Veda the world’s first Transphibian
Veda, one of everyone’s favourite queens from the Dublin drag scene is back with a second album! Veda’s new album, Transphibian will be the sound of the summer if my Facebook homepage is anything to go by!
Following a massive show of support on crowd funding site fundit.com, Veda has returned in a haze of glitter with an EP that will define your summer. Featuring Gavin Friday, David Hoyle and Caoimhe Derwin, this four track offering will have you in disco bliss.
The press release tells us that with Transphibian:
Written on New York’s notorious Fire Island, she builds on her love for electronic dance music with a feel good summer’s day sound with a thumping disco beat to take you through to night. Packed with humour, attitude, and the trademark of any icon; pain, this is a record to fill any dance floor.
I caught up with Veda in the dressing room prior to her regular Wednesday show, Space n’ Veda, to find out more.
How did you choose the name of the album?
So me and my bessie mate Paul were in my car around Christchurch…You know these big yellow trucks that are Viking Splash things? Well we kind of describe everything in drag terms anyway, in terms of trans everything, so I described the truck as a transphibian and we kinda belly-ached over it. We were very shortly afterwards on holiday in Fire Island where myself and Davina and Shirley and the crew kinda go to visit my gay sister and hang out, and around Fire Island there’s a whole culture of the invasion, where there’s this big drag party on the 4th of July where all of these drag queens from one area, Cherry Grove invade this other area, the Pines. These invasions go back to the 70s!
Paul and I were swimming, and we were making all these fish puns like “clam down, clamp down”, “moules are made to be broken”. Very puntastic!
I was swimming in drag, and had an idea about a drag mermaid, a sort of fluid gender and sexuality, where someone would be a man on land and a woman in the sea.
Beyond that, working on one song in particular (Transphibian); I grew up in Malahide and was always bullied, so I spent a lot of time by sea by my own. It was a place to escape, and somewhere I used to think about escaping home and the escaping the abuse.
So when thinking about transsexuality, the song became more of an anthem and a bit more personal and it was touching on things I hadn’t thought about in a while. So I guess in a way it was healing. It also taps into drag queen energy from Fire Island and sends a triumphant message!
Who are your main musical influences?
Well I’m a huge fan of rock and roll, Thin Lizzie, Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and The Smiths. When I was a teenager it was electro-pop music, 80’s Electronia: Depeche Mode..all the big bands, anything you can dance to! And then there’s rave culture, EMF and Crush…
Now it’s the Scissor Sisters, Lykki Li, Friends…
What was the inspiration for this album?
The inspiration for the name and inspiration for the album are same things I think. The inspiration for the sound is wanting a sort of ‘beach-y’ album. I came up with some of the songs last year. I was recovering from a horrific break up and I decided to travel. I went on a lot of beach holidays; Sitges, Fire Island, the Caribbean…I got over that depression and then I wanted to make a super summery, really beachy album. I wanted Supermarché to be party-like, to make you think of a foreign holiday, as opposed to calling it Lidl!
I loved Stars Edge, what was your favourite track from it and why?
I think Finally. It’s my favourite, the first one I wrote. It’s poignant for me, and I still perform it acoustically at shows. I wrote it after my father died, so there is something about the sadness of that time in the fibre of the song. There are much more fun numbers on the album, but that’s my favourite.
And your favourite track from the new album?
That’s a hard one! Recording with Gavin was monumental for me, I’m a huge fan. Picking one is really tough, I think have to go with Supermarché! It’s the one I want to perform the most, the one that makes me feel the most giddy and light-headed. I’ve listened to them all like a squillion million times, and I have loved each one at some point more than the others. The video just came out for Transphibian, so that’s my favourite for today!
Have you always wanted to write and sing your own songs as well as the drag shows, or was Ladyface the first time you started writing your own songs?
I was actually in a band before then! Before Ladyface, I was in a band called Daddy’s Little Princess. We had worked on an album but the band broke up before it was released. We had done gigs with the Scissor Sisters, performed around London…
As a kid, as a trans kid, I was always fantasising about performing. I was obsessed with glamour girls, with Blondie, with Jerry Hall, with Grace Jones albums; it was my fantasy from an early age to have an album. It was the idea of the tangible thing…that was what I first fell in love with.
If you could sum up Transphibian in 5 words, what would they be?
Wet, hot, fishy, euro, trash!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
David Hoyle is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met, it was fantastic writing Supermarché together. He has a huge writing talent and his voice is probably the best voice in the world, so having him on the track is amazing for me. I’m excited about doing other stuff with him in the future!
Gavin Friday, I worked with him in Mr. Pussy’s when I was in college and also Caoimhe Derwin from The Chalets – I had girl crush on her for years! It’s like a full-circle moment, not just about the album but also about whom I’ve worked with.
Also a huge shout out to Ian Henderson, who produced and co-wrote the album and who has been so good to me!
I think that’s all the shout outs…
Listen to the Transphibian preview here
Available on iTunes and in-store from July 6th for €2.99