Anyone who caught Nashville based Volk’s performance last December at The Continental Club can testify to the bands’ onstage energy and ability to burn it down. For being only a duo with Chris Lowe on guitar and Eleot Reich on drums, Volk has enough going on sonically to fill the room.
“You gotta do what when you only got two people. You gotta move around a lot,” says Lowe. Volk will return to Houston on Friday, April 15 at The Secret Group where they will open up for Electric Six.
“You gotta do what when you only got two people. You gotta move around a lot.”
“We basically have toured the majority of North America with them which is amazing,” says Reich. Volk stands out not only for their ability to really let it bleed on stage but also for the way they seem to be able to tour with just about anyone and fit right in.
Last year they toured with psychobilly acts The Delta Bombers and Nekromantix and here in Houston they were paired up with Dallas based Americana band The 40 Acre Mule. Their pairing with Detroit’s Electric Six is somehow even more surprising but still works.
The two bands share not only their power house sound but also both have been historically difficult to categorize with Volk typically falling into cowpunk labels and Electric Six ranging within everything from garage rock to new wave.
Like many bands, Electric Six hit it big in Europe in the ‘90s before garnering attention in the United States. Lowe and Reich met while working abroad in Berlin around 2013 and Lowe remembers catching their songs on the radio while there.
“Strangely enough it’s a really good pairing for us,” says Lowe. “It does work really well and we’ve gotten such good responses from their fans. I think even though the music stylings are different in parts, there’s the same amount of energy.”
“We really do love them so much,” echoes Reich. “It was this match made in heaven.” For a band that represents the Detroit duo dynamic, it’s ironic they pair so well with a band from Detroit that houses six members.
“It’s really beautiful to see this band 20 years into their career playing to their diehard fans, loving it and soaking it up. That’s so hopeful for us to see as an up and coming band. It’s really remarkable.”
Volk’s latest release is their version of Electric Six’s “Jimmy Carter,” a song Reich says Electric Six founder Dick Valentine wrote after seeing a cartoon Jimmy Carter sign a bill on the ’70s TV kids show, School House Rocks.
“That inspired him to write this song about Jimmy Carter but ultimately it’s a lament on celebrity and whatnot and the audacity of it all,” explains Reich who along with Lowe manages to take this trippy jam into new territory without losing its original vibe.
Volk recorded the single in Dallas at Modern Electric and plans on recording the full album there as well which in true Volk fashion they already foresee their direction departing slightly from the previous release, Cashville.
“For lack of better words, Chris is beginning to turn his guitar into a bit of a synth,” says Reich of the band’s latest experimentation in sounds. Volk never shies away from exploring new sounds and dynamics within the duo and they always wear their influences on their sleeve while staying true to themselves.
“I feel like at the end of the day our new fans can still say this can still be considered a cowpunk band or whatever you want to call it. It’s all coming from the same root of the same tree, they’re just branching out in cool, new ways,” explains Lowe.
“We’ve been making music for at least eight years now,” says Reich. “It’s seen a lot of different evolutions.”
Volk will perform with Electric Six on Friday, April 15 at The Secret Group, 2101 Polk. Doors at 8 p.m. $15.