One woman who I hugely admire for her music, creativity and general bad arse attitude is Vicious Precious Bardon of band ‘Pretty Addicted’. A massive person of interest to anyone who likes anyone who’s got something to say, Vicious has managed to create the holy grail of making music by producing her own take on what she calls ‘dance punk’ a mash of musical genres spanning from electro-dance-goth to hard rave. Self described as…
“If Marilyn Manson made 90s rave music, [I] like to think it would sound something like this” there are influences from rave, punk, goth, trance, metal and electro. They have planted themselves in the middle of everything; fit nowhere and yet everywhere. They have always stood out with their high-energy, outlandish and often controversial live shows; people often saying they were both “terrified and aroused”!
Described by Kerrang Magazine as a “pint-sized hurricane”, which is proven in her insanely energetic live performances, Vicious states that she’s influenced by all music genres including Marilyn Manson and The Prodigy. She admirably works flat out on all aspects of her band to create DIY captivating videos with a 90’s influenced punk, rave, ruckus that will stick in your head for days.
I caught up with her to find out more about how she’s been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and her new single ‘Phobia’…
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
Well, I think things have been different each “lockdown”. I’d say the UK has had 3 of them, 2 of them big ones, and I’ve been different in each. The first one I sort of didn’t mind so much. I was in a new relationship and basically spent the first 3 months of the lockdown just being cute and in love haha. Slowly but surely it started to dawn on me that live events were gone and things were REALLY changed, so I started to develop a really dark bout of depression. Even though I’ve been really creative throughout 2020 and into 2021, I have felt my personal mental health slowly deteriorating and I’m really not coping well with this new lockdown to be honest. Music-wise, I feel like I’m ok. I have all these music videos to make, projects to do, content to put out, and that’s sort of looking after itself (and I’ve accepted live music won’t happen for a long while) but in my mental and physical health I just feel myself getting down, so I’m not really doing so great. Throwing myself into the projects is keeping me afloat, actually.
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
I mean, it’s awful isn’t it? Independent venues, independent artists, we’re all going to suffer the most. We’ll take the brunt. Labels, big bands, arena, they’ll be ok. Maybe not at first but they’ve always gotten away with charging shit tons in booking fees and so I don’t think people bat an eye at paying 20% on top of an already overpriced ticket for a big band, but us little guys, I feel like people will still expect free entry shows, or very little cover charges, and they won’t realise that we need to feed ourselves and survive this just like big bands. Less people in venues because of social distancing could mean smaller venues going bust as well. It’s all REALLY scary! People HAVE to realise that they have to show support where they can! The amount of bands we’ve all first discovered at those smaller venues, they need our help! Go to their gofundme pages, drop a fiver, share the post, do what you can but we all need to have each other’s backs right now! It’s hard enough for smaller businesses and smaller artists to make it in this giant music industry and this is going to make shit 100 times harder!
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
I mean, I have definitely seen grants come through for smaller venues which is great but i can’t really comment on whether there’s been enough help because I’m not a venue owner so I don’t know for sure. I do think the government are really screwing us on this brexit deal, that’s all I can say for sure! It’s going to be incredibly hard for UK bands to tour in the EU after this which terrifies me! I don’t really think the entertainment industry is in the government’s list of shit to protect. Fox hunting and football is more where their heart seems to lie..
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you in 2020?
2020 had some really good points! I met my partner who I now live with in our new place which I love! We also rescued a cat who we named Maisy and she’s amazing. Very sweet and just needed someone to love her! So far my first cat Velvet and Maisy do NOT get along haha but I’m hopeful for 2021! I also put out 5 music videos; 2 of which I shot and edited myself! I’m very proud of my musical achievements last year, even though I had to delay the release of my album, but in a way it was a good idea to do so as I could make all these videos for songs no one had heard of yet and keep the anticipation going!
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard you before?
I always say it’s a big mash up on genres because truly I love ALL music and just want to incorporate elements of all!
It’s like really dark dance music with a punk attitude so I named it “Dance-Punk”. I manoeuvre between clean vocals and screaming and the lyrics are definitely a big part of it. The sound is like if early Marilyn Manson made 90s dance music! To be honest I’m pretty stuck in the 90s.
