In an era where bands are more and more relying on digital and programmed assets in both songwriting and performance, real cohesion has become few and far between. Who needs to write and perform sweeping, harmonious melodies and concise arrangements when you are playing along to sequences, automated synths, and programmed percussion? This surely may sound like a whole lot of “get off my lawn,” yet the point remains: Technology has made live performance easier. Vodi is a band that is seemingly bucking that trend with air-tight performances and purposeful song-craft, yet they’re modern enough to progressively toy with soundscapes, synth textures and arrangements. The core of the band are married couple Haley and Tom Lynch, with Haley lending supporting vocals to Tom’s deftly delivered lead vocals. It’s a serious one-two punch and gives their songs a distinctly beautiful texture. Funny enough, the couple seems to answer interview questions as a united front as well.
Free Press Houston: What is a ‘Vodi’? Where can I get one?
Tom: Vodi is not a thing, man. It’s a state of mind. Vodi’s are free if you open your mind man. Also buy a record at vodimusic.com
FPH: Tell me about the pitfalls and silver linings to performing and writing with your significant other.
Tom: The silver lining is I’m in two bands with Haley, three if you count Ancient Cat Society, and the pitfalls — they take up all my time. And I can’t quit them.
Haley: Performance-wise, it’s an absolute blast! But I’d say one of my biggest challenges is that I’m really happy and never bored, so it’s been a very different experience in trying to write new songs. But the cool thing is I will always have a writing partner, and we’ve already co-written a couple songs.
FPH: Have you ever stopped to ask, “Hey is that lyric about me?”
Tom: Only when the lyrics are really flattering.
Haley: I’ve actually never asked, but Tommy has told me which ones are about me. And let’s just say they’re the really sexy ones.
FPH: Is writing about love and relationships impulsive or by design?
Tom: I’d say it’s impulsive. I wish I was a better story teller because I would probably write more songs like that lyrically. State Line and Riverside are the only two that made the cut for the Vodi record. Sometime’s when Sergio (Buxton) shows me something new he’s working on I go back to the lyrical writing board and give it a go. But really lately I’ve been obsessed with sounds, so I just end up pushing a bunch of knobs and making noise and forget what I was doing.
Haley: Well Tom writes all the Vodi stuff, but I feel the same as Tom about my own writing for my project (Dollie Barnes). I find it’s more second nature to write when it’s about love and relationships because it’s something we’ve all felt or gone through — whether good or bad. I have one song on my record that is a complete story. And while it’s fun to play, I don’t necessarily have the same emotional attachment to it when performing. I almost feel it lacks substance, but maybe I think I just need to get better at writing.
FPH: Why do you think your work has resonated with so many people so quickly?
Tom: Well, that I don’t know. I hope it’s because both the music and sounds are good, and it talks about some universal things. It was the first time I really set out to make a record like this since kind of bidding farewell to the Americana writing style, so it all felt new to me, which gave me a bit more inspiration.
Haley: I feel that the Vodi record resonated so quickly with people because of the sounds and music, but I also feel like Tom’s vocals really sell it — his delivery is pretty dang perfect in my mind. And I agree with Tom, the subject matter is universal in the sense that it is broad enough to envelope many different scenarios for people to latch onto while also being pointed at the same time.
FPH: Any plans for the next record? If so, where are you drawing influence and inspiration?
Tom: Yeah, we’ve been playing a couple of the new tunes at our recent shows and are going to demo some here really soon. I’m hoping we have a record out by the spring. Right now, I’ve been re-listening to the album Hats by the Blue Nile, and our bass player Marshall sent me down a Thomas Dolby train….
Haley: Yeah, Tom’s been jamming that Blue Nile record pretty hard lately, and I’m excited to see where it takes the next Vodi record. He’s written a handful of new songs that are already badass, so I can’t wait to get back in the studio to flesh them out.
FPH: How much cocaine are ya’ll carrying right now?
Tom: THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER.
Haley: WHY IS IT SO HOT IN HERE?