Vokab Kompany, a live-electronic band that is currently taking the music and festival scene by storm, will be raising the vibe at the Lightning Stage at this years Lightning in a Bottle Art and Music Festival. They will also be making their return to The Grand Artique by joining forces with Crush Effect to play a very special VKCE set! With their diverse fusion of genres and energetic live shows, the members of Vokab Kompany bring their individual creativity together to create something truly unique.
I was fortunate enough to link up with the vocalists of the group, Rob Hurt and Matt Burke, to chat about their music, LiB, and The Grand Artique.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You guys are from San Diego, California. How has growing up in this beautiful area influenced the music you create?
SD lends it weather to a lot of outdoor adventures. The ocean is a few blocks from both mine and Burkey's house. Sun and mild temperature keeps your mood up and that has most definitely influenced some of the music we write, keeping it upbeat and danceable! It's a pretty spread out city though, with many different microclimates. You can be in the mountains, desert and ocean all with in about 20-30 minutes, which can sway your moods and creativity many directions. I remember reading a few quotes from David Byrne about him riding his bike through the city getting stimulated through his surroundings and writing some of his favorites tunes. I am sure many artists can relate to this.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Your music can be described as ranging across many genres - from Hip Hop, to electronic, to funk, and more. How did the group form and How would you describe your sound in your own words?
Thank you, yeah we try and let our many tastes show in the music we create. We have a big band with lots of opinions and we all like to share 'em. Burke and I have final word, haha however, Geoff our keyboardist has a great deal of influence in many of our songs as well as the many unique producers we work with. Vokab Kompany was created in 2006 by myself (Robbie) and another producer who went by Buck the Rabbit Killer. He never killed any wabbets, mainly beats. We worked with artists back then like Killer Priest, Main Flow and Alfred Howard lending our sound to a more underground hip-hop vibe. I'd like to think it's grown and matured as we have. Burke joined up in 2007/8 and the rest is present.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What are your favorite aspects about Lightning in a Bottle?
The community vibe is huge at LIB! So many people returning from previous experiences, some life changing. And with it, they usually bring their friends. Word of mouth about this festival has played such an important part of it's growth. We've been going to Lightning in a Bottle since it was at the Santa Barbara location in 2008. Burke researched this festival and brought about 50 of us from SD. Ian Xavier being one of them. It was filthy and awesome and full of new music. It was also a turning point in my life. I was preparing to move out of the country, settle down, forget about making music and do sales. This small festival (at the time) played an important part to me making a decision to stay and pursue my path to building Vokab along with Burke. So thank you!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What is the affiliation you guys have with The Grand Artique?
Ian Xavier aka "Killer" is one of our best friends. Like since 7th grade best friend and Burke has known him since high school. Shane Dolan aka "Boss Whispers" aka "Blacky Dearheart" and Burkey have been friends for ages, going back to when Burkey lived in Chico and Shane was playing football at Shasta. You may not know this however, Ian has been pseudo managing my career since our days of college in Santa Barbara when he'd get people in freestyle circles to have me flow . It was pretty much his idea for Burke and I to work together on a more permanent basis. Shane actually used to do a ton of poetry and was featured on the first VK album on an original track called "Piano Man". Point being we go deep into our family tree together, our roots have roots and we've continued to grow with one another. We are very proud of what these guys bring to the music and art community, and are super stoked that they have focused on keeping live music a big part of LIB. The opportunity to perform this year on tHe gRaNd aRtiQue stage as VKCE (Vokab Kompany x Crush Effect) is going to be f##### rad!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: For those who have yet to experience The Grand Artique's magic - could you help by giving a bit of insight into what it's all about?
It's pretty hard to peg but here goes. They offer unique immersive performance art, motivational speakers, world class live bands and DJ's with many more musical concoctions; as well as weddings, a full Trading Post/General Store along with a legit election featuring 2 of the most influential political leaders in Cali; Mr. Paul E. Amore and W.C. Thornbush! And for whatever reason, it all works! The location, the design, the flow and creativity, and most of all the people that make it happen.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Are you and Crush Effect planning anything special for your set together at The Grand Artique this year? Where else can we see Vokab this year?
We are... We have a few things up our sleeves. We have not played together as VKCE in a few years, as Dave is so busy with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Jesse touring with several acts-including Mike Posner, and of course us with continuously touring with our 7 piece band.. We are also very lucky to play the Lightning Stage with our full band this year at LIB on Sunday in the early evening (set time to follow). The VKCE set will be Friday at 3am after Dirtwire in Frontierville at the infamous Grand Artique stage. Thanks to Do Lab and The Grand Artique for showing us love. See you in the Bottle!
Don't miss your chance to see Vokab Kompany and more at Lightning in a Bottle next month! Secure your tickets HERE.
Photo Credit: Jorgensen Photography
AUTHOR CREDIT: BROOKE SLIGER