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  • Writer's pictureJodie Brough

Interview with.... Vonnegut Hardware

Indianapolis indie rock / alt band Vonnegut Hardware has recently released the fabulous Apocalypse Blues, we caught up with Jim from the band to have a chat about it!

Introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band?

I'm Jim Rawlinson. I'm the singer, guitarist, main songwriter. etc. This band started as a solo project, trying to be like a Queens of the Stone Age type act where we could scale things up or down as needed. But it's really turned into a full band now.

Tell us a little about your band, how you got together and the story behind the name if there is one.

I've known all of these guys since way back, since high school. We were all in hardcore and metal bands back then, Jeff and Paul specifically were in some bands that my bands played with all the time. Then suddenly around '01 we were all in emo bands, so it goes. But we all came from the same place and hung out a lot in Bloomington. We kept in touch through the years and tried a few times to start something up together. Around 2019 I had a bunch of stuff that I'd written that didn't fit my band Maravich and wanted a good rhythm section so I called on Paul and Jeff, who had been playing together that whole time in various projects. Justin was someone I'd also known from high school, in sort of different circles (although not completely different). We'd mostly talk about pedals and guitars and... Helmet? Anyway I knew he was a fantastic guitarist and a gearhead and we had similar music tastes so I'd been wanting to do something with him for a long time. Our name is a reference both to Kurt Vonnegut, the legendary Indiana writer/philosopher, and his family's old hardware store that used to be all over Indianapolis. It's been closed since like the 60s but it always seemed like it would be a cool reference/ homage to Vonnegut and Indianapolis.

Tell us a bit about your latest single, what’s the story behind the song?

I wrote Apocalypse Blues in roughly 2020, and dialed in the lyrics over the next year. We were really on and off with practicing due to pandemics and families etc. It's really just about how when everything stopped, music was one of the main things I missed, and one of the things that really pulled me through the whole thing. We can go through whatever as long as we can still bang out some rock songs in a basement.

What is your writing process like? Do you start with lyrics and then come up with a melody or is it the other way round?

I mostly start with a guitar lick, sometimes a vocal phrase... then piece the song together from there. Sometimes I'll have a specific chord I'm playing with and seeing how I can write a song around that.

What bands were you listening to when you were writing this release? Do you think it had an effect on the end sound?

This particular one, probably Courtney Barnett? At least for the opening part... I really like how genuine all of her stuff feels. This is a pretty straightforward rock song, and I think it shows in the final product.

What can you tell us about the release that the song has come from?

We put this out with Broad Ripple is Boring as a B side. That song is really fun, I was trying to write a song for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the unofficial holiday for college kids and young adults to get fucked up. But as I wrote it I realized I actually don't like doing that anymore, even though I like the idea of going out and partying. So this song is kind of about realizing you're too old for the party and almost wistful.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

We're all a bunch of dads. Like, literally.

Do you have any shows coming up that we should get ourselves along to?

June 23rd is our official first show. We'll also be part of Way out Beer Fest on August 19, with a bunch of bands. Looking to book a bunch more all over the Midwest. Hit up for inquiries!

Find Vonnegut Hardware online:

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