An Interview with VK Lynne

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VK Lynne (@VKLynne) | Twitter

Today is a fun one- we’ve got someone who truly rocks “in the house.” VK Lynne is as prolific as she is talented. As a Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) songwriter, novelist, poet and more, VK has truly made her mark on the world. As an accomplished solo artist, with three albums under her belt as well as with her band, The Spider Accomplice, she’s continuing to do what she loves- make music and perform for her fans. VK has also founded Eve’s Apple and now works with Gritty in Pink to help foster community for female voices and rockers who are sorely in need of just that. VK’s balanced approach to her career and her community it truly admirable. If you would like to learn more about VK Lynne, you can head over to her website here. In the meantime, enjoy this interview and getting to know VK a little bit better. I know I did. Cheers.

Andrew:
VK, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. It’s been a weird year, hasn’t it? What have you been doing to pass the time?

VK:
I’ve actually been busier than ever! Since the band had to cancel all our live performances, I began doing a weekly acoustic show called Saturday Night Live Acoustic. We’ve done 36 episodes since mid-March! We started on Facebook, and have moved to Twitch, and there has been a learning curve there.

The band kept working on music remotely, and we’ve released 3 songs with accompanying music videos while under quarantine. Also, I took advantage of this time to finally release a new solo song, something I haven’t done since 2016!

Andrew:
Tell us about backstory. How did you get into music? What was the gateway so to speak?

VK:
Musical theater started me on the path in a serious way. I was cast in the chorus of a production of Jesus Christ Superstar when I was 12, and got a crash course in what it’s like to sing onstage for 2 hours. I was hooked, and, strange as it may seem, got through my teens on a steady diet of musical soundtracks and Glam Metal. Which probably accounts for my sound now!

Andrew:
As an artist, guitarist and songwriter, who were some of your earliest and more important influences? How did you go about developing and perfecting your singular style?

VK:
When I would teaching myself to sing, I would try to emulate the sound of the artist I was listening to…then my mom said, “But what does VK sound like?” That really woke me up. And I found the best way to find my voice was to write my own songs. There was no one to imitate, I had to find the sound within myself and pull from my emotions. That’s why my voice now is a reflection of my soul…that’s where it was made.

V.K. Lynne

Andrew:
You’re a pretty accomplished and prolific BMI songwriter, right? How did you end up in that role? How does writing in this capacity compare to your work as a solo artist? I know often times, artists’ lyrical content can come from a deeply personal place, and other times they are merely telling stories so to speak. Which is it for you?

VK:
I’ve always been a writer; I’ve just done so in different mediums. I put out two novels and a book of poetry, and I’ve written for various magazines. Songwriting is the most personal from, though, and the stories in them are nearly always about something or someone in my life. I don’t really separate my lyrical style by project- my work with The Spider Accomplice is just as personal as my solo work. But the melodic approach is tailored to the sound each is going for.

Andrew:
Speaking of your solo work, you’ve released 3 solo albums to date, The Key of V, Black Halo, and Whiskey or Water. These are Blues Rock, right? Tell us about the recording of these records, how the differed and which is your favorite.

VK:
The Key of V was my very first record, and I had no idea what I was doing! But you have to start somewhere, and so I took a stack of my songs into a studio in New Jersey and came out with a CD. It served as a good demo to take with me to Los Angeles. Black Halo was the next step, but Whiskey or Water is my favorite of the three, because the story is so insane. I met the producer, James Thomas, on MySpace (remember MySpace!?).  He had heard some of my work and wanted to make a record together. I was very keen to do so, since he’d recently worked with Cher and Beth Hart, so I knew he had an ear for big voices. But I was signed to a small label, and they weren’t able to come to an agreement, so the plan was dropped. However, I left that label a few months later, reconnected with James, and before I knew it, I was on a place to Denmark to make Whiskey or Water. He was and is a genius producer, and the time I spent in Vordingborg was magical.

Andrew:
Tell us about your role as the front person for The Spider Accomplice. How did you get the gig with them? How’s it going since?

