Vanishing Kids

by Mike Huberty
June 2009

Madison's Vanishing Kids

Madison's Vanishing Kids

Keeping alive the torch of post-punk and new-wave, VANISHING KIDS started making noise when guitarist Jason Hartman and vocalist Nikki Nads met in Madison in 2000 and decided to form a band the following year where they could indulge in their love of artists like The Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees. That path has since taken them to Seattle, back to Madison, and finally back to the West Coast to Portland, Oregon. They’ve achieved a good deal of success along the way, signing a distribution deal with Rykodisc and having industrial pioneer Martin Atkins take the producing reins on one of their albums.  This summer, they’ve released a brand new single, “Mother Earth”, and are hitting the road on a tour that will take them through the Western and Midwestern states.

According to Nikki, “Mother Earth” is “about how the planet is suffering and we’re ruining it. It’s a seven inch split (ie., a real deal vinyl record, the kind you play on a turntable. VANISHING KIDS releases all their material on LP instead of CDs) with a band called Street Pyramids.“ And when it comes to environmental issues, the band isn’t afraid to put their money where their mouth is. ” It’s our first tour where we’re taking a van that’s converted to veggie oil. We’re trying to make a difference in any way we can. The van also runs on diesel in case we can’t find any in a certain town, but we’re really stoked that we have this option instead of giving money to douchebags who are raping people for gas.“

A few years ago, Nikki and Jason finally settled in Portland as a married couple as well as musical partners. “The scene in Portland is bigger, but for us, we wanted to be submersed in a scene where people were doing edgy, creative things“, she says. ”The music scene is overwhelmingly huge. Everyone plays, it’s a completely different ballgame. Very trendy and hip. Madison is more genuine and that’s something I miss about it. People are checking music out whether you look cool or not. But it helps me trying to keep up with something clever and it’s great to be in a scene that’s really creative. We wanted to be submersed, every night of the week you can go see a killer show. Madison has more of a sense of community, though.“

For new listeners looking for an introduction to the band’s style, Nikki recommends their songs, ”Fire Dances“ and ”Heathen Heart“ (available on their Myspace page). ”We’ve always been that band that is hard for some people to get because we experiment with different genres. And I get excited about ‘Heathen Heart’ because it’s high-energy and really weird. There’s a super-creative double-drum ending that you can just feel in your gut.“

VANISHING KIDS will be making a special homecoming appearance in Madison at the High Noon Saloon on June 14th. ”It’s exciting and moving, a powerhouse lineup”, she says.  “The bass tone just hits you right in the gut. Jason is such an intense, shredding guitarist. I try to interact with the crowd and get them into the bubble with me. It’s a tribal, 80’s throwback but take you to a new progressive level as well. It’s entertaining. If you like technicality and people who can really play their instruments, with bass right from a Cure record and a female vocal that’s soulful, you’ll love the show. We’re a nostalgic but forward-thinking band. And if nothing else, you’ll get a kick out of our comraderie!”

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