V Sparks is a Chicago-based band consisting of Alan Lewis (Vox, Keys), Prescott Kagan (Vox, Guitar), Zach Duran (Guitar), Sam Libretti (Bass), and Adam Long (Drums). Drawing from past luminaries like David Bowie, T.Rex, The Beatles and ELO to modern acts like Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and Vampire Weekend, they have brought to pass a contemporary glitzy mess of rock.
V Sparks’ high-energy and glittery, glam sound will pick you up out of any low. “Hey Love” from New Sensation is evidence of that.
I spoke to this exciting band about their origins, where they get their energy (cocaine??? jkjk), and their upcoming projects. Here is what they had to say:
Why did you pick your band name?
Alan: I got the idea when I was hanging with my nephew watching Sesame Street and in the middle of the episode the dynamic changed suddenly on the letter “V” which was shooting through outer space in a trail of sparks with this trippy voice reciting the letter.
There were also five members in the band so “V” kind of made sense there, and we liked the sexual connotations of course.
How did the band reach its current form?
Alan: Prescott and I have been writing and recording together since High School. We met Adam, Sam and Zach along the way when they were in other projects but shared our same influences. All of us have been in other bands before this one.
Your sound has been described as glam rock and dizzyingly high-energy! Would you agree with these characterizations? Where does this energy come from? Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
Alan: Cocaine. Just kidding. We just have a lot to share with the world and it flows through us, in our music and our performance. It’s funny the word “glam” means something different to a lot of people, but in our case, like punk rock, our main influences stemmed from early 70’s glam rock from the UK. But in general we have always been drawn to pop songs with lots of melodies and clever orchestration.
How does your base in Chicago influence the band?
Alan: We are fortunate to live in such a killer city with a lot of culture. There aren’t many doing what we do there so it’s nice to stand out. Also the long winters, I know most people complain about them, even us, but they help force you to stay inside and create. We have an extremely large catalog of unreleased songs I would attribute to the Chicago winter months.
How would you describe and rate the music scene in Chicago and how important is it in terms of your songwriting?
Alan: There is sooo much music in Chicago, especially in the summer months. It’s really great. The “scene” hasn’t really had any effect on our songwriting. If anything we celebrate the fact that we are unique.
Anything else you would like share, from any anecdote to new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
Alan: Yea we do! We have new record dropping this fall! I can’t really say more than that at the moment, but holy shit are we excited for people to hear these songs.