The Spider Accomplice was formed when a Symphonic Metal band that Arno and I were in together dissolved. We decided to form a trio with the drummer from that band, and sat down to figure out what we wanted to do. It turned out we both had Blues and Prog Rock influences, and wanted to write something different from what we’d done in the past. We wrote “Atmosphere” the first night, and The Spider Accomplice was born! We’ve become a duo since, and have a constantly growing catalogue of songs.

VK Lynne & The Spider Accomplice

Andrew:
You’re also one of the founders of Eve’s Apple, which, for those that don’t know, is a global group of professional female Metal singers. As I am sure you’re aware, women are vastly underrepresented within the music industry in general. How do we close the gap? How has your work with Eve’s Apple helped move toward positive change in that regard? Tell us more about Eve’s Apple in general, and your role?

VK:
Eve’s Apple was the brainchild of Lisa Middelhauve, the former lead singer of Xandria. She reached out to 5 women, including myself, with the goal of forming a community of female Metal and Rock singers to support and encourage each other. There is often a mythos around women in music that we are in constant competition, as if we’re having mud wrestling matches backstage! This is just not true; if anything, we want to work together and hang out together and not have this constant pressure of “ranking polls” and such pitting us against each other. Eve’s Apple set out to do that, and it grew to 50 women from a dozen countries. We performed as a unit at Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium two years in a row, and the friendships made have lasted long since Eve’s shuttered its windows. 

Since then, I’ve recently become involved with Gritty in Pink, a group founded by Shira Leigh in Los Angeles that shares many of the ideals that Eve’s Apple had, and it is encouraging to see that women continue to work together on their own behalf to achieve equality within music.

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music industry these days? What needs to change for both the betterment of the artists and fans alike?

VK:
Much like the world at large, the music industry is in flux. With concerts on indefinite hold, and streaming changing the very nature of the “album,” artists and fans must “pivot.” In some ways, it’s a great time to be a music artist or fan- there’s more music being made than ever, and to keep that happening, we all need to embrace the changes that are coming our way. Livestreams are no longer novel; they are necessary. Singles and videos are the new LP’s, and music consumers are turning to Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Deezer, and other streaming services before terrestrial radio. As artists, we have to be willing to change with the landscape and learn the new technology. It’s not always easy, but in the end, that willingness to “pivot” will make us more creative.

Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you and why?

VK:
There’s so many…but a few notables: Rubber Soul was one of the first albums that I memorized all the way through, because I woke up to it every morning as a toddler! Shake Your Money Maker changed my perspective on Rock and Roll and made me want to be Chris Robinson when I grew up. Empire by Queensryche and lll Sides to Every Story buy Extreme fed my passion for big, epic Metal. Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge and Leave the Light On by Beth Hart taught me the power of lyrical vulnerability. And literally every Indigo Girls record has been a master class in music as poetry.

V.K. Lynne - IMDb

Andrew:
Aside from music, what else are you most passionate about and why? How do your other passions inform and inspire your music?

VK:
Literature, it’s my escape. I like old books that smell like a musty library, that tell old tales that ring true today. My favorites are Nabokov, Dostoevsky, Austen, and Hardy. Lately, I’ve really taken the plunge into contemporary writing, and developed a real love for so many more authors. All their ideas and stories inspire me to tell my own.

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Tapes? CDs? Or are you all digital now?

VK:
In an effort to de-clutter, I’m mostly digital these days. I still have the odd cassette and CD tucked away, but not many.

Andrew:
Once COVID-19 is done with us, what’s next for you as an artist? Any new music on the horizon?

VK:
The Spider Accomplice loves to tour, so our hope is that post-COVID-19 well be doing a lot of it! We always have new music coming; in fact, January 15th we released a new single and video called, “Keep.”

Andrew:
Last question. In a world that’s been so confined by the constraints of big business and the alienation caused due to the internet age, how do artists find their footing these days? What advice would you have for younger artists?

VK:
I try not to give advice, because what is good or bad for me isn’t necessarily so for someone else. All I’d say is follow your gut. Be open to new ideas, new experiences, and new technology, and never stop learning. Value your fellow artists and support them. Despite Hollywood fairy tales, no one gets where they’re headed alone.

VK Lynne's stream

Interested in checking out the music of The Spider Accomplice? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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