wore baggy jeans and a t-shirt, I’d be judged! If you’re female, your appearance is going to get waaaay more scrutiny than your male counterparts. It’s just the way of the world. Women will look to see your fat bits, men will decide if you’re hot or a minger – you can’t win.

So, I just go with what I’m comfy with, and for me that’s clothes which are tight and practical onstage – you know how skirts can ride up just walking down the road? Imagine running around a stage head banging with a bass, skirts are a NO! And the same goes for wearing too many clothes, Zion can just take his top off when we’re sweating buckets onstage, men have it easy! I can’t go round stripping off if I get too hot, so I have to pre-empt that by, usually, wearing small tops!

I do try to project myself as physically strong, able to lug my own cabs and take care of myself too. Funnily enough, it’s the very small girl who is the one in the band who is sent off to get our fee if the promoter is holding out on us… apparently, I’m a bit scary – I’m 5ft 2!

All-girl rock bands are increasing worldwide. Are you personally a supporter or do you feel gender is less important than talent?

HELL YES! See my above comment, don’t rely on your gender to open doors, it just lowers the bar, strive to be GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO!! By all means, play every card you’ve got, but work it ALL, not just “Look at me, I have boobs”!

How do you cope being on the road with a bunch of stinky rock n’ roll boys doing stinky rock n’ roll boy stuff?

Easy – one room for me and Zion, another for the boys. We’re like a very strange family. Rob and Gilez are farty and grubby and messy, me and Zion make sure they get to the venue and are onstage when they’re meant to be.

Although one time, our hotel was literally across the street from the venue – you walk out the hotel door straight across the road and you’re in the venue, yet Gilez and Rob still managed to be late. That was the last time we trusted them to look after themselves!

Also, our tour/van/bus/camper the ReTardis (so named as it’s huge on the inside and is full of ‘tards…) has 2 seats in the front – me and Zion – and 6 in the middle – everyone else. It also has a grill operated from the front which means we can shut them out when the farting & talking absolute bollocks reaches breaking point!

Your ink really is gorgeous, very artistic – do you have a favourite piece?

I really like all my ink, but my current favourite is my chest piece, a big ol’ sugar skull with wings all done in shades of grey. It covers my chest and is like wearing a huge, very eye-catching necklace all the time. It also makes me look broader through my shoulders, which is an added bonus in the “scary looking lady” stakes.

It’s also very funny watching people try to look at it without looking at my boobs – which is pretty much impossible! You see them kind of looking really embarrassed and looking from the corner of one eye. There was one very strange old man once though, he must have been in his 80’s, he saw my chest and cried “That’s a wonderful tattoo you have there!” and practically shoved his face in my cleavage! I found it too funny to be angry [laughs]

You recently rescued your pet cat, Rambo – who is an extremely cute little fella – where do you stand on the ‘rescue’ versus ‘buy a new born pet’ debate?

We adopted Rambo (she’s a girl, I will explain why we named her Rambo…) after we very, very sadly lost our dog Bolly. She was 16 and happy and healthy right up to the end, which was a real blessing as she passed so quickly with no lingering illness, but was also a massive shock. She had her walkies and dinner as per usual and just a few hours later… Bolly was a rescued dog and had been with me for 15 wonderful years.

Roxy, our deaf cat – adopted from cat’s protection 3 years earlier, was utterly miserable without Bolly. She used to be Bolly’s shadow, wherever Bolly was, Roxy was there giving Bolly cat-love, regardless of what Bolly was trying to do! They were inseparable.

So of course, we had to find a new buddy for Roxy. We called cat’s protection to see if they had any other deaf cats needing homes. For obvious reasons, Roxy is an indoors cat only, and we needed another indoor only cat as it’s not fair to keep a healthy cat inside unnecessarily.

They didn’t have any deaf cats, but they did have something… A dwarf! Rambo was found in a stable, her litter mates were all normal, but something went wrong with Rambo and she was approximately 1/3 the size of a normal kitten her age!

