Regardless if you're a post-rock aficionado or a genre casual, the incredible sophomore record from Glaswegian post-rockers VASA is sonic tale that offers universal relatability An instrumental concept record that details the turbulent adventure that is growing up, Heroics is a jubilant and relatable contrast against the tawdry soundscapes commonly associated with post-rock. We recently spoke to guitarist Scott Coupar, who detailed the five albums and five non-musical inspirations crucial to the creation of the record.
And So I Watch You From Afar - All Hail Bright Futures
"This album dropped around the time Blaine and John finished university and the Glasgow date landed the day after we handed in our dissertations. It’s such a beautifully uplifting and jovial album and it (and the rest of their catalogue) has always highly influenced our sound. They are also really inspirational to us as people, you’d struggle to meet four nicer guys and they’ve been plugging away at this for years and are always evolving and improving their craft. "
Alpha Male Tea Party - Droids
"We first played with AMTP when we were a very fresh band. We played an awful set and they performed after us. I had never heard of them before that night and they blew me away and we knew the bar had been set for the type of music we play. Tom Peters from the band produced this record so he obviously had a very direct influence on the way it ended up sounding."
Four Year Strong - Four Year Strong
"I am not a pop punk fan by any stretch, but the mixture of beefy riffs, upbeat major key melodies, and Kurt Ballou’s hefty production has influenced our music since I first heard this album. Instrumental Pop-Punk probably isn’t too far away from describing our sound."
At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command
"Definitely the earliest of our collective influences. A technical, yet undeniably catchy record, this record has been a fairly direct influence on our sound and our desire to always let the hooks come before the technicality."
Deafheaven - Sunbather
"The darkest of our influences for sure. Black metal is pretty far away from our sound, but we take a lot of influence from the tones and textures that Deafheaven achieved on this record. We just apply a major key to those tones! The hazy shoegaze guitars that Deafheaven deployed so effectively on this album informed a lot of the sounds we were trying to achieve across many of the songs on Heroics."
Moving Image Archive: National Library of Scotland
"Through Niall’s university he has access to the Moving Image Archives in Glasgow where their amazing team preserve and digitise film dating all the way back to the 1910s. Over the course of the album he became obsessed with watching these incredible videos of people growing up in Scotland - one of which features heavily in the video for Heroics. The shots of the kids being taught highland dancing in school hits particularly close to home, as we still got taught that here 80 years later."
Parents Photos & Junk Shops
"Our parents all have massive photo collections which really tied the themes of the album together as we saw the similarities between our lives and theirs. This was locked down even further when we would explore junk shops around the city for abandoned photos which honed in on the idea of the comfort of shared experience."
"In the past we’ve worked with managers and labels, but this time around we did almost everything on our own. Within the band we take care of everything from artwork and merch designs, sending out our own merch / records, booking our own shows and tours and everything else in between. We would never claim to be fully DIY, but we certainly take a lot of inspiration from those who are."
"Growing up on a Nintendo based diet of video games and their weird and wonderful soundtracks has almost certainly bled into our music."
"We’ve all recently turned 30 and as such have started to realise that we might need to start getting our acts together. This has definitely contributed to the album and the more focused and serious approach we’ve taken in the writing of it."
Heroics is out now via Dome A Records.