Vaughanstrosity is the solo project of Ruaidhri Houston. Although a new endeavour, Houston has cut his teeth playing with a raft of up-and-coming bands, and more recently as bassist for highly praised Belfast shock rockers, So Long Until The Séance.
Drawing inspiration from many areas of media, from graphic novels and inane movies, through to the musical ventures of everyone from Don Broco and Devin Townsend to Shaina Twain and Kasbo, Vaughanstrosity, as you can see, is something entirely unique. You can hear this meld of inspirations on Vaughanstrosity’s new EP, Memes and Dreams.
Given the breadth of inspiration and worldly experience Houston has under his belt, we got Quick & Dirty with the man himself on a bunch of life-changing topics such as his guilty pleasure, his biggest fear and, most importantly, why he thinks pineapple belongs on pizza.
If you lived in a city in medieval times, what would you be doing?
Vaughanstrosity: “Be a Bard for sure, playing my lute and pestering the streets with unnecessary songs about plagues and pestilence.”
What’s your favourite article of clothing that you own?
“Easy my Make Them Suffer hoodie. It’s a memory of a great time in Glasgow not only getting chat to Sean and Nick but going on a rare trip with one of my best friends. Would gladly go back to that memory anytime.”
What always makes you nostalgic?
“Parkway Drive’s ‘Carrion’. Anytime I hear that I’m instantly teleported back to being like 16 and just finding metalcore and a whole new lifestyle in general. Was always into metal but that was a gateway to a whole new way of guitar playing and sounds.”
What story had the best ending?
“So I’ve just finished God of War Ragnarök and I have to say that’s at the forefront of my mind at the minute. It’s easily one of the greatest stories told. If we were going by books though I’m torn on Metro 2033 or 2034 both were wrapped up so neatly.”
What’s a fear of yours that you think is fully justified?
“I have a general fear of bureaucracy and paperwork. My anxiety can be bad enough on a given day but throw a new contract or something in front of me and that’ll eat me up for ages. There’s just so many clauses and other things to remember in life, work, social and everywhere else that it just swamppppppps the brain.”
Favourite Drink and Food?
“A burrito and a cold beer. The most unreal combo to eat, I’m flat out in boojum in Belfast and it hits the spot every time. I’m a functioning burrito addict.”
Must-have on your rider?
“Monster or some form of energy drink. I’m a caffeine fiend and I need like 3 tins of Monster a day to stay functioning at this point.”
Must-have non-musical item when you’re on tour?
“Something to keep me entertained like a laptop or a switch. These offer some great entertainment when everyone’s just burnt out or needs a day of rest.”
What 3 things would you have to have in your bag on a road trip?
“Laptop, good headphones and as much monster as I can fit in.”
What toppings do you like on your pizza?
“Gonna get crucified by nothing beats a Hawaiian pizza. THERE. I said it, pineapple belongs on pizza.”
What was your first concert?
“This is actually arguably one of the most wholesome moments of my life. My mum who is into metal and gigs but is long past her days of gigging like me took me to my first concert of Metallica. IT WAS INSANE. I’ll always value that she took the time to get us there and back and more so made sure that I had a great time. Got a Metallica shirt at it that I literally wore til it was unwearable no more. Believe me when you’re that attached to a t-shirt its way past the point of destruction you’d think.”
If you could be a cartoon character who would you be?
“Shaggy. Running round eating scooby snacks and hanging with the gang. Like being on tour just in a different form of venue.”
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play the lead role as you?
“There’s not many people could bring the true chaos to life that is me, I’d have to say probably Daniel Radcliffe as another person with dyspraxia could probably get it right.”
Favorite book of all time?
“Metro 2033, the worldbuilding, the characters and the story are all vividly etched into my memory. I wish I could forget about it and start again, the same with so many games but it’s always gonna be there.”
Name a big guilty pleasure of yours.
“Junk food. I’m forever resisting the urge. Vanilla, yes, I know, but hear me out. Vanilla ice cream is insane. Desserts are insane and when you gotta play show after show and practice that stuff will slow you down severe!”
What’s the best venue you have ever played and why?
“Camden Underworld. so many of my idols have played it and will continue to play it. It was my first tour as well and I got to spend it with my brothers in so long until the seance. Was just a surreal experience to be on that stage.”
What’s your secret to great metal hair?
“I wish I got these questions like a week ago as i’ve just got rid of my magnificent mane. It was thinning and balding madly so had to go. While it was there though if you really wanna take my advice after that last sentence was just a ton of tresemme, that is sheer divinity for hair.”
Memes and Dreams, is out now and you can get your copy from here.