The Vaine Man, tells John Clay (RantboxTV) about breaking walls in art galleries, writing songs about letting go and improvising artwork upon their forehead every day. Never a dull moment for The Vaine Man whose new single ‘Addendum’ awaits your inspection.
You don’t seem to like social media. Can you pinpoint when you figured out that it wasn’t something you appreciate?
The Vaine Man: It’s not that I don’t like social media. In the bigger picture, it’s shifted the power dynamic from the big gatekeepers of the creative industry into the very hands of the creators and artists where it should have been in the first place. What is not healthy about social media is this continuous obsession with looking great and being happy all the time. It’s a bit disturbing for me. I guess it’s called toxic positivity nowadays. I think it can also be a great tool of healing and self-improvement if used correctly.
Can we trust ourselves to be mindful of social media? Like cigarettes, platforms ought to come with a health warning. What do you think?
I think a certain degree of that is happening with political posts- the fact-checking verification, no? I think it boils down to the individual. Though we should have a moderate amount of social media interaction because it can be detrimental to your mental health.
There seems to be cognizance of social media addiction in the popular narrative that unlike the tobacco industry receives little to no legislative measures. And yet, musicians are dependent upon platforms to get their message out there. At least your contribution is nuanced. Care to tell us more about the new single ‘Addendum’?
True! That is one of the influences behind adopting The Vaine Man persona. My new single was written at a time when I was rediscovering myself. I went through a couple of years of intense anxiety and fears which eventually affected my physical health. The lyrics were inspired by the failed romance story of one of my friends while working on an art project. For the instrumental, I was imagining a big block of concrete being eroded by time and contemplating how we’re eroded by life experiences or instead are we getting finely chiselled as we grow old… Yet to find out I guess. But the main lesson in this part was a journey into learning how to let go.
And the title of the song?
The title was derived from the word appendix and therefore addendum. Me being an external observer to this story and asking myself what would I do if it was my situation… Therefore my opinion of it is like an Addendum added at the end of a book.
Cool. Would be good to know more about your past character work. Before there was The Vaine Man, there was Scatterface. Care to shed a bit of light on who that character is for the readers?
Haha yeap. Sc@TT. Я Face That was born out of a punk industrial project. That character was a hijacker of culture and information. A corporate worker that was hiding his face behind a balaclava, terrorised by his own demons that won’t let his true nature come to surface. I used to wear a suit and then halfway through the set I get undressed and perform that struggle of breaking out of your skin. I remember I did a performance in a gallery once and I was trying to break through the walls… [laughter]. That hurt the next day, week.
Oh forgot to mention: I was wearing another costume underneath, of course…
Any chance of his return during your show on Friday?
Most likely not but I am thinking of maybe bringing him back in some future live shows.
Brilliant. Finally, the sigil on your forehead is so striking. What is The Vaine Man trying to tell us with that image?
That changes every day. It represents an expression of my interior world on that day. It’s the energy of my mind and body on the day and I just improvise its look whilst I make it. Every day is different, like an Enso Painting.
Thank you for your time. May your show on Friday 26th go well!
‘Addendum’ is out now as a digital download via Bandcamp and on all of the usual streaming platforms.
Don’t forget to catch The Vaine Man’s live show this Friday 26th March online.