Punk two-piece Vulpynes are only three singles old, but already look a good bet for Dublin music’s next big thing. So what has the lairy pair making waves in London and Berlin?
DUBLINERS VULPYNES had an inauspicious start. Formed after drummer/ vocalist Kaz Millar placed an advert on Boards.ie looking to form a band (future partner in crime Maeve Molly McKernan was the first to reply), the post eventually resulted in a four-piece. They played only covers, and lasted mere days.
Millar and McKernan had felt something click, though, and after a brief search for a bassist, decided to start making original material, and to go it alone. Their sound takes much of its inspiration from the 90s. It’s raw, nodding distinctly to acts like Hole, Alice in Chains, L7 and Soundgarden. Riddled with reverb, abrasive and fearless, it comes from a band dynamic that was very much full speed ahead from the off.
“We started off really determined,” McKernan recalls. “We were just eager to play, and took any gig we were offered. It’s a mentality we’ve kind of continued with. We want to play live, and the more people see us, the more people know us. It’s a word of mouth thing. With the UK shows, we reached out to promoters the first time around, and since then we’ve been invited back to do shows. We’re going to Berlin this month, too, and back to the UK in 2018.”
While relatively underground at least for the uninitiated (it’s based largely around a small handful of labels and venues, though there are surprisingly numerous bands), Dublin has long had a powerful and close-knit punk scene, based around lairy nights out, an enticing community spirit and supportive culture.
“It’s a really friendly community of bands,” McKernan explains. “They really want to help each other out, and they love music. It’s that community where we feel at home, and we’ve found it so welcoming. Everyone’s so genuine, with a real community spirit with no backstabbing, and we love it.”
While they connected specifically in order to form the band, the stories of Millar and McKernan’s journeys with punk are surprisingly similar. McKernan’s mum introduced her to bands like L7 and Hole at a young age, and now shows her support for Vulpynes by drawing, producing stunning illustrations of the pair as skeletons, or foxes. Millar’s older sister channeled Nirvana and Alice in Chains into her life.