City Paper is not for tourists
Standout Track: No. 16, “Right Away,” a comedic, bluesy funk number in which Violet Says 5’s Ethan Spalding uses a mumbling, rhythmic cadence to encourage some good ol’ dreams-pursuing. “Think of your life and how great it could be/Reach for your goals and just watch and we’ll see,” Spalding grumbles over a crunchy guitar riff.
Musical Motivation: The message is just as cheesy as it seems. In fact, the band members laugh at the song’s glassy-eyed themes and high-pitched wails, says Kush el-Amin, Violet Says 5’s bass player. Ian Burnsfury—the band’s drummer and de facto leader—is a blues-rock fanatic, which is why the song is essentially a five-minute vamp. If you repeat something enough—like the chorus’ refrain of “right away”—you end up believing. “If you have a dream, you shouldn’t stay dreaming about it,” el-Amin says. “You should get your life wrapped around that dream right away.”
Bear Hugged: Violet Says 5’s debut album is called PANDAMONIUM for a good reason. The band sells T-shirts with an image of a panda bear smoking weed. During live performances, the quartet’s unofficial fifth member dances in the crowd and on stage in a giant panda suit. “On an artsy-fartsy level, you shouldn’t need a panda and the music should speak for itself,” el-Amin says. “At the same time, we just don’t give a fuck and we think it’s funny.”