Recipe #12: Vundabar [Mixtape + Q&A]

Brandon Hagen and Drew McDonald have taken what started as a recording project in high school to an international level, touring several times across Europe and the United States. Joined by Zack Abramo on bass, the guys make up the minds behind what they call “sludgy jangly pop.” Building on the Boston rock sound, Vundabar has established themselves by crafting memorable and catchy vocal melodies within a framework of more dynamic and assertive modern rock ideas, resulting in a sound that’s approachable, but still brimming with enough character to please those who wish to explore the music more deeply. Their latest effort, a 10-track album titled Gawk, was released in July of 2015. In preparation for their show at Signal Kitchen (get your tickets here), the guys gave us a taste of their influences, which include the likes of Bowie, Saintseneca, and The Fall among others. And, they were cool enough to answer a few questions for us about creative inspiration for the 12th installment of our Recipes series.

What’s the meaning of music to you beyond the vibration of air particles? Child noodle soup for your chicken’s soul. Chicken soup salad for your inner ear.

Do you often look to other artistic mediums for creative inspiration? Definitely. We all do different mediums of visual art whether it be painting, wood carving, charcoal drawing, etc. It all meshes together for us.

As a band, do you ever have trouble agreeing on a common musical direction? Not so much. There’s enough overlap in tastes that we’re usually on the same page. 

How valuable do you consider aesthetic consistency to be for a band? I think it’s nothing to get caught up on. People change, so why wouldn’t their music? 

Do you think music can, or should, ever be considered objectively? I don’t think so. However it seems like press outlets think it can be, going so far as to quantify it, and give it a grade out of ten.

Check out one of our favorite tunes by Vundabar: “Chop”

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“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” — Pat Conroy