Nico Vega (it’s the band’s name, not an actual member) broke out after “Beast” got licensed for use on the trailer of a video game called BioShock Infinite. “That’s so weird,” says Aja Volkman, the band’s singer, by phone from her home in L.A. “To have one of the first songs we wrote come out of nowhere — that’s weird.” But it’s a good weird, she says, because now everybody from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone knows who Nico Vega is. “It’s put us in a position where we’re an up-and-coming band. We’re being offered more licensing deals now as a result of that.” Nico Vega has been granted audience at Pandora and iTunes in recent days, Volkman says, where the band performed showcase gigs.
Volkman says the ball got rolling for the band after a woman who works for the company that produces BioShock Infinite fell in love with “Beast” and made sure a copy landed on a producer’s desk. Otherwise, she talks about the musician’s eternal struggle: “You can really lose hope,” she says. “A lot of it comes down to luck and timing. Then there’s the material, too, and you hope it all comes down to the quality.”
Nico Vega landed on some larger festival stages but had to slow it down in recent months. Why? “I had a baby. That makes it hard to randomly tour everywhere.” Now 11 months old, the baby is at the stage where Nico Vega can launch their first headlining tour. “We’re known for getting intimate with the audience,” Volkman says. That’ll be a lot easier in small rooms than on the massive stages.” I apologize for the rookie question, but I have to ask who Nico Vega is. “The original drummer’s mother’s maiden name. Her life story inspired me to write anthem-y rallying songs.” Which explains “Beast,” a most rousing anthem if I’ve ever heard one.
The Crash Kings also perform.
Nico Vega: The Griffin, Thursday, July 11, 9 p.m. 619-684-1816. $15 advance/$20 day of show.