Music Feeds caught up with Van She before their Sydney show at the new venue Upstairs Beresford this Friday. Van She speak about the art of remixing, whether albums are still relevant in the downloading age, and coconuts in the sun.
Music Feeds: What’s new for Van She?
Van She: We just finished our second album, which we’re really excited about!
MF: Remixes have always been a heavy feature of the band; how do you choose a track to remix and then how do you go about changing it?
VS: Most of the time, with one exception – that being Utah Saints, the artist or the record label contacts us. If we like the tune and we hear parts or feel we can take it in another direction harmonically, then we say yes, but it’s not always as simple as that. Sometimes we might do three different mixes before we’re happy with it. We usually start with the vocal and any other parts from the original that we like and go from there. Sometimes it’s just the vocal in its entirety, and at the very least a couple of words; a complete lack of respect for the original is a good place to start.
MF: With remixing I figure you can just keep going and going on a song forever. At what point do you have to stop and let it be finished?
VS: We usually stop when we start getting emails asking for it. Yes, you can go on forever and ever which is not ideal, but sometimes you need to work on it for a while until you’re happy, and other times it may happen in the space of an hour or so. There are so many contributing factors. We like to use a lot of old, unreliable gear that goes out of tune and breaks down, which also bites into time, not to mention the restaurants and cafe’s around our studio. If we’re not feeling it, a martini or a plate of pasta will nine times out of ten get the ball rolling again.
MF: How’s the new album coming along?
VS: After V we toured for almost 2 years, so when it came time to start on the next record we decided that instead of going away we’d build our own studio with all the gear we’d been collecting and produce it ourselves. Not having the time constraints of a hired studio allowed us to take as much time as we needed. It’s like we’ve been in an egg and there’s a crack in it that’s letting some light in, the baby is about to be born … cut a short story long, it’s finished and being mixed right now in LA by Tony Hoffer, the first single should be out in September and the album early next year some time.
MF: Do you think albums are still relevant in this day of downloading music?
VS: Yes and no, but if you go onto iTunes and only buy a couple of episodes of a particular season of “the wire” for example, you’re not getting the entire story; then maybe albums these days are more a collection of singles and the technology allows you to just pick and choose what you like and ignore what you don’t, so it goes both ways…….
MF: What tracks have you been getting into lately?
VS: So many it’s hard to say, it’s probably easier for me to say what I’m not getting into. Nick loves LFMAO, plays it at least 3 or 4 times a day in the studio, but I can’t figure if he’s joking or not. Either way, I suppose it’s good and I’m even more impressed if it’s those guy’s producing it themselves?
MF: What’s one album in your collection that might surprise people?
VS: Physical Olivia Newton John. It’s produced by Barry Gibb. My favourite tune on it is Stranger’s Touch, possibly the best verse ever and Barry does backing vocals, I love it when he does that!!!! just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
MF: What’s the plan for the remainder of the year for Van She?
VS: A tour around the release of our first single and a trip to Japan, and hopefully some coconuts in the sun …
Van She play Upstairs Beresford this Friday 23rd July