The VANNS – RACKETT, one on one with lead singer, Jimmy Vann about the band’s forthcoming debut album ‘Through the Walls’, signing to a major label and bonding with Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy) over Led Zeppelin.
I’ve come to know The VANNS, having appeared on several bills together in RACKETT, as friendly and talented dudes. Though my age would suggest I’m (just) outside The VANNS screaming-teenage-girls fanbase, I’m definitely not immune to the heartthrob that is Jimmy Vann. Not to pick a favourite (I love them all), but it’s Jimmy’s voice that needs nothing more than for him to open his mouth to make a room melt. The VANNS 2019 singles ‘Mother’ and ‘Deranged’, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Through the Walls’ out this October, make this an album I’ll be adding to pre-save.
Working with Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy) and Chris Collins (Gang of Youths) on your forthcoming album ‘Through the Walls’, can you give me some insight into the way you approached the collaboration?
We met Oscar through a writing session. Most of that initial writing session we bonded by listening to Led Zeppelin and Van Halen. He came and stayed with us in Kiama (NSW) as a songwriter and producer on and left as a brother. Before Oscar joined the family, the album started off with Cam (The VANNS guitarist) and I writing songs with the vision of an album. Not so much a concept album, but a collection of songs I had written, Cam had written and the development of these ideas by our (big) brother, Oscar. For example. Mother, which barely made it on the album, without a chorus, Oscar brought together and it became our lead single.
Your latest single ‘Deranged’, who’s personal experience is this based on in the band?
I started writing this song in London whilst travelling with a partner. It started out as a positive ballad, but the relationship broke apart afterwards and so the song, in parallel to the real-time experience of that, turned deranged.
The artwork for your singles ‘How was I supposed to know’, ‘Mother’, ‘Deranged’ and forthcoming album ‘Through the Walls’ features some nostalgic photographs, can you tell me the connection to the band and how these represent the music?
Cam found an image of my old man when he was my age. We saw a lot of ourselves in that picture, a little bit broken, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with beer. This became the album artwork and worked back from there on a treasure hunt for photographs from the band that we connected with.
Your video clip for ‘Mother’, was that shot in one long shot?
One full shot. Two rehearsals and a lot of running around by our director and the band bringing gear in and out.
You’ve recently signed with 123 Music and Sony, knowing you’ve built your fanbase from the ground, what have been the benefits and downfalls of signing with a major label?
We were never looking to sign to a label, we were never hungry for that kind of attention. The benefit is we get to work with amazing producers and have more access to resources, the only downfall of working with a bigger team is there is a longer chain of people to get our ideas across. Signing to the label thing for us, was about working as a team. It’s still the same, we still very much control what we do.
Has signing with a label opened a portal to new audiences?
We wanna get overseas. We want to get to the UK. We’ve got a listening fan base there and we want to get over to play live for them. Having label support means we will be able to do that.
The band are playing an album release tour soon, you’ll be heading to Perth. How do you feel about that?
I’m very excited to return to Perth, playing new music and the old stuff. Pumped.
The VANNS play Mojo’s Bar (North Fremantle, WA), Friday, 15 November 2019. Get tickets
Pre-save The VANNS debut album, out October 25th, 2019, ‘Through The Walls’
Full Australian tour dates and info head to www.thevannsband.com