Van Susans : Interview with Olly van Andrews

CackBlabbath recently caught up with Olly van Andrews, lead singer of Van Susans, to talk about their recent tour, forthcoming single ‘Bricks Not Sticks Or Straw’ and their new album…

So, being a Susan myself, I’m interested in where  ‘Van Susans’ comes from, What’s behind the name?

Hello there Susan, lovely to meet you. It’s a sad tale to be honest but we try not to make such a big deal out of it. We named the band after our old friend who was killed in a motor bike accident, he used to come to all of our shows and his name was ‘Dan Susans’.

How would you introduce yourselves if you were the compere at a Van Susans gig?

Hello ‘said destination’! We are Van Susans! It’s great to be here at ‘said destination’! Are you all ready to show us a good time?! – something akin to that I reckon, I kind of get lost in the moment, so whatever comes out really.

Your music has a broad appeal and draws from several different genres. Who are your main musical influences?

We have a wide taste in music throughout the band, I’d say we are all pretty open minded when it comes to music so we take our influence from loads of different genres. If you were to go through my playlist you’ll find artists ranging from Heavy Metal with bands like Slipknot to folk bands like Bon Iver. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Collectively we draw our main influences from American rock bands of the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Jack’s Mannequin, big fans of Incubus too. But Ed loves his Metal, and Holly loves her Hip Hop. It all comes together to make what we feel is something new!

You’ve just finished a national tour – how did it go?

Really well, we were supporting The South (formerly The Beautiful South) on a load of nights around the UK, it’s been a great tour! Really enjoyed it so far. Met loads of nice people, and played at some cracking venues. We played our last show with them last week at the O2 Academy Islington. I saw the Sex Pistols play there a few years ago and thought to myself ‘I’d love to play here’, and then tonight I am! It really feels like things are taking off for us.

How’s the reaction been so far to your new single ‘Bricks not Sticks or Straw’?

Great! Had loads of fantastic reviews, and the fans seem to love it. It’s a lot more poppy from our old stuff so it’s good to see there is still a good reaction from the fans.

When can we get our hands on the new album?

We have yet to announce the release date as we’re still getting some things sorted out, but we’re hoping for a late May release for it. It’s entitled ‘Paused in the Moment’, we can tell you that much!

What’s the best venue that you’ve played? Do you have a favourite that you love to go back to?

Each member of the group will tell you a different favourite venue that we’ve played at. It’s all about the experience that you have on the night, two people may go to the same show and one may say it was a terrible gig and the other it may love it and claim it to be the best gig they’ve ever been to! Myself, I had a great show when we played at The Cavern up in Liverpool last May, there wasn’t much of a crowd there but it was really cool to play that legendary stage. We’re going back there this May for the IPO Festival, and I can’t wait!

What’s been the highlight in the story of the Van Susans so far?

We’re really enjoying the ride at the moment, every day is presenting more and more opportunities for us, and we’re loving the band life! It’s a lot of hard work, but the harder we work the harder we play. The highlight for me is playing the shows, I get a real kick out of performing in front of people, and we’ve played some amazing venues, can’t get enough of it.

Tell us a secret about the band that no-one else knows.

Haha! Well it wouldn’t be much of a secret if I were to tell you now would it? But if there were a secret, said secret may involve our keyboardist Olly G and a pineapple. Just saying…

What does the future hold for Van Susans?

Well our debut album is on the way, coming out in the summer. We’re already writing new material for our second album, the songs just keep on coming. We have a headline gig lined up on 28 April at the Garage in Islington which we are gonna put a great show on for. You can expect lots and lots from us in the future, you can be sure of that!

Get your ticket for the Van Susans’ Album Launch show at The Garage on 28 April 2012  HMV Tickets

Find out more about the band and follow them here
Twitter: @vansusans