V for Volume (V4V) is a Colombian rock band born in the late 2000s known by its over-the-top energy, killer vocals, and thought-out lyrics. Even after a four-year hiatus (2012-2016), V4V has been able to withstand the pass of time and remain relevant in the Latinamerican music scene. Now that the band is releasing new music from their upcoming album, we were able to reach out and talk to Hans J. Vollert, the group’s great bassist, to unearth the assembling process for their latest release: “Terrorista.”
First of all, the title. “Terrorista,” which translates to “terrorist,” takes a different meaning in the context of the song.
Since the band’s formation in 2009, V4V has decided to use their music and lyrics to take part in some of the conversations about the social realities in Colombia. Talking with Hans, he explained the meaning of the song’s title: “the song’s name is ‘Terrorista‘ because what we are talking about in this piece, is the dangerous tone, vocabulary, and rhetoric used by many important people and politicians in today’s governments. We are worried about how these ways of communications are affecting us and dividing us.”
“We are talking about the ‘terroristic’ language that is being used to critique, judge, and undermine everything opposed or different to us. Even inside the band, there are things we do not always agree upon, but we are conscious that there are higher things, like music, that brings us together; there is no need to lose the sense of society over differences.”
The creative process in the band is strictly “collaborative,” as Hans said. Without a single person that composes, arranges, and writes everything, each member is included in the production process to bring their ideas to the projects, and their talents when the band is rehearsing or performing live.
In the case of “Terrorista,” the idea for the song was introduced by Mateo Camargo, the band’s producer and brother of Maria José Camargo (V4V‘s lead singer). Usually, Maria José writes down most of the lyrics, but since Mateo joined as a producer, he has also become an essential part of the writing and creative process for the group.
The band takes full advantage of today’s technology to optimize their recording process and their budget. With the available gear, the group recorded each instrument separately through a series of recording sessions, and then joined them all in one session:
- Strings – recorded in Mateo’s studio
- Vocals – recorded at Velvet Estudio in Bogotá, Colombia
- Drums – recorded in Chicago, USA
Hans shared with me the gear he used for the recording session:
In my talk with Hans, we reached a point where we talked about the past, present, and future of music and how V4V belongs in today’s music scene. He understands that it is mainly a niche group of fans that consumes the band’s music in the current Latin market. However, against the all usual belief of many musicians to avoid mainstream music, Hans acknowledges its power and is eager to use some of its elements to evolve the band‘s sound.
“As time goes by, and many different styles take the high spot on the mainstream market, it is not intelligent to go entirely against the stream – by doing that we would be putting ourselves a straitjacket.”
V4V decided to include new elements but maintaining their sound true to their essence. For “Terrorista,” as well as the previously released single “Jueves,” the band decided to include some new electronic sounds, as well as beats: that according to Hans, are elements that they would never have used in the past. Still, their latest single is undeniably V4V with its over-the-top energy, killer vocals, and raw power.
Currently, V4V is conducting a research phase: they want to understand how the new music, and the sounds they are incorporating, are being received by the fans and new listeners.