New Ryerson Psych-Rock: Burger Vacuum

As many of you know, I like finding new bands, bugging them for an interview and then writing about them for this blog. But if you thought I would run out of groups to write about at this point, you’re wrong. I have another one: Burger Vacuum.

@burgervacuum Instagram

Burger Vacuum is a (now) trio consisting of Ryerson students Joseph on drums and vocals and Rob on guitar, synth, and vocals, and Jefferey LeFort on bass. This past December, I had a chance to sit down with what was then the duo that made Burger Vacuum, Joseph and Rob. The two met when Joseph was in another band with a few other people when they needed a bassist they made a post on the Musicians at Ryerson Facebook page, Rob started jamming with them at that point, and the rest is history. The guys officially formed around November 2018 when they played an open mic night in Richmond Hill at Archibald’s, both of them laughed when Joseph added that “it was really trashy.” That night they also came up with their band name. When they were outside waiting to go in, they saw a strip mall sign and one was for a burger place, and the one below it was for a vacuum store. You might actually recognize that sign described from their E.P cover.

They’re in a bit of a transition with how they’re approaching their live shows, saying they used to jam on stage with no lyrics but now ant to move more towards a high energy rock vibe with “fuzz pedals and stuff.” The band gets a lot of influence from the psych-rock scene Ty Segal, Fuzz, Joseph saying that they’re “trying to be psych-rock.” When it comes to the individual songs, Rob has written most of their material so far.

“Sometimes I’ll have like a poem or something, and I’ll be like ‘I wanna put chords to this’ or sometimes we’ll jam something and I’ll wanna write something over that.”

@burgervacuum Instagram

Individually the two have been playing instruments and involved in music since they were young. Rob has been playing guitar since he was eight years old. Joseph has been playing drums since he was around twelve or thirteen, and even played in a church band when he was starting out saying, “It’s kinda weird, but I wanted to play with people, and that’s all I had… The music wasn’t my thing, but it is what it is”. 

The band released their first E.P Cream ‘N Sugar on May 29th, 2019, but haven’t released anything since. That night when I interviewed them, they were actually heading up to the multi-track recording studio in the RCC to record some new material. They want to release something every year, and possibly something by Spring 2020. Rob said, “We kinda just compile a bunch of tracks, and when we feel like putting stuff out, we do.”

The inspiration behind the first E.P is not just one based on one thing, the songs are all about different things, and there really isn’t one theme as far as the lyrical content is concerned. The two wanted to get something out quick, which took them less than a month to do. They recorded everything in Joseph’s basement with two SM57’s and a two-input mixer, and Joseph being a Media Production student, did most of the mixing himself. Rob adding that “[they] didn’t want it to be one of those lo-fi bedroom projects that [they] sit on for years.”

You can find Burger Vacuum’s E.P, Cream ‘N Sugar, on all streaming platforms. You can also find them on Instagram @burgervacuum and on Facebook as Burger Vacuum.

Posted in Blog.