West of Scotland 4-piece The Van T’s comprising Chloe Van Thompson (vocals, guitar), Hannah Van Thompson (vocals guitar), Joanne Forbes (bass) and Shaun Hood (drums) have been surfing on a buzz wave for the past year or so.
Released on Bloc + Music, a small not for profit DIY label based in Glasgow, their newish single ‘Blood Orange’ complete with a choppy 1990’s MTV2 style video – is a noisy fuzz box of a song. Think Smashing Pumpkins sonic territory/ production and you’ll be half way there.
Premiered by Huw Stephens on Radio 1 it helped launch them to the next level and deservedly so. They’re playing Edinburgh University Students’ Association on 10th September as part of their freshers week celebrations and they’re sure to one of the weeks highlights.
We caught up with the band fresh from their set at Electric Fields.
Can you tell us a bit about the story of how your latest EP ‘Coming of Age’ came about? What’s your favourite song to play from it? Same favourite for everyone in the band?
We decided to start working on this E.P shortly after the release of our last one, our creative juices were still flowing and we figured we’d get a head start in order to spend a little more time collaborating and developing our sound.
The first track we finished was ‘Dandy’ and that would probably be Joanne’s favourite to play at the moment. Next was ‘35mm’ and I think Shaun enjoys that one most. Chloe brought ‘Blood orange’ to the table so I’m sure she would pick that and I’ll go with ‘No man’s money’ so that we can have one of each!
You’ve said you’re influenced by 50’s surf 90’s grunge sound and aesthetic – who’s your main inspirations? Favourite songs/albums? Dream collaborations?
We all have lots of inspirations and like different things so it’s difficult to speak on behalf of everyone!
I’m really enjoying Demob Happy right now, Chloe’s really into My Bloody Valentine at the moment, Joanne’s listening to a lot of the Talking Heads and Shaun’s in heaven with all of these recent Omar Rodriguez-Lopez releases. I’d love to do a little beyond the grave collaboration with Jim Morrison.
Musically Scotland seems to be nearing the top end of one of it’s creative cycles at the moment. Must be an exciting time to be making and playing out music for you?
Absolutely, it feels great to be part of something bigger than just our individual band and getting to share the experience with so many like minded groups of people.
We’ve made a lot of good friends over the past couple of years and it’s always great having the chance to support each other.
What’s your thoughts about the support offered to bands breaking through in Scotland?
Well you’ve got all the big platforms for unsigned bands like T-break and Xpo North which are really good for emerging talent as it’s a rare opportunity for bands to get themselves on a festival line up, but the industry is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of musicians in Scotland. Some of the best examples of this are the growing popularity of the multi-venue indoor city festivals and the expansion of previously smaller festivals like Electric Fields.
Amongst others you’ve played Stag and Dagger, Brew at the Bog and Electric Fields this year. Do you have a particular favourite summer moments? Now the summer festivals are past do you have a new focus for the next stage of the band?
The moment when it conveniently rained just before our set at the BBC introducing tent at T in the park this year will always be a highlight. A lot of people ran in for cover and ended up staying for the set!
We’re joining a band called Sunflower Bean on some of their English tour dates next week and we’ve got a few more things lined up after that. We’re really looking forward to this years Tenement trial and might even put out a new single before the end of the year.