Tag Archives: Pop Rock

Van Susans / Album Review + Interview

Since the release of Van Susans‘ first EP We Could Be Scenery, the fanbase of this London pop rock band has been growing bigger with each live show. Having the pleasure to tour with The Beautiful South earlier this year, the band is now ready to promote their debut album Paused in the Moment which has been released a few weeks ago. Since then, they’ve played their first show outside of the UK in the beautiful Versailles and this week they are ready to take on the LeeFest 2012.

Van Susans‘ debut album Paused in the Moment is a mix of wonderful guitar meets piano meets violin melodies. Each song on the album stands out in its own way and the whole record offers something for everyone whether its a song with a great guitar or drum riff, soulful piano or violin piece or a heartfelt acoustic ballad. Not only the music stands out but also the perfectly fitting distinctive voice and a strong accent of Olly Van Andrews. The album will cheer you up with its catchy and uplifting tracks like Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw or Popo and warm your heart at the same time with Fireworks, DisappearRat Race or the beautifully emotional If I Succeed.

Paused in the Moment is a truly enjoyable record that should not go unnoticed.

The album launch is going to take a place at the Barfly in London on the 12th of September 2012.

I caught up with the lead singer Olly Van Andrews in London, to discuss the debut album and other interesting topics about music.

How do you feel about your debut album Paused in the Moment?

I am very excited and very proud of the album. We have been getting some positive reviews, which is nice. Some of the songs on it are quite old, I wrote them when I was like 17, 18 but we’ve changed them around a lot. The whole idea behind the title Paused in the Moment is that I remember exactly why I wrote it and how I felt at the time. It’s about capturing the moment, like taking a photo and looking at it after a while and it reminds you of the times.

How was the journey between your EP We Could Be Scenery and this album?

It’s been a very exciting time. Since releasing the EP, we have met loads of cool people, got many great reviews and now that the album is out there it will happen all over again. It’s my favourite time with the band now as so much stuff is happening.  The album is a little more mature than the EP. We took more time with it and it’s more like what we wanted to be.

Would you classify your style as pop rock?

I suppose you can say that but there are so many different types of songs on the album like pop rock, folk, some country, ballads… but yeah, generally pop rock.

The type of sound you play is more common in America than here in the UK. What are your influences?

Yes, collectively we like Jimmy Eat World, Jack’s Mannequin, Death Cab for Cutie but we all have our individual taste in music and that’s why our sound comes out to be so different. Our guitarist and drummer both like metal and that’s why you can hear some quite heavy guitar solos and drums in some of our songs. I am really into folk, lyric stuff and poetry and I like to add it to the music. I really like the band Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst is a bit of a genius really, he writes great lyrics. I’m trying to be creative with the words, not just stick to the melodies. And we have our violinist Holly who joined us a few months ago and she is really good. We are getting her trained up on the singing as well.

How is the relationship in the band and has it changed since Holly joined?

Before she joined it was only the five of us, just five lads, so at first we were a bit sceptical and we thought we have to behave more but she is really cool. Literally she’s like another one of the guys (laughs). But we are really lucky to have found her, she fits in really well.

How would you describe Van Susans live shows? 

We’re trying to make the shows visually interesting, dance around and really go for it. I get really hot and sweaty on stage, pretty sexy stuff  you know (laughs). We want it to be exciting and not to be just a bunch of guys standing there playing guitars.  We’re trying to put on a good show.

How did you guys come together as a band?

Our drummer Rob is my best friend. We met at a studio when I was like 14. The lead singer of my old band introduced us. We were in a band together till we were like 17. Rob, Ed (lead guitar) and Tim (bass guitar) are brothers. When the original band split up we kind of decided that we wanted to be in a band that would be like the ones we are really into. We also wanted to have a pianist in the band, so my brother who is our manager now, he had a best friend called Olly who took the part so it worked out quite well. Holly came through auditions and she was the ideal person to get involved.

How is the music making process? Do you write all together?

It’s a team effort. Rob kind of does all the pop rock stuff; the commercial stuff like Popo, Bones and Cha Cha Bang. Ed does more of the complex pieces like Fireworks and Rat Race and I do the ones in between. We make a really good team. Ed comes up with a good guitar riff or a piano piece and me and Rob structure out the song to how it’s suppose to be and I write the lyrics. Tim and Olly then write the individual parts. I always find it easier to write the lyrics after the whole music is laid up. It’s not like a set routine of how to write songs, it’s just our style of doing it.

Do you feel any kind of a pressure from the industry and think much about how you should sound?

We have a good relationship with our label which is independent and very hands off. They let us do what we want and take care of the business side. We have a musical freedom which is great.

Is there anyone you’d like to tour with or places you’d like to go with the band?

We’ve played with The Beautiful South and that was amazing.  I listened to them as a kid, my parents played their albums in the car as we drove around. But there are other bands we’d like to play with like Jack’s Mannequin or Jimmy Eat World.

I really want to tour America and I’ve always wanted to, it’s my dream. We would really love to play in Manchester as well. We’ve played in Liverpool a couple of months ago which was really cool and we’ve played four different shows in Scotland. We love travelling around and play because that’s what it’s all about.

What do Van Susans want to achieve as a band? Where do you see yourselves in a year or so?

We have high aspirations. We are really proud of our debut album but there is much more to come from us. We will wait and see what happens, how the album does and we’ll just keep on going no matter what. There is so much going on at the moment with the band and it’s so inspiring. The music just keeps coming, we are writing more songs and looking into the future. Hopefully next year we’ll be playing big festivals. We are shooting for the stars really.

