Feature

Looking To RAMfest: Vulvodynia

As the countdown to RAMfest grows smaller, so the anticipation of RAM fans grows higher.

Set to blow everyone away with their performance and maybe cause some semi-serious injuries, everyone’s favourite vaginal pain-slash-slam metal band Vulvodynia had a bit to say ahead of their RAMfest performance.

I’m sure you’ve been asked of myriad of times why, despite the fact that you are all guys, you chose to name your band after chronic vaginal pain. Rather, I’d like to know if anyone has ever accused the band of causing vulvodynia after watching a show?

We were looking through a medical textbook trying to find some brutal disease and illness. We stumbled upon Vulvodynia and it struck a chord. Since then we have actually been raising quite a bit of awareness and donating a very small amount to the National Vulvodynia Association where we can. I think Vulvodynia is the last concerns of pain when watching our show, because we have very rough crowds. Most of the time it’s a broken leg, cracked ribs, bleeding skull, etc.

I came across a Vulvodynia (the pain not the band) support group on Facebook while looking for your page. Would you guys ever consider posting links to your music on there?

I don’t think we’ll post on there. It might be a little to harsh for the average person to handle. We do have a lot of messages from people asking about the disease and the connection with the band. In turn we raise a bit of awareness.

You’re set to release your upcoming album ‘Mob Justice’ at the end of June. I think the title is hugely topical with regards to the socio-political climate of our country and that of the world at large. Would you say that these factors have influenced the album?

Definitely. Africa is a brutal place. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on here that people don’t really want to talk about. We decided to make all these crazy stories and issues our creative playground. We tackled many topics on the album like Nyaope addiction, child soldiers, mob justice, etc. South Africa has some horror stories, so we use them and spice them up with our horrific imaginations. I hope that we also get to shed some light on the subjects, and let the world know about some of the insane stuff happening here.

You’ve got a huge following overseas and spend a lot of time touring overseas as there’s a bigger market overseas for your unique brand of slam metal; what do you think would need to happen in the local scene in order to get a bigger following and appreciation for the genre?

We need numbers and financial support. The metal crowd in SA is very small, but extremely dedicated. Every band we tour with wants to come to SA, but getting the money to make it worth it is sometimes out of reach. Government funding by the Department of Arts & Culture would enable us to bring bigger acts, who will pull more people and expose them to the local scene. We play so many clubs here in Europe where it is funded by the Arts & Cultural departments.

I read in an interview that the band became big overseas because it took off online. Did you guys expect to get such a big following overseas? What was the wow! moment where you realised that you’d “made it” overseas?

It is still a bit overwhelming at times. It’s been an incredible experience. I think when we signed a couple of deals and the music was being sold that we realized something was happening. We got signed to Lacerated Enemy records and decided we had to start touring. When we arrived there was already a fan base and a demand for Vulvodynia, which makes it easier than trying to tour from the ground up.

You guys got a whopping 1 million streams on Spotify last year, with fans from 65 countries. What country would you say you have the biggest following in; and what is the most obscure/surprising country that you have a following in?

Germany has been extremely good to us, but it’s hard to tell, we also have amazing support in Holland, Paris, & UK too. We’ll be hitting the US in July, so we’ll see what the response is like when we get there. Some odd places… we have a lot fans from Nepal, and Indonesia.

What’s one word you have for RAMfest attendees, to prepare them for your performance?

Horries.

Check out the 3-date tour below.

Friday 14 June – Rumours Rock City JHB – Tickets available here

Saturday 15 June – Mercury Live CPT – Tickets available here

Sunday 16 June (Youth Day) – RAMfest PTA – Tickets available here