If you are ever having a bad day and you need a pick-me-up then I have the solution: listen to Alex Vans. If you are ever having a fantastic day and you think to yourself, “Self, it can’t possibly get any better than this…” – put on Alex Vans and you’ll find out that you were wrong. Alex Vans is everything great that people love about music. Their sound mixes rock, grunge, indie, and folk with a hook that draws you in every time. Their lyrics are funny, honest, sad…life. Their lyrics are just life. All of the good and the bad of it, you’ll find here.
The band is an arrangement of truly talented musicians who know how to rock and have fun doing it. But don’t think that they’re all fun and games. These guys write straight from the heart with smart lyrics set to contagious beats that’ll leave you wanting to hit repeat over and over again. They continue to build a steady and loyal fan base wherever they are heard and with the release of their latest EP “Buy American Vol 1” they are set to gain even more as they continue receiving high marks from fans and critics alike.
I recently had the chance to speak with Alex Vans to find out more about their latest EP, their comedy webseries “Bad Business”, and what the future has in store for the band and their fans.
Alex Vans Interview
TAMMY: Growing up what artists/albums would you say got you hooked on music? Who inspired you to want to get out there and find your own voice?
ALEX VANS: I always strive to stay open to anything. I tend to fixate on one artist or genre for an extended period of time and move on to something completely different. When I was learning to play and write, it was all jazz. More specifically, the fusion stuff from the 1970s; electric era Miles, Return to Forever, Weather Report, and the like. That really got me into the craftsmanship and artistry of knowing and being able to play everything in the musical palette. It wasn’t until after college that I got into songwriters, and I’ve always gravitated to artists who could deftly sneak something “out” into an otherwise accessible song. Beck is great at that, and his music, especially his early bizarro-folk stuff really inspired me to start writing lyrics and putting songs together. His very angular melodies really appealed to my jazz background, and his oblique lyrics were a great jumping-off point for me to start expressing myself with words.
TAMMY: I feel that rock music should be fun and expressive and your music absolutely stays true to that. How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it?
ALEX VANS: Thank you, and I 100 percent agree. I’d describe us as the type of music you’d put on and blast in your car right after you walk out on a job that makes you miserable. As you hit the open road, you feel totally rock and roll, wild, and free. Then the anxiety and paranoia around not knowing what you’re doing with your life kicks in. That’s pretty much what “Buy American Vol. 1” says sonically.
TAMMY: What inspires you when you are sitting down to write a new track?
ALEX VANS: I try to get out and expose myself to as many experiences as possible. That usually means I end up having a lot of fun with cool people, but it also has opened me up to some emotionally complicated situations, which is what I usually draw from. I usually write my best stuff at 3 in the morning after a gig or a night out. It’s when I have the most energy and the most direct experience to draw from.
TAMMY: I saw that you are set to release a new EP. Tell me a bit about it. How long have you been working on it?
ALEX VANS: We just put out the first Volume of a 2 volume “Buy American” double EP. Volume 1, which is out now is 100 percent stoner rock. We are crafting Volume 2 in a way that moves a bit back to my jazz roots, but with a rock sensibility, and have landed on channeling the vibe of late 70s Doobie Brothers, Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins. We’re going from stoner rock to yacht rock.
TAMMY: Do you have a core message that you would like to convey to the world with your music? Sort of a central theme that you’d like your music to express to your audience?
ALEX VANS: I think if there’s a central message, it’s confront the dark and uncomfortable things in your personal life and in the world, and have/make fun of all the bad things you have to deal with.
TAMMY: What, for you, is the most challenging but also rewarding aspect of putting together a new EP?
ALEX VANS: The hardest thing is definitely pouring all of your time, money, and heart into something that you’re not sure anyone is going to like, or even worse, care about. But the rewarding thing is in the process and experience of creating, and bringing clarity to all the musical noise happening in my head.
TAMMY: I love your writing style. Tell me about the meanings behind some of your songs like “Velocirapture” and also “Break My Spell”.
ALEX VANS: I talk about a range of uncomfortable topics. “Velocirapture” is about ideologues; religious or political and how dangerous people can become when they are completely convinced that their ideas about reality are the absolute truth. “Break My Spell” is about fixation in a relationship, and how unhealthy that can be. Super fun and upbeat stuff.
TAMMY: The music industry is a very tough world to be a part of some days. What keeps you motivated and what advice do you have for other artists who are trying to make their music known?
ALEX VANS: Just keep writing and producing music and other good content. Create and put it out there; rinse, and repeat. Fans and attention will come naturally from there if your stuff s good.
TAMMY: What do you have coming up that you are excited about? Any plans to tour in the near future?
ALEX VANS: We are going to be producing a second season of our comedy Web Series, Bad Business (you can find the first season on YouTube now), putting out a few new music videos, and (hopefully) releasing a second half of our EP by the end of the year. As for a tour, we always keep a busy schedule of playing out. I’m not quite ready to go back to living out of a van full time again, so the tour might have to wait until we are big enough to be able to afford a bus.
To find out more about Alex Vans and to keep up to date on their latest news, tour, music, and more you can visit their website at alexvansmusic.com.