Virgil and the Accelerators are one of the best new bands of 2011. In September they released their debut album, The Radium, which has received rave reviews. Currently, the band is on a tour of the UK. We had the chance to speak with the bands front man, Virgil McMahon, who at just 19 years of age is one of the most promising young guitarists in the world today.
The Radium was officially released last month. Tell us about the song writing process and the inspiration for this album?
The songs came together pretty quickly. We spent everyday for a month and a half jamming riffs and chords that we’d come up with. All the songs were written together, a total group effort. The inspiration for the album came from the music that has shaped our lives so far. The concerts we’ve been to, the incredible musicians we’ve met along the way, the gigs we’ve played. Some girls in Vegas! We wanted to do and give our best. We’re passionate about the music, this is what we live for
Which track off The Radium are you most proud of?
I’m extremely proud of all of the songs, but I suppose “Working Man” in particular because when we very first started playing that song it wasn’t even a song. It was crud! So we reworked it and it became powerful and turned out to be rocking song!
The album has been very well received. How quick will the band get back to work on the next one?
We’re already in the process of working on the next record. We’ve got a few ideas in our pot. We’ll start working on new stuff at the end of the year.
Who have been the biggest influences on your playing?
My biggest influences? Well, I guess I have five main guys. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons and Philip Sayce.
Your brother Gabriel is the drummer in the band. What has that dynamic been like?
Gabba’s my best friend. He’s great to be in a band with, such a power house. I can rely on Gabe for anything at any point on stage if I wanna do something different, he’ll follow me straight away. It’s almost telepathic!
The band is currently touring in support of the new album. What’s been the best or most interesting part of touring so far?
Every night is interesting! There’s always something different going on so it keeps us on our toes. The great thing about touring is when we get up on that stage! That’s the best part for me, I live for it.
There are several young and talented blues and blues rock artists out there today. Where do you see the genre going in the next 5-10 years?
It can only keep on getting bigger and better! Before too long, Blues and Rock ‘n Roll is gonna take over again and kill all this X-factor garbage.
5 Random Questions
Most underrated blues rock band/artist today is?
Best concert you’ve ever been to?
ZZ-Top, they were insane and they had Steel Panther opening for them!
If you could put together your own music festival, who would be the headliners?
ZZ-Top, The Rolling Stones, Motor Head, Joe Bonamassa, Slash, Doyle Bramhall & Robert Randolph.
Favorite TV show?
Favorite past time or hobby other than music?
I don’t have a past-time or hobby. I just play guitar, if the band isn’t gigging we are writing, rehearsing and jamming. We have a small studio onsite, it’s perfect.
Interview by Pete Francis
*Photo Credit – Andy Hibbs, Michael Inns, Rob Stanley