Formed in High School in their hometown of Wollongong, The VANNS story centres around Jimmy Vann (vocals/guitars) and Lachie Jones (drummer) when they casually threw a band together to enter a competition. Following 2017’s EP, Shake The Hand That Starts The Fight, the four piece are thrilled to announce brand new single, How Was I Supposed To Know and a string of shows in support of the single. The How Was I Supposed To Know single tour will be supported by Wing Defence and kicks off at Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong, followed by a headline run down the coast from Brisbane through to Adelaide. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Cam about the tour and the new single.

Congratulations on the new single How Was I Supposed To Know, is it an exciting time when you have something all shiny and new to talk about?
Yeah man, we haven’t really released a song since March last year so it has been a while and is a pretty good update to what we’ve been doing. We wrote and recorded an album and the song that has just come out is off that. It’s all done and now we’re waiting for the ahead and how to release it.

Is that a tough thing trying to navigate the “mechanics of industry” in terms of getting your album out?
I don’t really know much about the industry side of things but as a band we just want to get it out. It might be immature thinking or something like that!

Is it hard to keep a lid on the excitement with your own headline shows about to kick off?
Yeah, we’re really keen to play. We did a tour in March, a pretty small tour, and before that it was October last year. The Yours & Owls Festival was our first gig since May so it is good to have a job again.

How was it playing in front of your hometown crowd at Yours & Owls Festival?
There was so many people from Wollongong it was like a high school reunion. Funnily enough they didn’t even know I am in a band. It was like “who are you here to see?” I would say “yeah, I’m playing!” It was fun but I was nervous because we hadn’t played in ages and we played a few new songs that we recorded for the album. It was the first time that we played them so I wanted to nail it.

Are The Vanns full time or are you having to juggling work commitments to pay the bills?
Lachie and Tom have jobs, Tom does bar work and Jim and I do pub gigs sitting in the corner under the TAB machine. I like it! It is fun! I haven’t got a real job yet!

What is the story behind the song? Is it meant to be personal?
Jim and I went through similar things relationship wise and we came together and wrote about them together.

Were you hands on with the film clip?
That was heaps of fun with our mates, we did it down in Melbourne. The actors are our mates as well, it only took an afternoon.

How was it working with Oscar Dawson who is fast becoming a well renowned producer?
That’s because he is so damn good! He has really good ears, we wanted because we’re a pretty heavy guitar band a producer who is a pretty good guitarist. I’m a left hander and so is he so I got to use some of his nice guitars on the record.

Has there been much of a departure in sound on the album compared to the EP’s?
There’s definitely a departure, I only joined the band officially since the start of 2017 just as the last EP was coming out, so it will be our first official release as a four piece. It is more of a co-written thing as well, it used to be more of Jim bringing the song to the band. It definitely is different to the older stuff and a new sound for us.

How do you feel about the Gang Of Youths comparison and what bands do you look up to for inspiration?
There definitely is a Gang Of Youths influence, I’m sitting at a cafe wearing a Gang Of Youths t-shirt. Maybe I’m more of a fan than I thinking I am. Song writing wise there is a whole bunch of influences, a lot of the guitar is inspired by the likes of Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mark Knopfler, guys I grew up listening to. It’s cool that there’s a lot of different influences on it. Jim is really in to Kings Of Leon…

Do you think The Vanns will spread their wings and look to tour overseas?
I think it is still early days for us. I think we’ll put out more music and tour that and hopefully get overseas next year and then repeat.

Are there many ideas floating around for album number two?
Absolutely none! We put everything in to making this one. We won’t start writing the next one straight away because this one is only about to come out. Plus we don’t want to regurgitate the same story line and maybe we need to experience some different stuff before thinking about it.

Interview by Rob Lyon

Catch The Vanns in Adelaide on Friday at Rocket Bar…

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