Tell me about your most recent single ‘Phobia’…
As the video shows, it’s a song about my fear of the dentist. I wrote it after I had to have 2 really awful dental procedures about a year and a half ago. A root canal followed by a molar being pulled out (I kept the tooth as a symbol
of my facing my fear of that chair but the dental nurse definitely thought I was weird when I asked her if I could keep it! haha). I am really truly afraid of that whole experience; the sitting on that death chair, the instruments in your face, the sadistic, latex-covered hands of a psychopath in your gob. The fact they don’t tell you ANYTHING that’s happening and you’re just trusting they aren’t taking the wrong tooth out or fucking with your teeth. I don’t now why anyone would want to be a dentist! Being in people’s mouths all day Yuck! I had gotten myself into such a bad state about it over many years; the whole thing had become this pinnacle of fear to me. The anxiety and panic surrounding it had become diabolical but those procedures really had to be done because the toothache was agonising. Anyway, a couple of days after my tooth was pulled out, I went into the studio and wrote Phobia in one day! I have always used music and song writing as my way of getting my emotions out and I just had to write this. I even sampled sounds of the dentist drill they use! You can apply the song to anything you want though. I don’t say the words teeth or dentist so it can mean whatever you want it to mean. That’s the beauty of art. It’s subjective.
You shot and edited the video for the single yourself, that must of taken some time?
It did! That one in particular took weeks to do! Many different looks and shots to get. I really enjoy editing though so that part was fun! It was just getting all the shots I needed that took the most time. Many nights at 3am when my boyfriend was asleep shooting freaky bits of doll and clown footage in my basement haha. There were times when I stopped and said to myself “this definitely isn’t what normal people do” haha. (Watch the video here…).
Do you find it difficult staying motivated under the current circumstances, what are your tips to any artist struggling to stay creative?
I do. My brain sort of seems to be in two parts right now; my music/creative brain and my personal/confidence brain. With music, I can sort of pull myself together enough to do. It doesn’t involve much to get myself to practise singing or make some content. I’m doing a lot of singing practice at the moment, which is great because self improvement is always important and I want to be even better when I get back to live shows! As I say as well, it doesn’t involve much in terms of getting myself to do it. I can practice singing in my pyjamas, with a coffee or a whiskey depending on the day and time haha, and just sing along to other people’s songs or practicing my own. It’s the stuff within myself that I’m finding it harder with. My diet is terrible right now, I’m not getting as much movement because of being stuck in the house so I’ve gained weight that I desperately want to lose but finding the motivation to do so is where I’m lacking. It seem easier to just eat junk food and be sad than it is to follow through with one of the many overnight plans I write for myself. My panic and anxiety is also through the roof because I’m indoors too much. My depression is constant. I fight a lot of these things with the music/creative side of my brain. I throw myself into making a video, singing, listening to music and getting ideas for new songs, writing lyrics and setting music goals up for
myself. But the personal side of my brain, that’s the struggle.If anyone is struggling with the first part, that creative side, my advice (if anyone wants it) is to not make a big deal out of it and make it seem like something as normal as having a bath or something. What I mean by that is stay in your pyjamas, make a coffee, don’t worry about brushing your hair, just sit with your mic/instrument and bust out a song you love. It’s much easier than you think because it’s something you’re naturally talented at. I find that once you start singing/playing, it’s easier to do it for an hour and not even realise the time has gone by. And lockdown is the PERFECT time for improving upon your talent by just doing it on a consistent basis. Every day or every other day, just sing or play one song without overthinking it, and you’ll find an hour’s gone and you’ve been doing it and unknowingly improving at the same time. Definitely take one day at a time because whenever I’ve made weekly plans or monthly plans, I’ve set myself up to fail, really. Just get through today. Be as productive or as successful as you can be today. Even if success today looks like making yourself a meal and doing a bit of something creative. It doesn’t have to be something major to be success.
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
Well, my delayed album “Soul For Sale” is going to be OUT, Finally! April 8th 2021, which is my birthday, so will be a nice treat to myself! I hope everyone will pre-order that when I put the link up and I hope you all enjoy it when it’s out! I’m really excited for everyone to hear it 🙂 I’ll be making and releasing a further 3 DIY music videos for the album too. I’m hyped about that. The next single/video is called “Dickhead” and the release date for that is coming in the next week so keep your eye out! I will also look at starting to make the NEXT album! For me, “Soul For Sale” is sort of old to me already haha. We’re a year behind on it. So I have the make new music itch again! I will be doing a crowdfunder for that before the end of 2021 so I hope people will contribute, especially with as I say, independent artists needing support more than ever! As always, I’ll be putting up many unique perks so people can get more involved! It’s going to be an exciting year! I don’t think we’ll see any live shows this year but there are so many things artists can be doing to keep in the game, stay relevant to other people (because there are a lot of artists out there, you need to stand out!) and keep their creative juices flowing, and they should be! Music isn’t just playing a show, it’s so many things. Songs, videos, stories, real life, fan bonding, creating a community. Live shows are like the cherry on that already made cake. I’m looking forward to what artists will do with 2021. Bring it on!
Keep up-to-date with Pretty Addicted below and be sure to pre-order to purchase the album here…
Merch store: www.prettyaddictedband.com