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‘Shit is starting and it will not be stopping’: A big summer of new music ahead for indie punk band VIAL

The “honk rock” band’s new songs debut amid the return to live performances, highly anticipated by their newfound TikTok following they gained over the months of lockdown.
Image by Shannon Doyle
Minneapolis-based pop-punk band VIAL poses for a portrait on Monday, June 7.

It’s going to be a hot summer for the Minneapolis indie punk band VIAL.

Along with the release of their newest single “Roadkill,” the band announced the release date for their long-awaited sophomore album, “LOUDMOUTH,” on Tuesday with plans to release two other singles in late June and mid-July.

Featuring 12 tracks, “LOUDMOUTH” will be released on July 30, followed by an album release show at the Fine Line on July 31, the band’s first live performance since the pandemic began.

“LOUDMOUTH” offers a glimpse into what VIAL went through after the recording of “Grow Up” and how they’ve developed together as a band, according to keytarist Taylor Kraemer.

“It’s a lot of angry, punkier songs,” Kraemer said.

According to the band, the title refers to being unapologetically outspoken and unwilling to cross personal boundaries for the sake of others.

Bassist Kate Kanfield said some of the angriest tracks are about the negative experiences the four of them had while playing at local shows when the band first began performing live.

Quarantine gave the band space away from the music scene, allowing them to reflect on instances where they felt taken advantage of at times.

“With that space came reflection,” Kraemer said. “And with reflection came some really angry songs.”

Erik Aas, a close friend of the band, said he remembers the band forming when he was roommates with Kanfield and later practicing their instruments in the living room.

Aas initially expected VIAL to remain a DIY band, creating music for the love of music, as with the crowdfunded garage-recorded “Grow Up,” but TikTok proved to have other plans.

Over quarantine the band went viral on TikTok and gained followers from around the world, which enabled VIAL to promote their music on a global scale. Now the band has over 120,000 followers and 2 million likes on TikTok, according to their account.

“It’s phenomenal to see your friends absolutely kill it,” Aas said.

Emmet Lang said he saw the band for the first time in the summer of 2019 and he “immediately fell in love with their music.”

In the eight months leading up to the pandemic, Lang said he attended almost 20 of VIAL’s shows, eventually becoming close with the band after interacting at the end of shows.

“I feel an immense amount of pride,” Lang said of their success and upcoming album release. “They really do deserve it.”

Drummer Katie Fischer said performing live this summer is going to be in stark contrast to before the pandemic as the band transitions from small house shows to popular packed venues.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” guitarist KT Branscom said.

In just two years, VIAL has moved from performing at house shows and recording in garages to performing at the Fine Line and recording their second album in a studio alongside a producer.

“Shit is starting and it will not be stopping,” Kanfield said.

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