The Vultures: Swooping Back Into Orbit

Following a five-year creative hiatus, local rock duo The Vultures have swooped back into orbit in the form of a swaggering new rock single, ‘Every Night’ (which our New Music columnist Zac Fahey reviews in this month’s issue).

The band, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Liam Bowditch and drummer Joe MacPhail, have been making music together since childhood, originally forming the band back in 2012 and building up a loyal local following, culminating in a ‘song of the year’ nomination at the 2015 Gold Coast Music Awards.

Following their sabbatical, the duo resurrected the project in 2019, rediscovering their mojo while spending time in Berlin and Melbourne, their bond and musical telepathy on full display on their new number, backed by the equally impressive ‘Uncomfortable Unknown’.

Liam and Joe recently took time out to join the dots on their return as The Vultures and their time spent in Berlin, as well chatting about their involvement with recent Blank cover star Gav Doniger. Take it away Joe and Liam…

Congratulations on your return as a musical entity. Can you fill us in on what you guys have been up to during your five-year hiatus? And what was the catalyst in getting the band back together again?

We’ve both been busy over the last five years working on different musical projects. Liam spent time down in Melbourne gigging around the city non-stop and working on some studio projects while I was recording and touring with another band based up here on the coast. In early 2019 we both found ourselves looking for a change which came in the form of rekindling The Vultures and heading to Berlin.

You’ve announced your return in the shape of a banging new single, ‘Every Night’. What was the inspiration behind it and how did the track come together?

‘Every Night’ arrived back at the end of 2017 and I recorded a demo of it. Then in 2019, Joe and I were living in Berlin, and we were listening to music we had written since the hiatus and ‘Every Night’ grabbed our attention. We started recording it in Berlin and then relocated to Melbourne to self-produce it. We captured the drums at Sunset Pig with Sam Swain (who later mixed it) and recorded the rest of the layers in our room in Carlton, except for the vocals, they’re the Berlin takes!

How did you find the city of Berlin and its famed reputation as a bastion for freedom and unbridled creativity?

We enjoyed our time over there. Rekindling the band and exploring Berlin was super inspiring. I (Liam) had many adventures cycling around as a food delivery driver for a few months. The tastiest döners are at 27 Döner Kebap made by our friend Mustafa. We busked acoustically at the U-Bahn with Bernie the Bongo. We were lucky to be there for the 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall too.

You both recently collaborated with October Blank Street Press cover star Gav Doniger on his new rock record, ‘Renegade’. How did that come about and will you continue to be involved with the project?

We first met Gav at one of the first ever Vultures shows in 2013 at The Loft in Chevron. We used to cover ‘Doom And Gloom’ by the Rolling Stones and when we started playing it that night we saw Gav light up at the back of the room. He introduced himself after our set and a few months later we started playing shows and recording music together as The Van Bams. Liam has played on a few of his records since then and with this new Doniger project taking flight we’re more excited than ever to be playing together. There will definitely be some upcoming shows and more recordings!

Where to next for The Vultures – are you working on more new material and are you looking at playing some shows around the Gold Coast in 2021 (COVID permitting)?

We’ve been working on new material but we also have an archive of songs and ideas that have developed over the years, so right now we’re connecting a lot of creative dots. As for the live shows we can’t wait to get back into it. We’ve started rehearsing and working out the show that we want to put together for when we do return to the live scene, so fingers crossed that’s real soon!

The Vultures killer new single, ‘Every Night’, marking their return to action after a five year hiatus, is available via streaming services now.

IMAGE (C) Jacinta Keefe. Check out the video for ‘Every Night’ below:

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