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Fast Five: Van Susans



How did you meet and what’s the story behind your band name? 

Me and Rob met in a studio in Croydon back when we were teens while starting up our old band. We had a mate who used to come to all of our shows and claimed himself to be the bands biggest fan. His name was Dan Susans and Rob particularly was always at his side, they were best mates. Dan always said that he was going to get a van with the band’s name written on the side of it.Tragically he was killed in a motorbike accident just before his 18th birthday, so when it came round to me and Rob making up a new name it just made sense to commemorate Dan.

How would you describe your music?

It’s a compilation of Rock, Indie and Folk rolled into one to make a genre that’s very hard to pigeonhole. We’ve been described as a gaelic stadium rock band, which I quite liked so I can go with that. We have a kind of Scottish feel to our music with the beats and the violin swirls, but keep a pop/rock feel about our sound as our main influence is from American rock bands of the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Death Cab.

What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming month?

Well it feels like we’ve been doing this forever even though it’s only been 2 years. We released our debut EP entitled We Could Be Scenery in May 2011, which did really well having received airplay on XFM and loads of other major stations. Shortly after that we went on a UK tour with The Beautiful South which was amazing. We’ve played lots of sold out shows around the UK including venues like the IndigO2 in the O2 dome and Oxford Streets 100 Club. We’ve played football with Newton Faulkner and shared the stage with him too, played lots of festivals this year in the UK and in France. The future looks bright for us! We’re releasing our debut album Paused in the Moment on September 24th. The single Fireworks from the album is getting played on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, along with lots of various stations. Got some big gigs coming up including our album launch night at the Camden Barfly on September 12th. Then we’re playing at the Raindance film festival promoting an independent Canadian film that we’ve got a song on the sound track for called Locked in a Garage Band. So it’s gonna be a busy month for us indeed!

If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why? 

When I was younger I always used to sing with an American accent in my old band, I think it’s because I used to listen to so much American music and not really give English artists a shot. Until my brother rescued me with showing me Kate Nash, she had a massive influence on my writing when I was developing as a song writer and made me change from the ridiculous American accent to singing the way I do now, like how I talk. I met her the other day at a festival in Shoreditch, I obviously fell to pieces so I don’t really see the duet happening anytime soon haha!

What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?

I have this thing that whenever I find a new album that I love, I listen to it to death to the point where I get sick of the album within around 2 weeks. The only album that I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving is by a band called Jack’s Mannequin their first album called Everything in Transit. I think Rob and Olly G from the band would probably agree with me on that one as well. Every song has so much personality to it and it just gets you so emotionally involved. Andrew McMahon is a genius.


(answers by Olly)