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VNV Nation combines ‘Automatic’ and ‘Empires’ for current tour


Things are going great for Ronan Harris.

It’s mainly because his current tour is going well.

“We’re having the most amazing tour,” he says during a recent phone interview. “The concerts are great and the reactions are phenomenal. We’ve been on tour since Aug. 8 and it feels like we’ve just gotten started.”

Harris is one half of the English/Irish electronic music band VNV Nation. He is joined by Mark Jackson on drums. The band’s name stands for Victory not Vengeance. The band will headline a show at Launchpad in Albuquerque on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

VNV Nation’s sound blends poetic and thought-provoking lyrics with a sound that ranges from melodic dance beats and indie-electronic anthems, to haunting ballads and post-classical soundtrack pieces.

Its live shows are legendary for their energy and positive emotion, drawing a devoted fanbase from across the musical spectrum to sold out tours and headline appearances at festivals.

VNV Nation’s current tour is a special one. The band is playing its albums “Automatic” and “Empires” in their entirety.

Harris says the idea came about when a small Youth Club asked if VNV would play a show to support their organization.

“We played it the night before a huge sold-out show in Munich. Quite a contrast. It was packed solid, we’d minimal lighting, a tiny stage, and it was like a trip back in time to our early shows. Raw, punk, in your face and energetic,” he said. “I wanted a special set so I picked the two classic albums that older and newer generations of fans respectively regard as our best. We were inundated with fan requests to do it again so we did a one-off tour in Europe. Always intimate, stripped down shows in small clubs. People rarely get to see us like that and some of the songs are rarely played live so it’s a unique experience. North American fans demanded it too so I decided to do it here too. No other reason other than because fans would love it and wanted the chance of a one-off show like this.”

Harris says the songs from both albums are mixed into the set in no particular order.

“It’s a structured and plays out the way it does,” he says of the set. “It takes people to a more heavier moment. One album is darker and one is very upbeat. They fit together brilliantly and give the same kind of variety.”

As the sold-out continues, Harris is ready to get started on a new album.

In fact, half of the next album is already done.

“To be honest, the tour hasn’t slowed down the writing,” he says. “I still have songs that spring into my head without even knowing why. I get flashes of whole songs and I have a keyboard set up and work out chord structures.”

VNV Nation’s current intimate concert is a rarity for the band.

In recent years, Harris says the duo decided to only play about 13 shows concentrating on larger cities.

“We get to put on a big light show,” he says. “It’s not something you can tour to every town, which is why we select bigger cities. But we’ve had amazing experiences in Albuquerque and I’m looking forward to getting back there. This is a special show and is designed to be for the audience.”

VNV Nation
With Voicecoil, Diseased Entity
WHEN: 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29
WHERE: Launchpad, 618 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $20, plus fees at

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