To say Vick + The Velvicks have taken an unusual route would be an understatement, but you can’t argue with the New York City band’s results — the group has yet to release an album but it’s already played at some of the city’s most coveted stages, like Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theater and Rough Trade.
“We still don’t have anything released, which is a strategy we took, the path we chose to take,” says frontman Victor Nader. “It was kind of crazy.”
Brazil native Nader and some friends began jamming in a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, basement less than two years ago — they called it the Monroe Mansion. One night, a booking agent was there, and the next thing they knew, they had their first real gig — at the 1,200-person-capacity Irving Plaza.
“For us it’s almost like starting to play a video game on a very hard level,” he says. “So we had to deal with it. The ASCAP stuff and everything had to be aligned for our first show. It did put a lot of stress on us.” In August of 2017, they were back at Irving Plaza, this time as a headliner.
The band’s multinational makeup gives it a unique flavor, but at its core is a love for high-energy rock, whether it be rooted in classic rock, grunge or more modern approaches. That diversity yet familiarity seems to pay off at the band’s shows.
“This is something I speak to my wife all the time about,” says Nader. “We go out, for example, that night of Irving Plaza. An older man, like in his 50s, comes to me and says, ‘I brought my nephew to see the show, he’s 18, and we came to see the band before you guys, and we were both blown away with your show.’ It’s like adults and young people. It goes across the spectrum.
“Whenever we play, half the place gets interested and follows us. There’s a classic rock kind of vibe mixed with something new, so it’s familiar with new, that’s what we hear a lot.”
Listeners can get a feel for The Velvicks’ sound in the buzzy, Queens of the Stone Age-esque “Hit Me Like Sugar,” for which they released a lyric video.
The Velvicks’ debut album is finished. Now it’s just a matter of releasing it.
“We’re talking to four record labels that are interested in releasing it,” Nader says. “Two from the UK and two from the US. We’re dealing with that to see what is the best. Some are smaller but more artist-friendly.”
On Friday, the band will play two shows in the city: Gran Turino in Williamsburg at 8 p.m. and Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side at midnight.
Vick + The Velvicks tour dates
7/4/19 – The Pirate 4th Independence Day – Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
7/6/19 – El Cortez – Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
7/24/19 – High Dive – Seattle, WA
7/25/19 – The Big Legrowlski – Portland, OR
7/26/19 – Dixie Mattress – Scio, OR
7/28/19 – Dixie Mattress – Scio, OR
7/30/19 – Blue Lamp – Sacramento, CA
7/31/19 – Brick & Mortar – San Francisco, CA
8/2/19 – Ojai Deer Lodge – Ojai, CA
8/3/19 – Joshua Tree Saloon – Joshua Tree, CA
8/4/19 – The Bancroft – San Diego, CA
8/6/19 – The Mint – Los Angeles, CA
8/9/19 – Woodstock 50 Kickoff Event – New York, NY
8/18/19 – Threes Brewing – Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY