BBC Radio Merseyside (9.7.2011)
BBC Radio Merseyside’s Frankie Connor interviews Graham Trust from The VowListen
The Vow was formed in September 1989 around singer / songwriter Graham Trust. Previously members of Liverpool post punk 3 piece No Exit, Trust and lead guitarist Martyn Gilbert were joined on drums by Tony Potter, on bass guitar by Paul O’Brien and on vocals by Jacqui Lancaster. The Vow gave themselves 2 years to secure a record deal. By autumn 1990, it was decided a change of direction was required and a more raunchy, rockier style was adopted. Lancaster and O’Brien left the group and Nick Reynolds was drafted in on bass guitar. By Autumn 1991, in the absence of any record company interest, The Vow had run its intended 2 year course and duly disbanded.
Motivated by the death in of his organist / choirmaster father, Eric , and after a 13 year hiatus, Graham Trust began writing once more in 2006. From this point onwards, his lyrics focused on themes of infinity, the transcendental and the fey. By the Summer of 2008, he’d written enough songs to fill an album, which he intended to be a solo acoustic effort. However, when recording commenced in August 2008 at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, he had been joined on lead guitar by Martyn Gilbert. Tony Potter flew in from his home in the United Arab Emirates to lay down drums on 12 tracks in a 2 day session in March 2009. Guy Davies (Fingersnap) played keyboards and co-produced, with Andy Strange, (Strange World Studios) the band’s first commercial release in 2011 – the classic Spacedust EP. Thereafter, the 3 founding members continued with the album project.
Mike Smith (Ginger Tunes) was drafted in on keyboards, and the The Vow’s first album ‘For a Dreamer‘, was finally released in March 2012. 2013’s “Bluer Than You” consisted of several tracks not considered appropriate for their melancholic debut album. Here, there are re-workings of old Vow rockers like “Free the World” and bright, catchy ditties like “Someone to Talk To”. “You Are?“, Released in 2014 this work consisted of newly re-recorded old Vow songs (I’m Over You, Flunky and Coal Fire) and new material, including the title track.
Their 2015 album “Ghost Writer” consists mainly of old Vow and old solo Graham Trust recordings from the ’80s and ’90s, all greatly improved for the 21st century. The only brand new song, “Ghost Writer” (about a romantic liaison with a dead Victorian authoress) was chosen as the single.
2017 saw the release of a new single “I am immortal” / “Je suis immortel” which is a tribute to the deceased French racing driver Jules Bianchi. The Grammy award winning producer Ken Lewis was involved with this one.
During 2018 two more new songs were released – “All the other boys” which concerns the so called Universal Laws which feature in the book and film of The Secret. “That’ll be the day” is as sweet a ballad as The Vow have ever produced. It concerns an elusive love affair which can never be. Two more new songs are expected in the spring of 2019. “Madrid” is the most up tempo song The Vow have ever recorded (164 bpm for the aficionados) and fundamental message is that it doesn’t matter to which beautiful place you travel to, you can’t run away from yourself. “Venus Girl” is also up tempo and reminiscent of classic Blondie. The initial inspiration for this was the title of a book “Men are from Mars…Women are from Venus“. No they’re not; men are from Earth, women are from earth so get used to it!
The Vow hope to release a “Best of” compilation some time in 2019 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s formation.