Fire Folkers: Van Susans

Sofia Ilyas spoke to Van Susan, a popcore rock band fast on the rise and about to make some noise in your direction, about now and the shiny future. 

Trebuchet: Can you tell me about the band, your member’s, your name, your music…

Van Susans: I moved to South Africa for just under a year, came back to find that Rob had been training up his brothers on the ol' guitar and bass, and to put it lightly they were rather good. We all decided we wanted to have a piano in the group as well as a violin to add further texture to our sound, I knew Olly Groome through my brother and got him along for a jam, we moulded superbly and then a few weeks down the line stumbled across the beautiful Caroline Atkinson and BAM! Van Susans were born.

We chose the name Van Susans to commemorate our good friend Dan Susans who tragically was killed in a motor bike accident, he always used to say how he was going to get our old band name printed on the side of his van, thus where the Van comes from. He literally was at every gig we ever played, so we wanted to bring him with us to every gig forever more.

Trebuchet: There's a lot of rock bands out there at the moment are you finding it hard to be noticed?

Van Susans: Well things are happening so fast at the moment, we never expected to be snatched up straight away from our first gig we ever did from an independent record label! Things are going from good to better, and if everything keeps escalating like this gravity just aint gonna be enough to hold us down. From 3 months ago playing in some grimy pubs to playing at the Indig02 next Saturday! Well I just can't believe how well it's all taking shape, and I hope we can keep this momentum going!

Trebuchet: What inspires you?

Van Susans: We're all inspired by different artists, we do have common ground though like bands such as 'Jimmy Eat World' and 'Jacks Mannequin'. But our guitarist Ed is into metal, which adds a different element to the group with his technical guitar parts thrown in the mix. Whilst our bassist Tim is into Funk and Latin/Brazilian music, which has a positive effect on complex bass, lines that he writes. Our drummer Rob, who is massively inspired by incubus, has a fair amount of input into the development of the tracks themselves, often building the foundation of the song for the rest of us to work with. Caroline is a classically trained violinist/pianist/vocalist. Whilst myself and pianist Olly Groome are really in to the American band 'Death Cab For Cutie', with their inspirational lyrics and creative melodic patterns. So it all comes together rather weirdly and wonderfully.

In regards to the lyrics I write, I have to have something to write about I can never make up a song that I didn't mean the lyrics I was singing. So I'm always on the lookout to create drama in my life. Our song 'Bones' was made after I broke my wrist climbing up my girlfriend's drain pipe on the night of the summer ball hammer drunk, bringing down the front of her house and landing on my back!

Trebuchet: Tell me about your new E.P

Van Susans: Well we're rather happy with it! We were so lucky to get hooked up with an amazing producer Oliver Som. It's great to have someone on board who cares about making the songs sound how we want them to, he's a dude. It's out on iTunes, Amazon all those on the 23rd May! It's got 5 tracks on it, and it's called 'We Could Be Scenery'. We're going to be releasing a free download for one song within the next couple of weeks to give you all a taster.

Trebuchet: What does the future hold for Van Susans?

Van Susans: Well not in the so far distant future, we've got a couple of festival slots in particular the IPO Festival in Liverpool, where we're playing at the legendary Cavern Club! We'll be gigging all around the London scene, can't keep away from the stage for too long, we get withdrawal symptoms. We're having a lot of radio play at the moment across the country and in the states, as well as on one Tenerife station which is random! So hoping lots more. We are writing new songs all the time so are now on track to get the album started. No doubt we'll be back in the studio to start recording it in the next couple of months.

Van Susans are playing at the Indig02 on April 16th


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