Sanctuary.cz: Hello to Livorno, how are you doing right now? It’s currently about -5°C in here, which is not really common in your area, I guess. Do you miss winter or do you enjoy the year-long warm weather? Personally, I kinda envy you 🙂
Velvet Vega: Hello everybody! We’re both in our office and it’s a depressing greish-rainy day. 😅 The temperature is definitely more warm here (i believe it’s about 6-8° today) but I’m (Chiara) definitely more into hot weather so I would like to live in a place with 20° all the year. Anyway, we’re super thrill to come to Prague, despite the cold weather.
Sanctuary.cz: We have never talked together for Sanctuary.cz before, could you introduce yourselves to our readers a little bit?
Velvet Vega: We’re Chiara (synth and voice) and Francesco (guitar, synth and programming) and we come from Livorno, a port city in the cost of Tuscany (Italy). Velvet Vega is a postpunk – synthwave project and we’re active since the beginning of 2018. At the end of 2018 we released our first album „Collapsing“ via Swiss Dark Nights and between 2018 and 2019 we played several italian festivals and gigs, sharing the stage with Hante., Qual, Geometric Vision, Bragolin, Agent Side Grinder, Spiritual Front, Shad Shadows and many more.
In July 2020 we released “Can’t Control” maxisingle via Swiss Dark Nights with two brand new songs and two remixes by The Coventry and Lost Messages. Our second album “We’ll Never Get Back” has been released on 4th December 2021 via Swiss Dark Nights. We’ll be around Europe on 2023 and we’re woking on new songs for the next album.
Sanctuary.cz: If we were to return to the complete origins, we would find the project The Love Thieves. Which bands inspired you in the beginning and how did you two actually get together? Similarly as Velvet Vega, the previous project consisted only of duo Francesco / Chiara, am I right?
Velvet Vega: True to be told, we started to play together in 2011 with another project and then we switched into The Love Thieves around 2013 which was more synthpop, inspired by band like Metrics, The Kills as well as new wave classic bands such as Depeche Mode, The Cure etc.
Sanctuary.cz: The Love Thieves left behind the full album “Soft”. What were the reactions to it and how hard has it been to give up on an already known name and change it to Velvet Vega?
Velvet Vega: Can I be truly honest? For several reasons, we’ve never been happy about how the album „Soft“ came out. We had quite good reactions by the audience but we felt we didn’t belong to it anymore so after a while we decided to quit the project.
Velvet Vega - Collapsing
Sanctuary.cz: What was the main reason for the change? Is it true that the new material was darker compared to the more civil expression of The Love Thieves? Did the colder synth sound better reflect your current feeling? Or did you simply start to listen to a different kind of music at the time?
Velvet Vega: Exactely, we wanted to do something more dark and deep and that’s why we started with Velvet Vega. Moreover we went more and more into darkwave artists and music so it was quite natural for us to switch to the sound we have today.
Sanctuary.cz: After the release of a demo for the song “Reflection”, the label Swiss Dark Nights approached you immediately and you stayed at this label to this day. Was it that simple?
Velvet Vega: It was quite easy and natural and Valerio Lovecchio became immediately a friend, more than a label boss. We sent him few demo songs we were working on and he was immediately enthusist so we released the demo for the song “Reflection“ while we were working on the album „Collapsing“.
Sanctuary.cz: Even though the music of Velvet Vega is built mainly on synths, it is still relatively dark. In addition, Chiara often uses screaming instead of singing. Do you like to vent your emotions through music?
Velvet Vega: Definitely yes. Singing is the best way I know to express how I feel and it’s a sort of catharsis. In our songs I mainly talk about what happen inside and outside myself so it’s quite normal to use all the range of my voice to express my emotions.
Sanctuary.cz: Has your audience at live performances changed compared to the era of The Love Thieves? Tell us how it is in Livorno regarding the dark scene. Are there places to play and to party? Can you recommend other interesting bands or projects from your surroundings?
Velvet Vega: Yes, even though we’re still emerging in the scene, we’re definitely more known and appreciated than when we played as The Love Thieves. The dark scene in our hometown is around zero and Tuscany in general now offers very few places (maybe two?!?) where you can listen good darkwave music. Anyway, we definitely recommed Cirque d’Ess because they’re very talented artists and closest friends.
Sanctuary.cz: Your second and so far the newest album “We’ll never get back” is more colorful concerning the mood. The song “Can’t Control” sounds downright positive and could be absolutely heard in any episode of “Stranger Things”. How much have Francesco and Chiara changed since 2014 when the first records of The Love Thieves were released? Or to put it differently, how have you two changed within the 11 years you have been together as partners?
Velvet Vega: Oh, we definitely changed a lot as people and as artists but we’ve always had trust and mutual respect both in life and music. I do believe we grew up a lot while working on „We’ll Never Get Back“ because it was born during the pandemic and gave us the opportunity to express more in depth who we are and how we felt. Moreover, it mix all our musical influences which are not strictly related only to darkwave and new wave music.
Velvet Vega - My Desire
Sanctuary.cz: In the music video “The Desire”, there are some bondage techniques to be seen. Do you have any relation to this stuff? I’m happy when I manage to tie my shoelaces…
Velvet Vega: No, we don’t have any personal relation to this stuff but we’re very open minded people so we truly believe people should do what they want without being judged. We met the guy from „La quarta corda“ (the rope master) some years ago and since My Desire“ talk about sexual freedom it’s been quite natural to do something together for the video.
Sanctuary.cz: Your concert with Actors and Bootblacks eventually didn’t happen, but you’re finally going to perform in Prague together with Ultra Sunn and we are very much looking forward to having you here. Have you ever been to Prague and what can your fans expect?
Velvet Vega: We’re very happy to come to Prague because it will be our very first time there. We will play all the songs from „We’ll Never Get Back“ and some from Collapsing. Being on stage and playing in front of an audience is definitely the thing we love the most so we will do our best to make our fans happy and and find new ones.
Sanctuary.cz: Share with us some news about Velvet Vega. Are you working on anything new?
Velvet Vega: Yes, we’re working on new music and we’re very happy about what’s coming out because we’re following what we did in the second album, but still experimenting new sounds. We hope to release something along 2023. So, stay tuned!
Sanctuary.cz: Thank you for your time, be well and see you in Prague!
Velvet Vega: See u soon, can’t wait! Cheers, Chiara and Francesco