GTTRBRKZ: I must say that your 'UK Product Assistant at Warp' e-mail was the funniest, and possibly most penetrating, thing I've read in ages. Good luck in the 'new job', James - your generation needs you!
V/Vm: Hey Nick, you know I have had a hard time this year, mate. Maybe not as hard as a 9-5, but as hard as a musician can get, and that mail out I did before has given me more pleasure than a top selling release ever will. I am glad you found it funny because I have a smile from ear to ear right now due to the overwhelming response I have been getting from people. There are actually some real people out there making things and trying to make a difference and you find these people, so don't give up and feel it's worthless at your end. And by that I am not referring to my own activities - there is a gift there, so the generation maybe needs you more than it needs someone like me who just pokes a stick right into the eye of the wasp's nest - only because no-one else ever will!
G: Aw mate, don't go saying stuff like that! My sense of relief that I've extricated myself from that position gets messed-up by profound pangs of guilt when people say things like that, but I think I might have to come back this year...if I can find the time! I set out to fill a gap that I knew in my heart needed filling but I only ever expected a small readership. I found it really hard to deal with the huge interest and becoming some sort of spokesperson for a whole genre. All I did was blog my thoughts, but I blogged conscientiously, with commitment and love. And I needed to put some of myself in there too, because I'm not interested in just doing reviews, y'know? It became so hard to be open and honest about my life with so many people watching, yet the blog has to have an element of autobiography for me to remain interested. Maybe I'll get the balance right next time, we'll see...
V/Vm: It's a real strange one - you start off really pushing what you like and it's real honest and always remains honest, but I guess you then feel some kind of responsibility when too many people start reading what you're writing and sending you releases. It adds an unseen pressure to yourself. What was once fun isn't that much fun anymore and becomes a chore because people are waiting to see what you will write and push next.
G: Totally, and I reckon there can't be many bloggers who get complete strangers coming up to them in clubs and shaking their hands and saying how much they love the blog and they know so much about you, even though you know nothing about them...it's the nearest thing to minor celebrity I think you can get without actually going mainstream..and of course that's amazing but very hard for me to cope with too, because I never set out to do that. Sorry for unloading my thoughts on you, James...I get a bit down about it sometimes, especially when I think of all the potential I'm wasting.
V/Vm: If you feel the need to genuinely share some enthusiasm for something be sure to do it, as it means more than those who just plug their friends and spread false feelings for music they don't really care about.
G: That's fucking deep, man. I'll try and stick to that premise. But enough of me, what about you? What's all this about dropping the V/Vm brand?!
V/Vm: It's true I am kind of winding down V/Vm Test. The name V/Vm does me no favours, to be honest. I can do some music - for example that White Death mp3 release or the New Beat thing and people just ignore it because they think it's gonna be remixes of Chris Rea or something , so it's time for a change of direction with things.
G: What's next on the horizon, then?
V/Vm: There is a Caretaker double vinyl coming out on We/Me, the label who did the Made in Belgium 12", so that's something I need to work on.
G: The Caretaker project certainly captured the imagination of several bloggers - K-Punk even wrote the sleeve notes! I'm ashamed to admit it was simply too big a concept for me to organise my thoughts into some sort of review. I was just...overawed by it's magnitude. Has it been selling well?
V/Vm: I am almost sold out, which is great as only two shops had copies of it.
G: And how do you feel about the 365 Project, now that it's all over?
V/Vm: Well, the aim was to have fun, but it caused me to be ill in the end because I couldn't shake being ill due to the pressure of completing the task! That said, it's good to push yourself sometimes and really live a project instead of making just a ten-track disc and saying it was torture to make that.
G: So, post-V/Vm, what's the overall plans for 2007?
V/Vm: It's all about having a nice time this year with less stress.
G: Amen to that!
V/Vm: Stay lucky and keep in touch...