It’s a nippy Wednesday night on Dublin’s Abbey Street, but just a few floors away from the evening commuters, VANN MUSIC write away in their studio and chatting to a few members of the press. Sitting down with Aaron, Phil, Rob, and Ross, the band are itching to get the words out about their latest EP and their headline show at The Button Factory this March.
As the release of their “Running” EP comes closer, the process began with some initial demoes in their studio before later heading to the UK to work with industry veteran Stephen Hague (New Order / The Pet Shop Boys). Lead single ‘Boy’ is a real hard-hitting track, offering comparisons to Bloc Party and Bastille. “We had a lot of parts recorded already,” says bassist Ross Fortune, “Then we went to Stephen’s place in Hastings on two separate occasions and recorded the rest of the tracks.” Stephen was the obvious choice for the four-piece on this record, citing that he had a bit more influence in the pop sensibilities..
It has always been enjoyable to bring new songs to the live shows also.”
As for their live setup, the boys are known for their rigorous routine in terms of bring their energy from rehearsal rooms to the stage; “We’ve always invested in ourselves. Even from our very first show, we brought our own sound engineer. [For us] the shows are absolute, they have to be amazing.” frontman Aaron Smyth pops up. “It’s about consistency” adds guitarist Phil Costello. “It has always been enjoyable to bring new songs to the live shows also.”
Headlining The Button Factory on 7 March, the band have some impressive names to tick off the list with performances at Killarney’s INEC and Dublin’s Forbidden Fruit Festival behind their belt. Also a run of several dates in selected HMV stores across the country will help them to gel a feel for the new EP in a live situation. A number of UK dates and a performance at Toronto’s CMJ are planned over the next few months also.
A band has to develop, an artist has to. You have to be selfish and get enjoyment to want and keep on doing it.”
Tracks on the “Running” EP along with lead single ‘Boy’ may not be as “upbeat” and “high octane” as their previous efforts like ‘Tina’ and ‘Gold and Silver’, but the band feel it allows them to “Do things and say things a little differently.” Aaron points out; “A band has to develop, an artist has to. You have to be selfish and get enjoyment to want and keep on doing it.”
For the tracks that didn’t make it like ‘Come To The River’, the band felt their needed to be “more body and more heart” with the tracks they chose. Their hit ‘Tina’ was more about “progession” in their eyes, but with “Running”, there’s nothing set in stone for what direction the band might move with their début album. “Out of the eight tracks that we had sent in, there were four frontrunners that we all collectively agreed on.” says Phil, “Stephen called me up to say ‘I know the four’, I said go on, and he listed off ‘Boy’, ‘Repeat’, ‘Jesus Babe’, and ‘One Chance’.” and that’s how the EP’s track listing was done.
Before the band settle back into rehearsals for their upcoming shows, Aaron explains what ‘Boy’ is really means; “Boy is about growing tired of who you’ve become as a person, putting the brakes on and saying ‘enough is enough’. You need to change a couple of things in your life, that’s not where you want to go”
“Running” is available on iTunes and in HMV stores nationwide from 6 March. They play The Button Factory, Dublin on 7 March.