After the collapse of BodogMusic, Vancouver’s ownÂ The Vincent Black Shadow refused to accept the failure of their former label as a death sentence to their career. With their sophomore releaseÂ El Monstruo recently completed, band members Cassie Ford and the Kirkham brothers (Robbie, Tony and Chris), faced the tough decision of either packing it in or going it alone. Having created what they felt was their best work to date, the choice was clear.
El Monstruo shows a maturity in songwriting that shows off more than just a cabaret-rock fusion that was largely present on their debut, Fear’s in the Water. This time around, producer John Webster (Aerosmith, Motley Crue), pushed the band to create songs that were more than just campy ideas, but focused, musical strikes that never gave the listener an opportunity to get bored.Â To help them achieve this high standard, the Kirkham’s found a treasure trove of resources in their own backyard.
They turned to their father Ray’s connection to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, to provide the live string and horn sections on songs like “Stupid Intruders”, “Dig Dig Dig” and “Last Few Minutes”.Â Robbie also went to his “other” profession, teaching, for the services of an elementary school choir on the broadway-esque track “Pale Man”. Their own backyard also provided the vocal talents of bass player Chris Kirkham, whose voice was seldom heard on Fear’s in the Water, on the song “Taste of Copper” in which the band experiments with its first “duet” between Cassie and Chris.
Continuing this line of new ideas, the lyrics also underwent some new ideas with both Tony and Chris contributing the lyrics to the songs “In A Row” and “Taste of Copper” respectively.
This unified approach to creating and recording El Monstruo inspired the band to take a new approach in the release of the album.
In their struggle to make their mark in the music industry, The Vincent Black Shadow decided to make a stand for the recording artist by walking away from the tired traditions of the music industry and setting up their own record label,Â Beef Records Inc.
More than just starting a record label, the foursome have embraced the very device that nearly destroyed the music business- the Internet- to market and sellÂ El Monstruo. The term â€œindieâ€ is taken to an exciting, new level with the launching of their unique online store.
Foregoing distribution companies and record labels, the entire TVBS experience happens in one place:Â www.tvbsmusic.com. The band offers their fans the opportunity to acquire their new album digitally, at high sound quality, directly from their site and also provides the buyer a free copy of the album mailed straight to their home.
Recognizing their fans as their greatest resource, The Vincent Black Shadow hosted an exclusive online listening party for El Monstruo in which fans could not only listen to the new album, but also interact with the band in a real-time video chat, leave feedback on the songs and ask any question they had for the band.
Drummer Tony Kirkham says about the video chats, “We really wanted to give our fans the opportunity to hear the album before anyone else, because they are the ones who are spending their hard earned dollars for our music. Without them none of what we are doing right now would be possible.”
Singer Cassie Ford says about the fan interaction, “It’s rare that you ever get to directly ask an artist questions about anything. We’re trying to lift that veil in our own way and personalize the exchange of art and feedback between us and our fans.”
They hit the road this fall for the El Mons-Tour 2008 with fellow Vancouverites,Â Nim Vind, which begins in late October and will take them throughout the west coast as they supportÂ El Monstruo.
For a promotional copy of El Monstruo, please reply to this email.
Debut album â€œFears in the Waterâ€ sold over 20, 000 units in the USA.
Video for â€œMetroâ€ reached #1 on FuseTVâ€™s OvenFresh and Guilty Pleasure Countdowns.
Radio single for â€œMetroâ€ was in heavy rotation at many radio stations through the USA
Performed the Shira Stage in 2006 and the Main/Hurley Stage in 2007 onÂ the Vans Warped Tour
Toured Europe/UK/Scandinavia in 2007 with Silverstein and again with Kosheen
Toured North America in 2007 with bands such as Joan Jett, Madina Lake, and Halifax, and performed festivalsÂ with bands such as Bjork, MIA, Sick Puppies and Snow Patrol.
Sophomore albumÂ El Monstruo out September 15th 2008 Available atÂ www.tvbsmusic.com