Photo: Anna Maria Lopez
Vista Kicks' playful aesthetic may be reminiscent of the long-haired rockers of the '60s and '70s, but the comparisons extend far beyond a mere passing resemblance. The Sacramento natives, and now Hollywood transplants, behind Vista Kicks craft sensational funk-filled rock with pop sensibilities evocative of the very rockers they appear to be influenced by. Indeed, this is no mere imitation; Vista Kicks are very much the real thing with the talent to match.
We here at Ones To Watch were lucky enough to take a sneak peak at Vista Kicks' debut album, Booty Shakers Ball, and the name certainly is not a misnomer. Full of tracks that are impossible not to groove to, Vista Kicks prove themselves as masters of their craft when it comes to conjuring up the perfect feel-great, dance-inducing vibe for any feasible situation. Yet, Booty Shakers Ball escapes such simple classification, as it is a true testament to the band's range of depth, as songs like "Give Myself to You" showcase their talent for also crafting slow and sensational love songs. One could truly go on and on about the clear talent on display here, but the best way is to simply experience it for yourself. So, we not only decided to share the phenomenal Booty Shakers Ball with you, but were lucky enough to chat with Vista Kicks about their debut album. Enjoy and get ready to groove.
Photo: Anna Maria Lopez
OTW: How did the name Booty Shakers Ball come about?
Vista Kicks: The songs we wrote for this album we're all so different, it took us a while to embrace that diversity, but when we finally did, we needed a name that could embody all the music. We all love to dance, and we'd been calling our music "Booty Shakin' Rock N' Roll" since 2016. "Ball" just made the whole album seem like a party. We liked that. A place in your mind that the music takes you when you let go of all worry and stress and just listen; the place it takes you when you dance, that's the Booty Shakers Ball.
OTW: If you guys had to describe the sound on Booty Shakers Ball without using any genre terms, how would you describe it?
Vista Kicks: Peace, love & fuzz. It's a jambalaya, there's something in there for everyone, and it's served at a party.
OTW: Sonically or otherwise, were there any major inspirations behind Booty Shakers Ball?
Vista Kicks: We get inspiration from everything and everywhere. We self-produce at our studio in Highland Park; we have a garden full of flowers and vegetables, hundreds of records, books on books on books and a steinway piano from the 1800s. When we're not playing music we are listening, and or studying the greats; it's hard not to find inspiration with so much access to good stuff these days.
OTW: Can I just say love the album art? It's very reminiscent of old school Beatles album art, as well as other album art from the '60s. Less of a question but just had to point that out.
Vista Kicks: You can absolutely point that out, we're huge Beatles fans. Long story short, it’s a wonderful shot of us standing in our garden. It’s hard to tell, but we are actually looking into a mirror and the photo is our reflection in the mirror, not a direct shot of us. Just behind us is our beloved "danger ball" an art piece of broken glass glued to a sphere; it's like a disco ball, except it'll cut you if you get too close.
OTW: If each of you had to choose one song on the album for fans to start with, which one would you chose and why?
Nolan: The first song I always show people is "Gotta Get Away." It seems to always strike people a certain way, everyone has a strong opinion of the song and I like to watch people’s reactions when they first hear it. I secretly watch their face, that’s the only way you’ll know how they really feel about the song.
Derek: "Giuliana" is a great place to start, it's got such a vibe, we spent a long time on its composition and the breakdown in the bridge kicks ass.
Trevor: "Work For Me," because it's a feel good jam with a message we all can get behind.
Sam: "Moving Forward," it's an uplifting, turn your frown upside-down, sort of feel. Its put you in good place if you need it, and a better place if you don’t.
OTW: What's the ideal environment/setting for one to be in while getting lost in the Booty Shakers Ball?
Vista Kicks: Ideally you can be anywhere and the album will take you somewhere else. What's great about this record is that you can be driving, sitting down under a tree, working in bed, or having sex at work and the record will take you where you want to go.
OTW: You'll be touring the album this fall and winter. Are there any songs off the album you're particularly excited to play or try out live?
Vista Kicks: "Fight The War," is going to be interesting live. Lyrically, it touches the most sensitive of places and with such a big chorus, it'll be great to have our fans singing along with us. There’s also a song called "Monkey Business" featuring our friend Lauren Ruth Ward. We plan on having her join us on stage for The Booty Shakers Ball (at The Echo in Los Angeles, October 7th). Its a very sexy song, it's polarizing and tends to make people either super uncomfortable or really happy.
In addition to streaming Booty Shakers Ball below, make sure to catch Vista Kicks on tour this fall for a show that is surely not to be missed:
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