21 Jul 2018

Vincent H.L: weird days have just begun

From Music 101, 3:30 pm on 21 July 2018

Auckland singer songwriter Vincent H.L. has released his debut solo album, after a decade playing guitar, drums, and keys, in a lot of bands.

Vincent H.L.

Vincent H.L. Photo: Coco Campbell

Listen to the full interview:

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Vincent Lum has been at this rock n’ roll thing for a while now.

His first band Whipping Cats had a student radio hit with the song 'Lightning Savage Children' over a decade ago.

Soon after that he joined Teen Wolf as their drummer, with fellow Auckland music stalwarts Chelsea Nikkel  (AKA Princess Chelsea), and Brad Fafejta, who went on to front Brand New Math and Thousand Island.

 He also plays keys for sort-of-supergroups The Conjurors and Magic Factory.

And he’s one third of Hang Loose, also with Nikkel, and James Dansey of The Sneaks and Spring Break.

Which brings us to his first solo project, Weird Days, released under the name Vincent H.L.

It’s solo in every sense. Lum produced the album, playing and recording all the parts himself.

Vocals were tracked at the same time as acoustic guitar, and were the first elements to be laid down. When asked if that made adding other instruments tricky, Lum responds with a laugh “Yeah totally. It really made it a lot harder than it needed to be.”

“I didn’t know much about digital recording, so I figured the easiest way to make a song would be to play the song through first, and sing it as well, so you could structure it.

"The problem with that is everything goes out of time, and I don’t like using click tracks either.

"Everything you put on after that, you have to work with all the bits where it’s gone out of time. All the weird bits.

"But I kind of fell in love with that. It makes it all woozy and weird. Really human sounding.”


First single 'Up All Night' showed the flipside to some of Lum’s previous work, focussing on the hangover the day after the party. It almost sounds like maturity starting to encroach.

“I’m on the wrong side of my thirties I suppose,” he laughs, “I’m definitely starting to think more about past times, and the history of the good times. There’s definitely some nostalgia in there.”

Asked if all-nighters are starting to feel like something he shouldn’t be doing anymore, he’s not so convinced.

“I suppose there’s an element of that, but … it’s still a lot of fun, you know?!”

After labouring over the album on his own for three years, the next stage was to perform it live.

“I was surprised how quickly it came together,” Lum says in regards to his live band.

Unsurprisingly it’s a lineup of heavy-hitters: Daniel Ward (The Sneaks), Harriet Ellis (Bozo), and Matt Short (Opensouls).

“I didn’t have to tell those guys much. I just gave them the record and it kind of fell together.

“I didn’t want to add too many layers to the record because I had playing it live in mind. I didn’t want to make it hard on myself by having arrangements I had to recreate.

“For me personally [playing live] is where it’s at! It’s scary, and I still get quite nervous, but I just love it. I love performing. Any opportunity to just… play it.”



Weird Days by Vincent H.L. is out now.