Home #Hwoodtimes Interview with Vik Kovacs of Telling Secrets

Interview with Vik Kovacs of Telling Secrets

Guest writer Peggy Phillips

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 05/24/20204 – He’s lived in three countries, learned a second tongue, moved halfway across the globe, and recorded one of the best modern rock albums in years. Vik Kovacs (VK) is taking his project, Telling Secrets to new heights as he bends the genre to his will with his upcoming debut LP Telling Secrets I.

Peggy: Hi Vik. Nice to be speaking with you again.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. It’s a great 30-minute listening from start to finish. I know that you’ve been very busy in both the UK and the US. What was your process for recording this album?

Vik: Nice to be speaking with you again, Peggy. And it’s great to be back at The Hollywood Times. While recording and writing this album, I didn’t necessarily plan on it all coming together as one body of work. It’s just that a lot of new people were looking to work with me, my ideas were flowing thick and fast, and by the time I had 10 or so songs together I thought it made sense to go against the grain of singles… Or at least have a compromise.

Peggy: How did you go about recording this?

Vik: The album combines releases from 2022 – 2024 which is important to note because I enjoy experimenting with different sound engineers. I’ve always done my own production, pretty much from top to bottom. I’ve never gone to a studio without a demo I didn’t record by myself. The idea is that this is something I am building, and I let the right people in to elevate it, collaborate, and create something astonishing.” In late 2021, Rachel Blum – assistant engineer to 13-time Grammy-winner Jaycen Joshua – Invited me to the Canton House Studios for some recording sessions to record Telling Secrets songs. “I really owe a lot to Rachel, and I am very lucky to be held in favor by her. Los Angeles is a very driven city; everything is an eye for an eye.”

Peggy: Yes. LA is a very driven town. It can eat you up or take you to places to collaborate with some of the best.  What’s your writing process like?

Vik: In the writing process, I did a lot of vocal practice and co-writing with Matt McAndrew, who to me, is the singer of Rain City Drive, but to the world, he is also the Runner-Up on The Voice season 7. He’s an intellectual writer and I was so pleased to have his ideas implemented on some of the earlier songs off the album, but also on “Lullaby” which is included in Telling Secrets I. One of my favorite bands is Escape the Fate and Matt wrote on one of their more recent albums including the title track “Chemical Warfare.” It’s nice to be in the scene and close to the fire in that regard.”

Before recording at Canton House, I used my own tools and knowledge to record at home in Surrey and Manchester in the UK to cut my teeth in the craft. I’m quite adamant about wanting to understand the process of creation both sonically and visually. I don’t like telling people what to do, I like to rely on my own abilities to get things done so that I don’t burden anyone.

Peggy: You seem to have a different attitude to the classic cliché of a rockstar. You’ve collaborated with a few artists. Tell me a bit about that.

Vik: After working with Rachel Blum, I teamed up with Zack Baker of Rain City Drive to finesse drum parts for a handful of songs on the album. “Bad Dreams”, “(They Say) Bliss Is Oblivion”, “Fragile”, among others shine with the personality of the ex-Dayshell drumming creating a heavy-hitting, intricate detail within the composition. When I became close friends with Matt, I also developed a working relationship with Zack, and his style really complimented the songs I had written. Zack also mixed the single versions of a lot of the tracks.

Peggy: Where has your music been featured?

Vik: Vik: Telling Secrets has been featured on BBC Radio 1 multiple times, initially with “Tired of Waiting” receiving several plays on the Rock Show with Alyx Holcombe, as well as national and regional airplay in the UK and on iHeart radio in the US. Elliot Polokoff of Cemetery Sun completed additional production on the track and with the vocal treatment of Rachel Blum, the song has been a fan-favorite ever since. “(They Say) Bliss Is Oblivion” was selected as ‘Track of the Week’ on BBC Radio 1 airing across three different shows on the station. And most recent single “Closer” will also be featuring on the show on May 28.

In 2023 I flexed my songwriting muscles as I claimed awards for songs “Fall Behind” and “Fragile” in the Indie International Songwriting Network 2023 (Rock) and Petöfi Radió Single Award respectively. I also received commendations and semi-final placements in the United Kingdom Songwriting Competition which is the most competitive competition in the UK with several songs.

Peggy: Congratulations! Those are indeed great accomplishments. How was the album mixed?

Vik: The album was mixed and mastered by a fellow Hungarian by pure chance. Martin Merenyi has worked on #1 songs on iTunes (UK), Amazon, and iTunes (India), and has received an Album of The Year award. His work, coupled with me presented listeners with a new and alternative experience to modern rock.

Peggy: Thank you, Vik, for taking the time to speak with The Hollywood Times. I’m looking forward to following you on the music and social platforms, and if you’re ever playing live, please let me know.

Vik: Thank you, Peggy, and Valerie Milano (Editor of THT) for all your support for myself and other artists. We appreciate you.

Peggy: In closing, I’d like to say that Telling Secrets I is the perfect statement of intent from Vik Kovacs. The pounding drums give the listener a flurry of urgency bringing a rush of adrenaline. The thick wall of sound that the guitars and bass achieve is on par with some of the biggest records from bands such as Bring Me the Horizon and Bad Omens. There is something unique about this record though, and it isn’t the ambient trance that the synths add to the mix. There is a unique, classic element to the voice of Vik Kovacs. He can shift through genres, deliveries, and styles like a chameleon. From rock to rap, soft to brash, sweet to unforgiving – And he does it after he wrote and produced the music. The detail that was carefully planted in the songs by VK was expertly amplified by Martin Merenyi in the final delivery of the songs with a new level of clarity. This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time, and with the awards it has already racked up, many others will share the consensus.

Telling Secrets will be celebrating the release of the new album with an event at Daddy Diamonds 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles 90028 on June 29. Free admission. Stay tuned for more announcements coming on Telling Secrets’ social media.”
 “Telling Secrets album will be available on June 14 on all streaming platforms.

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Telling Secrets album will be available on June 14 on all streaming platforms.

Yay! Telling Secrets booked a show to debut the new album. Would you mind adding that to the article?
“Telling Secrets will be celebrating the release of the new album with an event at Daddy Diamonds 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles 90028 on June 29. Free admission. Stay tuned for more announcements coming on Telling Secrets’ social media.”