voxtrotThe word “voxtrot” brings an interesting connotation to mind. Maybe it’s because, immediately, I want to associate it with some fancy footwork, the foxtrot. Considering some of the band’s musical maneuvers, such an association might not be so far. The band can certainly pull some sly orchestral steps.

Upon the release of their EPs, Voxtrot was touted for revitalizing the twee-pop genre. However, ravishing audiences with the element of surprise, the band’s debut was something of a more sinister affair. And yet, those Austin natives still harness seamless pop sensibility, but with a decidedly gloomy and angry edge.

Moments before Voxtrot’s gig at Webster Hall, I sat down with Ramesh Srivastava. The lanky, exotic frontman had a couple of interesting insights about the new album and life on the road.

What has the tour been like so far?
“It’s going really well. The audience seems to be bigger. It’s really nice ‘cos we’re headlining. Although, we do have to get here early and leave late. But I’m getting used to the 4 hours of sleep diet.”

Compared to your EPs, your debut has a more serious, darker tone. How do you account for the mixed critical response to the record?
“I know it’s a lot different than what came before. It’s less immediate, but it’s more emotional. I think it’s weird that a lot of bigger publications, like the New York Times, have loved it, and younger publications, like Pitchfork, haven’t. It’s a mixed bag.”

What propelled the new direction on your debut?
“I think it was a combination of signing a record deal and realizing, ‘this is a job.’ We were put under a lot of pressure…It was a year going from living in Scotland and doing nothing in between, to suddenly having to do stuff all day, every day. There was just so much expectation. Okay, now you’re 22 or 23, and you need to really start crafting a career, and that was a big thing for me. But now, we’ve done it, and have gotten good reviews, bad reviews. Experiencing the whole gamut, we know how to do it the second time around and be less angry about it.”

What’s your take on critics?
“I hope people feel that we’re a band they’re attached to. Reviews shouldn’t matter. The thing is: it’s about longevity. It’s not about hitting it up with them [critics]. It’s not about being the next big thing…You want to be around for a while.”

Blogs have been a huge factor in gaining the band exposure. How do you feel they affect how people digest your music?
“I think that people take in information so easily. And, as a result, they’re not emotionally dedicating themselves to this record…but I don’t think I care any more. I’m thankful for the blogs because they’ve been a really big support.”

Speaking of which, you have a blog, thevoxtrotkid.blogspot.com. Why did you start your own?
“It started out as a creative outlet. Now, I’m kind of glad because I realize I have a really direct way to say something. I don’t have to brew about it for months.”

What can we expect from Voxtrot in the future?
“The next album’s going to be much different. I can tell you in my head how it geographically looks, but I can’t describe it.”–Brittany Lange