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Vicky Speedboat: Something Simple.

August 4, 2016

VickySpeedboatOnline03Text by Brendan Menapace. Images by Magdalena Papaioannou

The first glimpse the world got of Vicky Speedboat was when members Sean Huber and Will Lindsay played at Philadelphia’s graffiti pier, while shotgunning Hamm’s and setting off fireworks. This was in the release of the band’s first video for “Passing Through Wales,” off of its debut EP, Two Years No Basement.

The world had seen Huber and Lindsay before—Huber as the drummer of Modern Baseball, Lindsay as vocalist and guitarist in W.C. Lindsay, and both playing together in Steady Hands.

But this new project is their way of doing something simple, just the two of them—and doing it a little more dangerously.

“We’ve been planning on doing this for a long time,” says Huber, 24, of Brewerytown, with a handful of tattoos peeking out from under his shirt as he describes how the project came to fruition when the two were on a Steady Hands run in the U.K. “It was just the two of us and we had a rental car, just, like, crashing at venues.”

Huber and Lindsay had done their fair share of tours before but not like this. This was a stripped-down Steady Hands tour, featuring only Huber and Lindsay, as opposed to all seven members of the band. It was just two friends on a road trip abroad—no vans or trailers full of gear. They crashed at venues, drank a lot and borrowed equipment.

“Just the experience of touring with just the two of us, having nothing but guitars – and just kind of having so little to carry around, was really exciting and freeing,” Huber says. “We talked about other opportunities where we could travel and pack really lightly and see what we got into. We thought the best way to do that was form a rock band.”

“We did that Steady Hands tour and we were like, ‘Shit, we could do this anywhere,’” says Lindsay, 24, also of Brewerytown. He has long, blondish hair pulled back, and his voice is low and relaxed. “We really only need a guitar and a pedal board. Anything else we can borrow.”

They decided that this wouldn’t be a project that involved painstaking writing individually. Much like their tours, it needed to be two friends having a beer-soaked jam session in a basement, writing fun punk rock music.

“I would describe both of those projects as maximalist,” Lindsay says of both Steady Hands, due to the huge sound created by seven players, and W.C. Lindsay, due to the amount of electronics and production.

He adds that many of the songs he and Huber write together for Vicky Speedboat wouldn’t work for these other projects.

“So this is all the rock songs that we’ve been writing for years but never had a place to put them,” he says.

They also didn’t have a place to play them. After one successful jam session in Huber’s basement, Huber moved, leaving them basement-less for two years (hence the EP’s name).

Luckily, a friend had a basement to loan, and the two went back to work.

They recorded together at Kennedy Studios in Burlington, Massachusetts, a place run by friends of theirs. True to the band’s ethos, it was just a fun three days of cranking out songs together and sleeping in the studio. Lindsay did the guitars and bass, Huber did the drums and they shared vocal duty.

“They just recorded everything themselves,” says Steve Aliperta, a co-owner of Kennedy Studios. “They were down to treat it like a record—big parts that needed to be big. It was really effortless and we didn’t put a lot of frills on it.”

Due to their minimal size and equipment, the idea was to tour places that are inaccessible for a lot of other bands.

“We could start going to places bands don’t go,” Lindsay says. “I had this super crazy time last year in El Salvador and Guatemala, hanging out with these punk kids, going to these DIY shows down there. They were just so stoked on every band because bands just don’t go there.”

Lindsay and Huber named regions like Central America, the Middle East and Russia as their dream tour destinations.

“I’ve heard there’s a super awesome hardcore scene in Baghdad,” Lindsay says. His voice starts to show a little more excitement. “I’ve got a friend who lives in Kuwait. There’s a big hardcore scene in Saudi Arabia too, and it’s entirely against the law by, like, every metric. They have these crazy DIY shows that sometimes get broken up by the cops and the cops beat the shit out of people. I want to play one of those shows. Oh my god, so badly.”

Huber is quick to note that they aren’t going because of the danger itself, or to get beaten and sent to the gulag.

“We’re not trying to write a book,” he says of just wanting to play music in interesting places. They’d rather bring the same music, and have the same amount of fun doing so, as they would on any other tour.

“You can find these pockets and these amazing scenes,” Huber expands. “So many people are like, ‘No, don’t go to that place,’ and we we’re like, ‘No, the reason that no one is going to those places is because of you.’”

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  1. Vicky Speedboat: Something Simple. – Brendan Menapace

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