Release of the new single "Walpurgis Night" and its music video.
Release of the second teaser for Walpurgis Night.
Release of the first teaser for Walpurgis Night.
Every band has its own unique story, and so do we. This story begins back in 2004 when Martin Nyman and a couple of friends who had recently started a band together, were looking for someone to play bass guitar.
At a local youth club Martin met Victor Klint for the first time. Victor was asked rather quickly to join the band and play bass guitar. He decided to join in even though he, being a drummer, didn't even know how to play the instrument. When the band had their first rehearsal Victor instinctively sat down by the drums and started to play. He wasn't nearly as good a bass player as a drummer and the original drummer was not nearly as good on drums which led to the two of them playing drums in turns. The band switched members a couple of times along with their band name, though Martin and Victor always were a constant part of the machine. Around 2005 the guys asked Sebastian Alfredsson if he wanted to join in and he did not hesitate.
In 2006 Victor was about to move to Australia for a year. Up until this point the band had still been struggling to find a permanent bass guitarist. At the farewell party for Victor they asked Hampus Björk if he would like to join the band and fill the spot. Hampus had only played bass a couple of times before, but was willing to give it a shot. During the year that Victor was gone, the rest of the band continued to rehearse although they didn't play any live shows. When Victor came back from Australia they began to rehearse more. This was when they actually became a serious band in any real sense and they no longer played covers at this point. The band started to think more about their sound and started to look for something to steer their sound in the direction in which they wanted to go. As a result, Martin's older brother Fredrik joined the band on synthesizer/keyboard.
Up to this point the band had not quite settled on a name. The band had been struggling with this issue and tried several different band names with varied quality. Some examples are Frankie Lee (from the song: "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" which also inspired the band name Judas Priest), Pennsylvania and The Vans.
The band finally decided to call themselves "Vacancy Labour". Which more or less came out of the blue. The official explanation of the somewhat antithetic name is that the contrasting words are meant to describe the idea of the band; something the band treats as a job but they regard as their vacation away from reality. There are many more layers to the name, but some things are better unexplained.
Since Victor's uncle was a producer, the band always had an access of good equipment for recording music. Therefore recording material was a huge part in the early years of the band. Very early the band decided to record an EP called "Heading for Exit" but the EP was never finished. This was mostly because none of the band members had any real experience of sound mixing and were not content with the sound on the recordings. Instead the band started focusing on writing new material and playing live.
After the decision to not release "The Cherry Recordings" some tensions began to grow in the band. Naturally this was because they still hadn't quite figured out their musical course but also for personal reasons. The band stopped rehearsing for some time and did not play any shows. After some time apart the band was finally re-motivated and they started to rehearse more often but they still lacked actual time to invest in the band and the focus they needed. Moreover Martin moved to Stockholm to study music. This was a blow to the band as the tensions between the members had not completely fizzled out. At one point Martin was the only one that truly fought to hold the band together. After some time the band began to write and record some new material and slowly the tensions started to ease.
In 2011 the band decided to participate in a local competition for musicians. Victor was opposed to the general idea of musicians competing. But the other band members thought this was a good way to motivate the band and to release the negative tensions. Furthermore this was a great way to not have to book shows as both Martin and now Victor had moved from Linköping. The band ultimately won the local part of the competition which gave them some recording time and medial attention in their region. They used their recording time to record some of the songs for their upcoming album.
In August 2012 the band's debut album was released and it was called "Sakura, Sakura", which is japanese for "cherry blossom, cherry blossom". In japanese culture this is a symbol for how fragile life can be and the passing nature of everything. It was also the last words from the japanese soldiers in the battle of Peleliu 1944. The band also felt that this was the perfect way to link their previous unreleased album to the new material. In a sense the title is a reference to the unreleased album "The Cherry Recordings" and the way the band had finally fully blossomed since that album.
(On the physical release of the album a poem about "cherry blossom comrades" is included and the instrumental track "Sakura" is added in the end after the song "Cherry". So, the album ends with a repetition of song titles about cherries as a very subtle hint at the album title, "Sakura, Sakura".)
The record received only positive reviews and has been very appreciated by the fans. The Swedish paper UNT wrote that Vacancy Labour is one of the most promising bands in their genre. Right now the band is recording new material for an upcoming record. The band have now turned into a more confident act and this record will not come from a place of chaos, but a place of peace.
23 April 2013