Things are looking good for Swedish boys Vains of Jenna. Bring Back Glam! recently spoke with the band's lead singer Lizzy DeVine. During the chat, Lizzy talks about the current tour with Poison and RATT, the fun of being broke, and recording a follow-up to Lit Up/Let Down. Transcription follows.
Bring Back Glam!: Before we get into your music and tour, I want to talk about your new endorsement deal with Vestal watches. How did the company find you?
Lizzy DeVine: Well, they saw the band and liked what they saw. They contacted us. It’s pretty cool. Pretty much everything we’ve gotten: the label, endorsements, came from people seeing us live. It seems like people like us live, and that’s how we get what we get, that’s how I want it to be. I want us to be a great live band.
BBG: So, are you the only one in the campaign, or will the other band members be featured in future ads?
Lizzy: No, I’m the only one.
BBG: Where can fans see your ads?
Lizzy: They’re going to be in Revolver and those music magazines. It’s going to be awesome publicity for the band, because it’s so hard to get mainstream magazines to write about us, especially when you don’t play the music that’s popular. This is a good way to sneak into those magazines and get people’s attention.
BBG: Vains of Jenna is currently on tour with RATT and Poison. What is that like for you?
Lizzy: It’s like a dream come true. When I was like 14 or 15, I was such a huge RATT and Poison fan. I’ve never even seen them. Seeing them for the first time while on tour with them is the coolest thing ever! They’re all cool guys. You never know what to expect, and it’s good for a younger band like us to be out with two more experienced bands, that have been around for over 20 years.
BBG: What’s it like backstage after the show?
Lizzy: It’s actually pretty calm. This is so organized and professional, and that’s the way I like it because I don’t party too much. Everything’s taken care of. It’s like being on vacation: you arrive at noon, sit around and do whatever. You eat for free, you drink for free, and then you play a show in front of a bunch of people. After we’re done, we go backstage and watch the other bands play. It’s not as crazy people think, but I’m loving it.
BBG: Does each member of Vains of Jenna have his own tour bus?
Lizzy: No, we don’t have a tour bus at all. We have a minivan and a trailer. We have seven people and all our gear. It’s like, we’re totally broke. A tour bus would be great, but I don’t want to get a bus until I really deserve it. I want to struggle. It’s the struggling part that’s so fun, and all the challenges that come with that. If we had a tour bus…I would feel so stupid. Like “Who the fuck do I think I am?” We’re not to that point yet, and when we get there, it’s going to be deserved. Right now, I’m more than happy to do things this way.
BBG: You say you’re broke. Does this mean the band isn’t seeing any financial results from the tour?
Lizzy: We make some money. We get paid every night and we sell merchandise. We have people working for us. We have two roadies and a tour manager, and they’ve got to get paid first. Gas costs money, and hotel rooms cost money. At the end of the day we eat and we sleep and we play music. We don’t get any extra money. I’m not doing this to become rich. As long as I survive and have fun, that’s all that matters. Some day in the future, there might be some extra money roll in. We’ll find out. So far, so good.
BBG: Have you noticed a spike in sales of Lit Up/Let Down since you started this summer tour?
Lizzy: I don’t know. I need to check into that. I bet it’s selling more now than it used to do. I just want a new album out there. With this first one – I’m super proud of it – but we recorded it all on our own, and it was just supposed to be demos. Our label (Filthy Note) liked the songs and the recording so much, they wanted to put that out, so of course we did. The songs were written in the first few months that we were a band, so I can’t wait to show the world what we’ve got going right now. It’s a little different, but a lot better.
BBG: So, you’re actively working on new material?
Lizzy: Yeah, it’s constant. It’s what we do. We don’t have much of a life. We tour and play music and write music. The new songs are going to be …rock n’ roll…but heavier. Maybe more melodic. Just better songs, like it’s been two years since we started the band, so we grow as musicians. We have more experience and everyone changes. It’s going to be interesting to see how people react to the new stuff.
BBG: You’re going on the fall Viva La Bands tour and you’ve got a new song featured on the Viva La Bands II compilation. Tell me about “Enemy in Me.”
Lizzy: We’ve been writing that song over a year. We started it last summer, then put it on the shelf because we toured so much, then we heard about the compilation and we decided we wanted to record the song. It’s more modern sounding without being a sell-out. It’s heavier, and it’s got more melody. It’s a pissed off song. It’s Vains of Jenna, but a million times better. I think a lot more people will like what we do. Of course, there will be a lot of people who don’t like it at all. It’s still kick ass rock n’ roll, but a lot better. Hopefully people will be impressed when it comes out.
BBG: Are you hoping to stay on Bam Margera’s Filthy Note label?
Lizzy: It all depends. We want our next CD to sound as good as it can be. Our contract runs out in October, because we were only signed for one year. If we get a new label that wants to put in a lot of money, and Filthy Note can’t top it, we’re free to go. We’re open to suggestions. It would be awesome to stay on Bam’s label. The whole plan from the beginning with his label was to launch the band and then have someone else pick us up after our contract runs out. I just want the best sounding album out there. I don’t care who I work with, as long as people are like Bam. Someone that believes in the band and what we do, and just not out to make a profit. I’d rather to go to a label that loves the band but pays us less money, than a label that gives us a lot of money, but then doesn’t really give a shit.
BBG: Are you surprised how quickly you landed your record deal?
Lizzy: I really am. I’ll be honest. I don’t have expectations for anything, and then I can’t be disappointed. Like, I had a dream. It was to come to this country (America) and get a record deal, but I didn’t think too much about it. We flew over and in like two months, we got a record deal. Then I thought “Fuck! That was too easy! Now I need a new dream.” The craziest thing I could think of that seemed impossible was playing big shows at amphitheatres and stuff. Now, I’m on tour and doing that. Now, I need new goals and dreams because I get surprised every day. I’m a strong believer in what our album is called: Lit Up/Let Down. When something good happens, something bad will happen someday. I’m still waiting for the bad part to come. So far, everything that’s happened has been too good to be true.