Interview with Vapor

Where are you from?

The Forest Of Dean
Cinderford Gloucestershire

Members and their instruments?

Onika Patterson
(Vocals & Percussion)

Mark Venus
(Vocals & Guitar)

Tom Selway
(Saxophone & Harmoica)

Daniel Boulter
(Cajon & Percussion)

Wojciech  (Bass Guitar)

What does your band name mean?

Venus & Patterson’s Original Repitoire

What genre do you consider yourself? Why?

After nearly 10 years together we still don’t think we fall into any specific genre. We describe our music as Acoustic Soul and Reggae with just a hint of Country. Although more recently we have been writing songs that could be considered to fall into the Rock ,Blues and Pop genres.

How long have you been together?

Mark & Onika for nearly 10 years.

What brought you together?

Mark & Onika met at a Wedding where Mark was performing.

What drew you to music?

For Mark it was how I felt when I heard my Dad playing his Albums when I was growing up.

For Onika it was a similar story listening to her Mother’s Sunday music as a child growing up in Jamaica.

What are some of your most influential bands? Why?

The Eagles
Little Feat
For Mark it was the Songwriters in those bands.

Toots & The Maytals
Bob Marley
The Beatles
Beenie Man

What was your first song together?

An Original composition called ‘Sweet Loving’

What is your song writing process?

Onika writes most of the lyrics and then Mark and Onika piece the song together musically. We sometimes discuss the song subject and work independently before coming together to work out how it’s going to sound.

How has your music evolved since you began playing together?

Initially we wrote Soulful slower songs but this has changed more recently with more upbeat material that falls into the Reggae, Rock and Blues genres.

What songs do you perform the most often?

These days it’s almost always our own material.

Do you play any covers?

Yes we played loads of cover gigs in the past but not so much now.

Do you have a set play list?

Yes but that doesn’t mean we stick to it.

Is there a secret meaning in any of your music?

We always know what our songs mean but we prefer the listener to interpret ours songs in their own way.

What is your favorite part of working in music?

Working together

What is your least favorite part of working in music?

We don’t have a least favourite at the moment

Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? If so how?

Yes but we’ve learned how to use anxiety to fuel the overall performance

How old were you when you started playing your instrument?

Mark 15 years
Onika early 20s

How do you describe your music to people?

Acoustic Soul and Reggae with just a hint of Country.

What image do you hope your music conveys?

We hope alot of our songs convey Love and positivity but we appreciate some of our music is about heartbreak and loss.

Where have you performed?

All over the UK

UK and Jamaica

Do you have any up coming shows?

Our Album ‘Who’s Been Loving You’ release on Saturday 16th February at St Stephen’s Church Cinderford GL14 2AA. Doors open from 7.30pm.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Our Album ‘Who’s Been Loving You’

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band?

Not knowing due to personal issues that lasted over 7 years if the band could continue.

Are you happy with the current success of your band?

Yes definitely. We feel blessed to have a small loyal following that continues to grow now we are in a better position to concentrate on our own material.

What is the ultimate direction for your band?

To keep working together on our music and enjoying the whole experience.

What steps have you taken to get there?

Putting ourselves in a better position to concentrate on our own material. We had alot of heartache to deal with.

What steps do you still have to do?

Not putting any pressure on ourselves is key in our development as a band

How do you feel about the internet and the music business?

We are a bit old school and still like Vinyl & CDs but realise we have to move forward with the times. The internet is a great way to get your Music to a wider audience.

What is your favorite concert you’ve attended?

Too hard to choose

What do you do besides music?

We make our living from music

What is something you would like to tell your younger self?

To practice more

To be more confident

What is your favorite song? (not by your band)

Willin by Little Feat

Redemption Song by Bob Marley

What do you wish you spent more time doing 5 years ago?

Working more on our maternal rather than playing covers just to live. We had no choice but still that’s what we wish.

What advice do you have others wanting to start their own bands?

Always remember why you started playing music in the first place.

Any last words?

Be positive and realistic but always be nice.

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