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INTERVIEW: Van Susans

June 14, 2011 by  

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INTERVIEW: Van Susans

1. Tell us who you are and where you’re from.: TD: We are Van Susans. Olly A: Olly Van Andrews- lead singer/ rhythm guitarist
RD: Rob Dullaway- lead guitarist
TD: Tim Dullaway- bassist
OG:Olly Groome- pianist/backing vocalist
CA- Caroline Atkinson- violinist/ backing vocalist.

2. Describe your music.: CA: We get a lot of different genre categories thrown our way, some people say indie, others say folk, we get pop/rock. I’d say we have elements of all of these genres, so folk/pop/rock. We’ve been compared to the likes of the Levellers, which I would agree with, but our main influence of our sound comes from American bands, like Jimmy Eat World and Jack’s Mannequin.

3. Tell us how the band formed in three sentences.: RD: Olly A always fancied himself as a lyricist with a knack for making catchy melodies, met Rob in a studio when they were 14, been harnessing their skills ever since. Rob’s brothers got real good, real quick, had to get them on board. Olly G and Caroline came along for the ride.

4. What did you do before you were in a band?: Olly A:I was on the road to becoming a surf instructor. After going away to South Africa to get my lifeguarding and surf instructor award, I was offered a job in Cornwall to teach for a summer. Even then the music was always with me, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and I was overwhelmed when returning home from my travels to find the gang so up for making the band. I just couldn’t say no to chasing the dream. Olly G was chasing the dream to become a journalist after finishing university with a degree in journalism. Ed was studying music at Brunel University. Rob was working full time as a carpet fitter. Caroline and Tim were both studying music theory at A levels.

VanSusans_WeCouldBeScenery-front.JPG

5. List the first CDs/records each of you bought.: Olly A: The Offspring ‘Conspiracy of One’
Olly G: Oasis ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’
RD: Incubus ‘Morning View’
CA: Joshua Bell
ED: Metallica ‘Master of Puppets’
TD: Prince & amp; The Revolution ‘Purple Rain’

6. What’s the band up to over the next few months?: RD: We have so many things planned. Got our 5 track EP ‘We Could be Scenery’ coming out in July, so working hard to create a storm for that. We are working on a music video for our song ‘Cha Cha Bang’ off our EP, which will be out end of June/early July. We’ve got some big shows on the horizon: headlining the 100 Club in London on the 22nd July which will be our EP impact party. Then in September headlining the Indig02 in the 02 dome. Managing all of this, whilst working on the album it’s no easy task, but we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. Best item of fan mail you’ve ever received?: Olly A: We were once sent a little green fly frog toy thing called Gilbert, with a note that read something akin to ‘Your music makes me so happy, I thought I’d send you something to make you happy too, take good care of Gilbert.’ We thought it was so amazing that Gilbert the little green flying frog has become somewhat of a mascot for the band. We take him everywhere.

8. What music do you have on repeat in the tourbus? : RD: This is where we sometimes spark up some heated discussions amongst the gang. Some of us (Ed particularly, Olly A and Tim) all love a bit of metal. Slipknot, Metallica, Alterbridge, the list goes on. Where as Olly G and Caroline can’t stand the stuff. So us being the happy loving democratic band that we are only let the metal heads satisfy our lust in moderation. We have mutual ground with all of our all time favourite bands being the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Jack’s Mannequin, Something Corporate, and Incubus. So we all get along really.

9. What gear do you use?:
CL: Electric Guitar – Fender USA VG Strat (guitar), Ibanez SZ320 (guitar), Boss GT-10 (FX unit)

Acoustic Guitar –Tanglewood, Takamine G Series

Bass Guitar -Fender USA Jazz Bass

Drums – Gretsch kit, Sabian AAX and HHX Cymbals, Mapex Hardware

Piano – Korg SP170 Keyboard

Violin – Yamaha electric

10. What’s your best on-tour story?: CA: Okay, this one time, we got asked by a friend to play a show down in Gillingham (Central Kent), we were more than happy to help out cos’ we love our friend. When we got there we started setting up, and left our bags on this table near the front next to the stage. The venue was empty, and there were lots of tables situated all over the room, but then this lady in a wheelchair comes in and asks us to move our bags so she could sit down… We were a bit flabbergasted by it seeing as she literally could have sat anywhere else, but we were polite and moved our stuff with no hassle. After a while the first band came on and they were a cover band where members of the audience could sing with the band. The woman literally jumped at the opportunity, got straight out of the chair and strutted up to the microphone, full of life, she started screaming the lyrics to mustang Sally, throwing her hips around, jumping about, dancing like nobody’s business. She sang around 3 songs then just went and sat back in her wheelchair… Now we know it’s not ever cool to laugh at anyone in a wheelchair, but she definitely did not need that chair, so we all couldn’t help but cry with laughter at the back of the room

11. What do you demand on your rider?: TD:I wouldn’t say that we really demand anything, we are a very easy going band, the thing that satisfies us is going out on stage and the adrenaline of making everyone in the room happy to hear our music. The only thing that I would say that we ask of promoters for shows, is to put all of their efforts in to advertising the night, as we do. We give it our all to make our fan base more than aware when and where we are playing a show, and we expect the other bands on our bills to be doing the same, and I put the responsibility on the promoters of the night to be ensuring that each band is doing just that. Not that I’d go so far as to say we ‘demand’ it, just we quietly expect it, and if it turns out that they don’t, we are likely to not work with them again, so in the end they lose out.

12. What’s your website?: http://www.vansusans.com/




 

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