Sitting here at the library trying to find some peace of mind while writing, I found to my utter disgust that “Gangnam Style” by PSY is the number one song on the iTunes right now. It’s sad, I know. I hate to say it, but this makes me lose faith a little more in the human race. I get it, its been awhile since we’ve had a Macarena or Mumbo Number Five to jam out to. But really, America, Gangnam Style?
Therefore, it was clear to me that in order to find substance within the modern music palladium, I would have to search outside the American realm of music. Which brings me to the Australian Electropop band, Van She. Which happen to be Australia’s best kept secret. The second I put their second debut album on play, Idea of Happiness, you get an immediate sense of venturing into a safari full of pop synthesizers and captivating lyrical hooks.
With songs like, “Jamaica” and “Idea of Happiness,” Van She cultivates influence from 1980′s New Wave and Discotheque to create one love child of 21st century, avant-garde rock. Hence, it was a given I had to interview Van She myself to learn more about their unique, upbeat new sound. During their rehearsal, I was fortunate enough to get some behind the scenes action at how these songs are brought to life in live performances.
Check out our interview below.
E. Nusgart: What was the main influence for the album title, “Idea of Happiness“?
Van She: Without realizing it, we noticed that the album is quite positive and one of our first singles was the album title itself. Still, there are some points where it is less positive but it is disguised by a nice kind of summary sound.
E. Nusgart: Who is your favorite contemporary artist?
Van She: There is a kid in Australia called Flume and he just released his new album. We think he is going to be massive. It’s really cool stuff. I would put it in the Mad Decent section of life, a little bit hip-hop, it’s slow but it definitely has a punch to it.
E. Nusgart: For all of the long time fans, I have to ask, who is “Kelly“?
Van She: Kelly is “that girl“(at the time we were watching a lot of John Hughes films), it was that girl we all wanted but didn’t have in high school, that you always imagined to be your dream girl.
E. Nusgart: How would you compare American audiences to Australian?
Van She: Australians like to get WAY more wasted.
E. Nusgart: I think that’s debatable…
Van She: Yeah. When we played in New York, people are smoking a lot more weed than in Australia. It’s crazy.
E. Nusgart: So, how do you feel about the new found popularity of Electronic music?
Van She: When we first started the band we were all into House and Electroclash music at the time, so I think it was one of the catalysts that started the trend of Techno music.
E. Nusgart: What is it like touring all around the world, performing at numerous venues?
Van She: It is SO MUCH FUN! We were in a different country everyday and we had this bus that was like our cocoon. We never wanted to get out of it. We would feel safe, sleep, eat and relax, so we never wanted to leave the bus. It was our support system. We’ve been to so many countries, we have experienced almost every season in the last month. We had to get different jackets for each season we went through.
E. Nusgart: Where is your favorite place to play?
Van She: Coco in London was great. There were so many people and fans, its a beautiful building and there is lots of history there. The sound is great there, and legendary artists have performed there as well.
E. Nusgart: I know you guys are big on remixing other songs by different artists, as well. How do you determine which songs you are going to mix? And, how do you decide who is going to remix you’re own songs, for example the track, Jamaica (Unicorn Kid Remix)?
Van She: They usually come to us. We go through a bunch of different people we like and then the record label does as well and then we just do a process of elimination based on how much people like the artist. Then about half of the people will come back to you and produce a remixed track.