LinksWebsite, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Click on the image to purchase the album

fiN Single Launch Review – Bush Hall

Yes, I am a huge fan of fiN and I am bloody proud of it.

We all knew that their single launch for Twenty Three/Eve at the Bush Hall (Wednesday 18th April) was going to be unmissable as the guys had some great surprises in store. They were really good with not spilling the beans on what was coming, but with announcing their support acts Whales in Cubicles and The Jessie Rose Trip; this show was already set to be their biggest yet.

Releasing a new saucy video for their track Eve (watch below)  just a couple of days before the show got us all even more excited!

The beautiful Bush Hall was packed with people closest to the band and their dedicated fans. Some travelled from various places and some even flew over from abroad. It’s all worth for their fantastic music, their extremely hard work they put into it and their friendly and humble approach and appreciation to their fans.

I loved their last launch party at the Borderline but I must say that this show at Bush Hall was the one with a real WOW factor.

The first support act The Jessie Rose Trip from Manchester opened the show with some fresh soul-rock tunes and incredible vocal from the beautiful lead singer Jessie Rose. They surely got the audience chanting and clapping in no time. Check out their Facebook Page and watch this space!

The next support act were one of my other favourite up-coming bands Whales in Cubicles. Knowing they were going to perform at the fiN’s single launch party was another reason to be there.

They simply took over the stage with their rock’n’roll power and showed the audience some proper, loud and exciting sound. They did a great set of songs including their top tracks We Never Win and Across America and they definitely warmed up the audience for fiN! If you haven’t heard them yet, go and also check their music out on Facebook.

Oh boy, fiN were not kidding when they said they had something big in store for us.

When they appeared on stage surrounded by cool laser lights, the energy in the room went up by 100 degrees. And you could see that the guys were ready to give us a show we were not going to forget.

Singer Luke was showing off some great dance moves and took over the whole stage together with Jonny’s and Kerry’s guitar rocking while Simon was killing the drums. The atmosphere was electrifying. Especially with tracks like Twenty Three, Rapture and Changes Everything.

All of their videos were showing in the background and as with their promise of some nudity, they screened an ‘uncensored’ version of Eve, which probably made all the boys in the room really happy. 😉

They even did the famous cover of Once In a Lifetime by ‘Talking Heads’ and presented a great rare video for Everybody Dies Alone.

All of their tracks are so damn great and catchy. Their music has a special energy and vibe that you just can’t help but love.

After this show, I have no doubt that fiN is going to be headlining huge venues in no time. And the fiN fans will be there.

In fact, go and check out the amazing fiN faN forum and join!

Trust me, it’s great to be a fiN fan!

Check out all the pictures from the show here => fiN Twenty Three/Eve Single Launch Photos 

fiN LinksFacebook, Twitter

Brighton Band Feature – Rubylux

Brighton based Rubylux are one of the bands that has gained more success in countries other than UK but the band says that “The idea of succeeding at home doesn’t frustrate us, it’s a challenge. We won’t stop until we’ve pulled that off.”

Their universal sound has helped them  to become one of the few Western bands to have toured Vietnam, their songs have been played on Heroes and Neighbours and they have already released their own live DVD.  And that’s pretty cool for a band that started out playing Street Gigs around Brighton. Thanks to them and their fan’s support, they got to record their stunning debut album Fake Control.

Rob Humphreys (vocals, guitar), Adam Harris (keyboard), Mike Hall (drums) and Clark Coslett-Hughes (bass, backing vocals) have gained many dedicated fans worldwide for their passionate musicianship, beautiful music and giving their fans an opportunity to subscribe to their fan club and receive some exciting stuff! Check out their website Rubylux.net to find out more!

Their album Fake Control is a great mix of rock and pop tracks with very inspiring lyrics. It’s clear why the band is loved by so many people as their music is truly uplifting. The vocal is faultless and the band sounds amazing acoustic if you check out the video section on their website or their YouTube Channel. Must be a real treat to see them live.

Lead tracks on the album include The Boy Could Fly and What You Need and my personal favourite is Wesminister.

Rubylux’s determination to succeed over here in UK is paying off and we shall look forward to what’s coming next from this amazing band.

LinksWebsite, Facebook, Twitter

Introducing RABA

I came across RABA at the fiN single launch party at the beginning of this month.

Their live performance was amazing and I became a huge fan of their great, catchy rock melodies and a strong soulful vocal from Scott Raba who adds the heart and soul into the songs.

Just listen to Home and you’ll know what I mean.

The pop rock band from Surrey has four members: Scott (vocals), Nick ( lead guitar), Jamie (drums) and James (bass).

Influenced by great artists like Bruce Springsteen, Manic Street Preachers and Kings of Leon, RABA adds their own rocky and heartwarming sound into the world of music.

They’ve recently launched their website rabamusic.com and released their EP with five brilliant tracks.

The EP starts with the fans favorite Home, which speaks to you with its meaningful lyrics and beautiful melody and it’s followed by a very catchy guitar track Daydreamer Kid, that gets you singing to it in no time.

One of my favorite songs that also shows Scott’s great ability of lyric writing is called But We Look The Same. 

If you like slow and heartbreaking songs like me, then For Real is just the one. Simply stunning.

The last track If You’re Mine has got stronger and powerful feel to it which shows, that RABA delivers music for everyone. Music that gets you sing along, lets you enjoy the wonderful guitar sound and speaks to your musical soul.

These guys have much more to offer in the future and I believe they will make it big.

They are planning to start gigging very soon and I recommend to go and check them out live. It’s worth it.

In a meantime, just have a look at their pages, have a listen to their EP, check out the videos and enjoy the great music!

Raba sites: rabamusic.com, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Youtube