She’s now 9 months old and about the size of a 3 ½ month old kitten- and she ain’t getting any bigger! Cute as all hell though, and very affectionate.

So yes, as you can see, rescued pets have bought a lot of love and joy into our life, and I wouldn’t have ever gone anywhere other than a rescue centre to find pets.

I really don’t understand why on earth anyone would pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a pet when there are plenty of animals of all types and ages just longing for a loving home.

It’s a far kinder thing to open your heart to something which truly needs it than to line the pockets of breeders. I have just started walking dogs at a local rescue centre, I’m determined to help find them forever homes.

You and Zion are very active and open on Facebook. How do you maintain your privacy – both as individuals and as a couple?

Me and Zion will talk rubbish and talk about the band and about our stupid cats and silly cars and generally even sillier exploits online all day long, but we do tend to avoid truly personal stuff.

Neither of us would ever air our dirty laundry online, and we’re both well aware that things said online can be misconstrued, with that said, we both frequently manage to piss people off with flippant comments, but that’s generally due to people taking things too seriously and not getting the humour in our comments

In addition to being very active as a band, you’re both extremely busy with your Smell Your Mum online t-shirt store. Can you tell us how that came about?

ARRRGGHHHHH!!!! Sorry, I’ve made about 350 t-shirts in the last 6 days and I’m tired!!

We needed a way to feed ourselves and pay our rent and band expenses, without the downside of having to maintain proper work hours. We looked briefly into drug running/human trafficking, but they seemed quite expensive to start up, so we decided to design and make our own wickedly funny t-shirts!

It took off far better than we imagined, I decided to be the actual printer of t-shirts, little did I know how many I was going to end up making… Zion handles the online and less messy side of things.

It’s done us proud, people all round the world wear t-shirts I’ve printed. It’s pretty cool, and every t-shirt sold is a little bit of SpiT LiKE ThiS history

Back to the album. You’re obviously very open-minded – part of a heavy metal/punk rock band, heavily tattooed, not afraid to offend with your t-shirt slogans and so forth: is it fair to assume that the “Normalityville Horror” referred to in your album’s title would be your worst nightmare?

Yep, pretty much. It’s certainly not for me, and luckily, Zion feels exactly that same, so we’re not going to have bust ups one day when one of us wants kids and the other doesn’t!

I couldn’t stand the 9-5, 2.4 children lifestyle. I’ll stick to my silly job and my furry babies!

What are your favourite tracks off the album?

I love them all! My favourite to play live is probably Sick, it is just so heavy and has my favourite bit of bass in the whole album- it’s MAHOOOOSIVE!

The album artwork is pretty cool too – whose concept was that and who did the art?

The concept was Zion’s, he has a real artistic eye. He worked closely with the fantastic artist and all-round lovely human Paul Talbot for many months to come up with the final design. Only thing I would change now is that the Porsche/tank on the front was yellow to match mine and Zion’s new toy!

What do you have planned for the rest of 2012?

I don’t really plan… Ibiza for Hard Rock Hell roadtrip in a few weeks, and I guess more gigs and fun! It’s hard to plan very far in advance as we never really know what each day will bring which is pretty cool.

Where do you see SPiT LiKE THiS in 2013?

In the freakin’ WHITEHOUSE!!!

Who knows? I suspect we shall be working on a third album and doing gigs in new and exciting places to new and exciting people.

A couple of questions now that we ask all our interviewees…

If you could go back in time and be in the studio for the recording of any song or album, what would it be?

I know this – Dead To Me Now. I’d be there when we recorded that [for the new album, Normalityville Horror] as the ending for this song live is different to the one we recorded. It evolved into an absolute monster, and while there is nothing at all wrong with the ending on the album, I do think it would be cool to have the bonkers live ending recorded too!

And Vikki, what for you is the meaning of life?

Zion, SpiT LiKE ThiS, my furry babies.

Thank-you so much for your time, it’s been an honour and a pleasure!

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Category: Interviews

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