Interview with Victory Kid: "Thrillenials Is About the Heart of This Style of Music"
Los Angeles trio Victory Kid are all about pushing boundaries. Be it with their sound, which is a perfect blend of pop-punk, ska and reggae, or with their lyrical content, which forces listeners to take a look in the mirror and think about why they do the things they do, the band is unafraid to start a conversation or try new things. This fearlessness makes their new EP, Thrillenials an absolute must-listen.
The second installment in a series of EPs which started earlier this year with Illenials, Thrillenials not only serves as a sort of commentary on today's politics and the older generation's views on Millennials, but also finds the band at their best. With Thrillenials out now, Victory Kid are gearing up for a fun-filled August and a new music video coming soon! Read more about the band, the EP and their plans for the future below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Victory Kid for any readers who might not be familiar?
Harrison Nida [vocals, guitar]: We’re a pop-punk band with beach influences based in a strong underground scene in Los Angeles. We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by awesome bands and fans who support each other and from that we’ve made an underground culture that fuels our creativity.
Your sound is this really awesome blend of pop-punk, ska and reggae - when you guys first started writing and playing together, did you know that this was something you wanted to accomplish? What was influencing you back then?
Harrison: Thanks! It definitely was an idea we’ve been developing for a while. The first song we ever worked on together was “My World”. Nathan came up with that bass line for the intro. It was so sick, but the song was originally going to be only ska/reggae. So we wove it in and for those types of songs we try to keep aspects of those three styles. We change how much we use each style throughout the song. I mean, unfortunately we can’t really credit ourselves with this idea. Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, and Rancid have been doing this for years. But people are into our version of it. It’s been cool to make this style of music in a time when not that many people are. We aim to create music that is modern but continues a tradition that holds value to us.
Your new EP, Thrillenials is a follow-up to your EP, Illenials that you released earlier this year. Does this one pick up where Illenials left off, so to speak? What did you want to say with this EP that you didn’t get to say with the last one?
Harrison: Illenials was more about perception. It starts off with “My World”, which literally invites the listener to take a closer look into our sound and minds. “Tuck Frump” was about the huge influence politics has in our lives. It explores how to live in an environment that is generating fear and anger in a way that we can live the best way possible. We think that developing ideas and having open, honest conversations with people as often as possible is the best thing you can do. We’re so stoked to release the music video for “Tuck Frump” next month to show how we see the situation.
Thrillenials is about the heart of this style of music. We like music that takes our breath away with its energy, like surfing. “Clownin’”, “Adrenaline”, and “Guano” all do that in different ways, and show more of the style and sound we are gravitating towards. “Adrenaline” is about the rush you get from high pressure situations, which is something we are completely addicted to. “Clownin’” is about fear, which inherently gets people reacting, but our commentary reminds people to battle fear with logic and knowledge. “Guano” is a song commenting on modern society and the pop music scene. It’s important to say though, that since that song was written, pop has changed. There are tons of groundbreaking pop songs right now, especially art pieces like Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, that show what a big budget and an incredible talent can accomplish.
Both EPs play on the term “Millennials” which has found this negative connotation by older generations lately. What would you like people who might not see eye to eye with “Millennials” to take away from these releases?
Harrison: To take a look in the mirror. We are blamed for so many ridiculous things and I’m not saying Millenials are perfect, cause we’re not. Typically our politics are much more respectable, we’re adaptable and able to live in debt from a young age while still being creative and expressive. If you have the belief we’re lazy, poor with money, etc. think about who is reporting that? The generations above us have not been stewards of the earth or just leaders. We’re hopeful about Millenials as well as the generations after us to change the culture in a way that will be better for the world. We are so impressed by the high schoolers who are continuing to demand gun reform in such a mature and impactful way. What are you proud about in your generation?
One of the first songs you released from Thrillenials was “Clownin,” which is also accompanied by an insane music video! What inspired this track and video?
Harrison: The track was inspired by the clown sightings that were being reported in 2016, but it’s really about fear. Some of those sightings were terrifying. Imagine experiencing that. It’s not something you would take lightly. There was this violence and mob mentality that came after. I don’t know what the clowns wanted or why they were doing it. If anyone knows, it was not reported on because it would stop the news cycle. That’s what inspired the video, which starts with two Americans watching the news and being told what they should be terrified of. So we decided to flip it on it’s head and make the news and the brainwashed be the antagonists. It was also inspired by American Horror Story: Freak Show, which is a cool series and deals with these kind of issues a lot.
What was the most rewarding or exciting thing about writing and recording Thrillenials?
Harrison: I think the reaction to “Clownin’”. People have been so excited about the video and it’s cool to watch it continue to grow. We’re definitely growing our fanbase from it!
With the EP out now, do you have any other big plans for the rest of the summer? What’s next for Victory Kid?
Harrison: We’ll be releasing the “Tuck Frump” music video. Keep an eye out for that on Twitter and social media!
We’re going to play Hempfest in Seattle, with a few other dates in Washington, Oregon and California with bands like The Morning After and Crashing In Karma.
8/18: Animal House 40th Anniversary Toga Party: Axe And Fiddle- Cottage Grove, OR
8/19: HempFest: 12:35pm Seeley Black Stage- Seattle, WA
8/19: Lucky Liquor- Tukwila, WA
8/20: Back Bar at The Crocodile- Seattle, WA
8/30: Throwdown Thursdays: Sage Lounge- Whittier, CA
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Harrison: Thanks for having us! It’s a cool time for us right now and we’re feeling the momentum, so thanks for giving us the platform to share that. We’re excited to share our music with anyone who’s read this far, so take a listen and if you dig it hit us up and get to know us!