AUGUST 2023 | Volume 31

1. Hi VK! Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.
I’m VK Lynne, singer/songwriter, and I’ve been doing this rock and roll roller coaster for longer than I can believe! In my solo blues-rock career, I’ve released 3 full-length albums, and I’m currently working a new EP. In metal, I’ve sung and written for Vita Nova, stOrk, and my current band, The Spider Accomplice. 

2. How did you get involved with Shira and Gritty In Pink? What does it feel like to be part of building a community for women in music?
Guitarist Alex Windsor posted about it, and I was excited at the prospect of being part of a local community of women. Back in 2013, I was one of the founders of Eve’s Apple, an international community of female metal/hard rock singers, so the idea was one that I already was familiar with. Building any cohesive group is both exciting and challenging, and Gritty is no exception! It’s hard work. But it’s work worth doing when you see artists benefitting from it.

3. What moment in your life made you realize you wanted to pursue music? Do you remember your first experience with music?   
I saw Melissa Etheridge perform her Storytellers episode on VH-1…I turned to my mother and said, “That’s it. That’s what I want to do.” I had always sung; my mother is a huge music fan and our house was always filled with the sounds of her Beatles, Dolly Parton, Johnny Mathis, and Carole King records.

4. You recently performed with Gritty at FairWell Festival, what was your favorite onstage moment/song you performed there?  
Singing ‘Broken Horses’ by Brandi Carlile was a special moment for me. This past winter, my band toured North America for a month, and before every show, that song was my “get in the zone” track. I know it sounds strange to get ready for a metal show with Americana, but for me, genre is generally a non-issue.

5.What’s it like seeing the Gritty platform continue to grow, as someone who has been there since its inception?
It’s exciting, because I can see all the good that Gritty is doing, and is capable of unleashing for women and non-binary creatives.

6. In May, you announced that you’re working on a new solo EP. What can we expect from the new record? Any new sounds we can anticipate?
I’m taking some songs that I’ve written and mixing my two worlds together- the EP will be titled ‘BluesMetal.’ Cody Johnstone is producing, and he is 100% on the same page with me sonically, so I’m really stoked to get this out!

7. What inspirations will you be pulling from for your new solo project?
Oh man…all of them, haha. I like a lot of different styles of music, but for me, lyrics and emotion are paramount. The musicians who have always touched me, like Melissa, Beth Hart, Nuno Bettencourt, Brandon Flowers, and The Indigo Girls, have informed what I’m doing with the new music.

8. Your band “The Spider Accomplice” consists of you and your bandmate Arno Nurmisto. What’s it like working together as a duo?  How do you balance both of your ideas when creating?
It’s kind of wild, because Arno and I ended up together almost accidentally. We were in a band together with 3 other people, and when that band fell apart, we sat on the floor of the rehearsal room with a case of Budweiser and said, “We’re not ready to give up on this.” So we talked about our influences, and realized we wanted to make the same kind of music, so we decided to try to write a song together and see what happened. The result was ‘Atmosphere,’ and we haven’t looked back since. As far as balancing or ideas, it is a bizarre dichotomy. I write lyrics and melodies that are often sad and intense. He hears offs that are upbeat and energetic. We discovered that when you put them together you get hope. And that’s something we’re happy to put out. 

9. You’ll be touring Europe in October! What are you most looking forward to on this run?
This is going to be a unique setup; we’re touring with Hoekstra/Gibbs (Joel Hoekstra of TSO/Whitesnake/etc. and Brandon Gibbs of Poison) and Marco Pastorino (Temperance, Serenity). So it’s all acts with metal roots playing ACOUSTIC, which I think is a badass concept. This is the first time I’ll be on guitar for almost the entire set, and it will give us a chance to really highlight the lyrical content of our songs.

10. How would you describe your sound to a first-time listener?
I would never try! Everyone has their own way of hearing things, and it always surprises me the comparisons. I’ve gotten, “You remind me of Pat Benetar,” “Has anyone ever told you your voice is like a mix of Ann Wilson and Jared Leto?” And “You remind me of Dora Pesch and Sabrina Cruz.” What a variety of artists! I say take a listen and decide for yourself.

11.  If you could pick any album to be the soundtrack of your life, what would it be and why?  
That’s a very difficult question; but I’ll tell you the first one that popped into my brain — lll Sides to Every Story by Extreme. It was the first time I’d heard lush orchestrations with rock music, and Gary Cherone was singing about things that were not standard “hair metal” fare. It was important music, and criminally underrated.

12. What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current profession(s)?
Living in a cabin the woods with a couple of dogs writing poetry and horror novels!.

13. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On the road; its really my favorite place to be.

14. What advice do you have for young women entering the music industry?
Be careful about ‘taking advice.’ Everyone’s career and trajectory is different, and any advice you’ve been given is telling you how THAT person lived, and it may not work for you at all. Listen to your gut. And remember, you are unique. No one else can do what you do exactly like you, so no one is “competition.” Other artists are colleagues, whom you will spend a lot of your life with, so be kind.

15. What’s one thing you want people to remember you for?
Ah…that’s up to them. ;)

16. Final thoughts?
There’s a lot of outrage and confusion in the world right now. Music has the ability to help. So sing, play, write, and go to concerts. It reminds us that we’re all in this together.