by John Noyd
March 2009

Madison's classic 70's 10 Piece Disco Band VO5

Madison's classic 70's 10 Piece Disco Band VO5

To call VO5 a band may be slightly misleading; born four years ago, the nine-member collective is comprised of playwrights, engineers, film-makers, a firefighter and a doctor with musical resumes from Cherry Pop Burlesque to Swim Team and the Merkins. More than dance floor sequins and day-glo flares, VO5’s nostalgia is dipped in twenty-first century irony, their cheesy chic a release valve from reality. Strong with the power of the boogie, amateur ornithologist and band guitarist John Feith says, the band “simply aims to make people dance.”  Vocalist Kelly Murphy says, “Come down to a show and see for yourself.”

MAXIMUM INK: How did the band name come about?
Kelly : We are called VO5 because the world wasn’t quite ready for Nanopussy. 
John: We do still own www.nanopussy.us (try it, type it in…) if anybody is interested in renting that name for a high fee, along with www.boobatron.com
Kelly: The name also serves to call attention to our full, lustrous heads of hair. 

MI: What makes the seventies cool to you? Are any members old enough to have experienced the decade first hand?
John: I was born in the 70’s and I wore out my parent’s 8-track of Abba’s Greatest Hits as a child. That and my dad’s large Koss headphones were my favorite toys for a long time.

MI: VO5 had a cage match with the Gomers, pitting the masters of Rock against the masters of Disco and Disco won.
John: I’ve heard Biff from the Gomers claim victory weeks later…yet Gomers Gordon (bass) and Geoff (drums) keep poping up as guest VO5 musicians…so I’ll let you decide who really won.

MI: We all know if there’s a Rock ‘n Roll Heaven they must have a hell of a band. If there was a Disco heaven what would it be like?
Kelly:  Form fitting pants.  An amazing horn section.  Tight backup vocals.  Atmospheric falsettos.  Strings!  Congas!  Unimaginable shoes, with, like, live miniature mermaids swimming in the platform heels.  The Bee Gees, Sly and the Family Stone and Chaka Khan would all be figure skating on a silver lake beneath a disco ball moon… 

MI: If you could take any person, living or dead, on to the dance floor who would it be?
Kelly:  Beyonce - living, not dead.
John: I’d like Kelly and Beyonce to dance-sandwich me, if I may squeeze in.

MI: Free your mind and your ass will follow is one of funk’s greatest philosophies. What message or messages do you think the music you play conveys to the world?
Kelly:  Dance, dance, dance!  There is such a sense of euphoric togetherness that can happen on a crowded dance floor.  Dancing and surrendering yourself to the music can provide a clarity and energy that’s hard to find elsewhere in daily life.  We’ve all experienced that sweaty, breathless joy and all we want to do is spread that feeling all over this town like sweet marmalade or cream cheese or some other delicious spreadable substance.  Mmmmmm, disco. 

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