Vulgar Born on why everything’s better in twos

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Vulgar Born on why everything’s better in twos


Rock has a huge history of great duos – from The Black Keys to The White Stripes, Japandroids, Death From Above, and Royal Blood. But Vulgar Born aren’t phased when they hear such important names.


“Not in the slightest,” says Gianluca ‘Johnny’ Caico. “The original intention was never to be a two-piece, so why would we give a shit? At the end of the day, it’s about how it sounds, not about how many members are in the band.”


Vulgar Born are a rock duo from Melbourne made up of guitarist/vocalist Joel Cirillo and drummer Gianluca ‘Johnny’ Caico. The two met in uni while studying multimedia. Cirillo introduced Johnny to Queens of the Stone Age and their musical relationship began. But it wasn’t until later that they began to jam, and formed what would become Vulgar Born.


“[After uni] I sat in my studio for probably two years writing music, but mainly four-piece music, hoping to start up a new band. We had all this material that was for a four-piece based band and then eventually when we got together and we were playing so well together, it bonded into a two-piece. At the end of the day it was just, two is better than three or four,” says Cirillo.


“At the start the intention was, we were writing music for four members or three members. But then we thought, ‘Why take away from all this greatness?’ It’s so rare to work so well with someone else,” says Caico.


Caico says that it took them a while to really get comfortable playing together before honing their sound. “It took a while to figure out the sound that we wanted to be known for. It’s just a matter of finding your strengths and weaknesses. It took us a bit to find our strength.”


“We had to start all over again,” says Cirillo. “We started playing in 2013 and then we worked on that four-piece stuff for like a year and then we chucked pretty much all of it out, restarted, and started writing two-piece music after that.”


Now the duo have recorded their debut EP and released two tracks from it, the first being their original Rising Call, a driving rock track channelling their heroes, Queens of the Stone Age. The other is a cover of their track Avon.


“The funny thing with Avon was, we never planned to record let alone release it because when we went in to record all the EP music, we had all this leftover time and the producer was like, ‘Dude why don’t you just do another song?’ and we’re like, ‘Oh fuck, what do we do?’ So we thought, ‘Why not do Avon?’ We did it and it turned out good,” says Caico.


“It’s off the first album as well, which is probably our favourite album and that was a three-piece based band at the time. We were able to justify that into a two-piece outfit,” says Cirillo.


The boys are no strangers to covering their favourite artists. During 2014 and 2015, Vulgar Born frequently played bandrooms across Melbourne, including The Evelyn, The Tote and Revolver. At the time, covers became an important and valuable part of the live set.


“We did some crazy mashups as well,” says Cirillo. “We did a combination of My Sharona by The Knack and Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys because they worked in the same key. By doing that, we got the oldies on our side but with new people as well.”


If you’re keen for more from Cirillo and Caico, you might have to wait – the duo are planning to release their EP later this year. Although they haven’t given it a release date, they want to wait and play shows in the warmer months.


“We played a few shows in the summer and it was really good and people came down,” says Cirillo. “But as soon as it gets to winter everyone hibernates. So we’re trying to pick our times carefully.”