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This and VOS' analog-only policy have given the band some issues, as it doesn't fit in well with Phoenix's guitar-rock indie scene or the "push play" MacBook Pro crowd in Scottsdale clubs.
Gooday recalls, "Some drummer was [asking] me, 'Electronic music — isn't that more like 'tracks' instead of 'songs'?' Yeah, whatever you say, bro."
At least Hoag shares VOS' love for analog gear. Though he edits in Pro Tools, he records to tape and he owns numerous vintage guitars and drums. "He edits all our drums," Gooday continues. "The way we record our drums, we can't manipulate them like we do live, so it just has to go the whole time. He'll go in there and edit the drums that drop out and drop in."
Naturally, with a drum kit missing from the stage, Vial of Sound has gotten numerous offers from local drummers (including Nick Ramirez, who adds live beats to local electro pop band Zero Zero's live sets), but Gooday claims his van already is packed full of gear and drums would just add more complications. Kym Gooday acts as a third member, running a video synthesizer that gives VOS' live shows a brilliant visual element. Instead of the oscillator turning electronic signals into noise, it creates vivid video signals by either sampling and distorting footage or creating scrolling bars and geometric shapes.The unorthodox lineup works for VOS, and adding another member wouldn't work, they insist.
"The thing about this band is it's really easy to just get two people on the same page," Owens says. "I've been in other bands with four or five people; it's just a lot easier."
And when even getting the synths to turn on requires a knowlegeable user's touch, you cut corners where you can.