A Close Encounter with Victor & the Bully ~ UPDATE

This article is a joint effort between Sarah Harris and Kasandra Zavrie-Higdon.

We met up with the dynamic duo known as Victor and the Bully at TeslaCon 8. They were very energetic and easy to talk to from the very moment they entered the convention. They hail from London, England and have hit the Steampunk community by storm. Victor (AKA Matthew Victor Rodgers) and the Bully (AKA Harry Mack) have been performing together for over 3½ years now. Matt says jokingly that when he first met Harry, he thought that he wanted to shag him. Harry wanted to play with Matt so badly that he lied about being able to play the guitar. Matt called him out and Harry confessed that he had no clue on how to play the guitar. Matt dismissed Harry and told him to come back when he had actually learned to play guitar, thinking perhaps that Harry would just give up and leave him alone. Harry proved him wrong and learned to properly play the guitar. Matt tested him and made him play all sorts of cords. Harry proved to be quite good and could play anything that Matt threw at him. Shortly after, they started writing songs together and perfoming in public and eventually cutting their and first record, Death Bed Confessions.

They had played 30 shows in 2017 and Tesla- Con was the largest crowd that they have ever played in front of. The room had somewhere around 900 people with 300 on the dance floor and up against the stage the entire time they played.

Everywhere they go people are up against the stage having so much fun except for that one Thursday night in Camden. They were getting paid for the show but they had no one there. They were literally playing for just the bartender and the sound man and another show where they literally blew the speakers and the management hid in the back and didn’t come out. So roughly 2 bad shows in all their time performing seems better than most performers including rock stars.

How they decided on the name is an interesting story as well. Matthew says that his grandfather’s name (as well as his middle name) was Victor and he taught Matt how to play the ukulele. Matt’s grandfather, Victor, had been in a band and played the ukulele. Once his grandfather passed away, Victor inherited his grandfather’s ukulele and decided to dedicate his music to him. As for ‘the Bully’, Matt was watching Family Guy on television when they were saying, “Bully Bully! I’m having a bully day, are you having a bully day? Bully!” And so it was. He loved the idea of that name and so Harry became ‘the Bully’ as in ‘that’s Bully’ and so forth. They say that they love dance music and so that is why their music is so up beat and dance-able. Harry says that it’s music ,”you can make love to vigorously.”

Victor & the Bully mid interview.

They were promoting their new album when we met them, it had yet to be released. As of the time of this publication release, it is out. The name of the new album is 8th Deadly Sin. They want the whole album to be successful
and they want everyone to love the whole album instead of just a few select songs. They say that performers in the UK actually help each other out and appear on each others’ records. It’s just something that they do. They want to see everyone succeed. They say that there is a certain psychology to writing songs and stage performance. Victor says that it’s all about the hook. We suggested that they make sing-a-long videos for YouTube but it went down hill fast after that talking about our mutual love of muffins and our dirty minds.

These two lads made us laugh the entire interview. I haven’t had this much fun interviewing a band in quite a while. Wouldn’t it be fun to have them back again in the next year or two? I would love to see these boys again. They really are very fun and extremely funny besides being so talented.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

November 4th we got an update as to what is going on with the duo. Harry has decided to step away after 7 years and pursuit some different projects, or so Victor posted on their Facebook page. The full press release reads as follows:

After 7 years of working together Harry has decided to step away from Victor and the Bully to pursue other quests and endeavours in his life. We have certainly had one hell of a ride of this time, with the release of 3 albums, 6 trips to the USA, lots of stays in hotels, lots of beers, late nights partying and everything in between. As sad as this roller coaster had to stop for both of us I wish him the absolute best with what he wants to do and I know you guys will support him all the way. We have certainly had the time of our life doing this and played some incredible shows over the years. Harry was always an absolute firecracker on stage and always put in the most effort to make sure everyone got up on their feet to dance the night away.

NOW WHAT?!

WELL!! Ladies and Gentlemen, Saints and Sinners, Children of all ages.
VICTOR AND THE BULLY IS NOT ENDING!
The reason for not changing the band name is because people know it. There has been so much, merch and marketing that has gone through with it that it needs to be kept the same.

Stepping in on guitar is the absolutely wonderful and incredibly talented Joe Marshall better known as “Crowboy”!
After Falling into a Vat of Crows, Crowboy rose with his guitar, ready to play to the Sinners!
We have been playing together for around 13 years, and our first band together was a Psychobilly band “Billy Rebel”. We have had many years of writing songs in a drunken stooper, in fact you have actually been listening to songs we wrote together including, Food Fight for a Cannibal, Stone Cold, Causa Mortis, Suit Up, Monotony, 8th Deadly Sin Intro… and hot lava (everybody do the shake).He has stepped in many times over the last few years to help out and I’m extremely excited to bring him on board.

Now…. The Big Reveal!!
Introducing “Halo”!! Yes, There is going to be a female Bully! A Bullette as it were. I first met Nancy a few years ago when she was a dancer at a Steampunk Event. Since then I have seen her grow doing her own projects including her own band “Nova Halo”. I wanted to bring something completely fresh and new to Victor and the Bully which is why I wanted to bring Halo onboard. She has been working hard to show you guys a great show and a new dynamic you haven’t see with us.


2 BULLIES!?

Well, yes.. and no. There are indeed 3 of us but some gigs will be 2, some all 3. It all depends on the dynamics of the show, who’s putting it on, accommodation, train fares etc. Crowboy is also in a band “Maven” and Halo is in “Nova Halo” so they have commitments with that as well.

So.. 2020?
Well, we are working on lots of things and have big ideas. One thing I can tell you is that were working on a new album, but I guess that’s kind of a given. The artwork etc will be changing and we have recently finished a photoshoot with Roj Whitelock who did the previous VATB shoots and they are looking freshhhh.
We have some other things planned but im going to keep it secret for now until all the pieces are in place.

We hope you will continue to support Victor and the Bully for years to come and although the lineup has changed the enthusiasm, commitment, fun, debauchery and silliness has certainly not slowed down at all. I would like you all to welcome on board your new Bullies and I hope you are as excited as I am for the future.

Thanks for everything Sinners! Bring on 2020!

Victor

This coming year should be full of new things and good surprises from this trio. We will try to keep you updated on Harry Mack as well. I hope he releases some solo work that we can share here otherwise he will be missed greatly.

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