We caught up with Illawarra legends The VANNS to chat about touring, memories, and their latest killer single ‘Red Light’. Here’s what they had to say about it
I don’t think sticking to a genre as an artist is as important these days as it used to be because the music world is so single based. You could do a whole album of completely different genres and you would be picking a different audience for each track which I don’t think is a negative thing.
We moved around a lot there, it’s funny to think about all the different houses and the different stages of my life in each space
There’s a lot of trial and error, back and forth, and about 20 versions of the song before we got to the final version that we stuck with, whether it was the intertwining melodies that were too distracting or having to remove one or two things. It’s the trial and error that makes the process an arduous journey, but in the end a rewarding one.
I have issues confronting my true feelings in some situations… I need something that gets everything down in black and white.
I remember singing but I could hear everyone else singing the lyrics cos they new the song, which was crazy like I almost felt like I should stop singing and just let them sing it.
People who have seen us live will know that we like to crack jokes and have a fun time. There’s also a bit of political commentary, and I think that it’s the first time that we’ve tried to tap in and write songs with a bit more of an introspective look at how politics affects us opposed to how the world around us affects us, and how we all fit into the that world in a bit more depth.
We don’t want to look what a pop artist looks like. We don’t want to look like what you think a punk artist should look like. We just want to be like ourselves.
We have had a lot more time to do things. We made music videos for both the songs we released this year, which is something we might not have had enough time to do if we weren’t all locked down. With everyone on their phone a lot more we felt it was really important to make something super visual.
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It came out at that length, we decided it felt good, jam packed and really fun but short listen. We think it’s good because it keeps the listener active.
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It gave us this really good space to find what we wanted to do. I think it almost ended up being a good thing for us, in saying that I do miss playing live for sure. I want to have it so when we can play shows we’ve got enough songs out there that our new songs can translate live.
I fully believe that as long as I can like make a living from what I’m doing, that would be great.
That to me is where the album lives; that frontier between the external world and the internal world, the external journey and the internal journey.
There are a couple of songs on the album that were written purely because I felt like I couldn’t express myself or talk to anyone. Music is so important for that.
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I went out to Byron Bay and we didn’t really have a plan. I said “hey look I’ve got this idea I think might have the magic juice”. I showed him and started singing the chorus line “just breathe” and that was it. He just turned around and said that’s it, that’s the one. We finished the song about two days. It’s really funny how some tracks that you can sit on for weeks on end, and some just come together so naturally.
It’s kind of about social media, or like a disenchanted with social media inspired song. In the chorus of the song we talk about being able to delete yourself. That was kind of one of the earliest ideas that I had for the band back in late 2017, and that’s the one that’s been consistent.
I didn’t mean for it to be this therapeutic thing- I don’t generally write for it to be cathartic, it’s just never been my thing- but this song has helped me come to terms with my grief.
We’re consistent with our process, so that being the case, we can surprise ourselves with something a bit new sometimes
I think it’s nice when everything is feeling drab to have a song that fits in the unapologetically self- indulgent space.
As soon as it feels like things might go back to normal everything does a 180. I wonder are we ever going to be able to go to festivals, or will we all be sitting in seats away from each other.
“I’m not champagne, I’m white wine” – I’m still the essence of what I was but you are flattening everything about me sort of thing.
“To be putting your music out there that has your heart and so many hours of work to someone else and go “hey, do you like this?”, that’s such a raw and exposing thing to do.”
“We were trying to force a narrative that we initially wanted to write about, but … it wasn’t what was honest to who we were.”
Why would we not want to sound more like that if that’s what inspires us?’
After coming home, I needed to pull myself to one side and be like “mate, do not get yourself into that position again”. I was just trying to have fun
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…I decided to stick with the name and use it as a revolutionary kind of place holder for where I’ve come from and to where I’m going.
I felt like it put a huge dent in my momentum. However that quickly diminished, as I’ve written more music than I ever have.
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