Cultivating great musical taste

Van Susans – I was going to write a song with him and I never really got a chance to do that

Van Susans

This five-piece London based band produce pop/rock music that is very accessible for any listener. Van Susans appeared at Victorious on the Seaside Stage, and while their experience might not have been totally smooth, they still put on a fantastic show. After they came off people came up to them to compliment on their show and music, a testament to their talent.

Paused in the Moment is their debut album and it has received plays from BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music. We caught them at the bandstand and despite a couple of sound problems they are in a good mood, glad to have done the set and getting ready for an appearance elsewhere the next day.

To start with we were speaking to Olly Andrews, Ed Dullaway and Holly McLatchie, but Rob Dullaway and AJ join us later on.

Musical Nourishment (MN): What lyrics really speak to you?

Ed (E): Of our lyrics?

MN: Anybody’s lyrics, it could be yours it could be anybody’s.

Olly (O): Of the bands lyrics? You can answer that if you want Holly.

Holly (H): I’ll have to think because  you’re the singer!! There are some in Seagulls I really like but you at least tell me what it is, ‘hands of time’ or something?

O: Yeah, Seagulls is the song that really means the most because of the whole situation of it. It’s probably going to be our next single. I wrote about my dad, My dad had terminal cancer and he passed away a little bit over a year ago and the first time we ever played it as a band was at his funeral. I finished writing it about three days before he died and I just thought of the funeral and I wanted to get it done. It upsets me as I play. That’s what the lyrics are all about now.

H: Yeah, it’s got some nice lyrics that song.

MN to E: Do you have any lyrics that speak to you?

E: I really like the Coming Home lyrics actually, they cut so deep you know (laughs).


O: So Ed you were talking about the Coming Home lyrics.

E: Oh no I just think they are really good.

O: I said to my dad before he got ill that I was going to write a song with him and I never really got a chance to do that. I thought I would try to write the song from his perspective, he used to always call my mum babe and that’s kind of what the lyrics are from like a love song from him to her.

MN: What do you think makes good music?

H: Violins! Just violins.

O: There’s so much to that! It doesn’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to be too intelligent with it. I think when it comes to lyrics you have to be intelligent with it, but when it comes to the music you can make a pop song as long as it’s catchy.

Ed: Simple orchestration for me.

O: Or you can have it the other way really complicated and musically interesting. Music is such a diverse thing nowadays that it can’t really be restricted to one thing so I think that what makes good music is a very vague question isn’t it. I mean you might not like a particular genre of music but that doesn’t mean it’s bad music.

H: like big Sean c’mon


MN: Best gig you’ve ever played?

E: I would say it was actually Party for Patrick last year which is a small festival in Reigate.

O: We’re playing there tomorrow.

E: Yeah we’re playing there tomorrow. At the time we were not feeling that good it was like pouring down with rain it was cold and there weren’t many people there. We were headlining that night and we went into the canapé, canapé? Canopy and there must and been like…

O: The were 300 people there…

E: And they just went mental they were jumping on each other and throwing each other around and stuff and the stage was wobbling and they all knew all of our songs.

O: It was so unexpected. We are playing there tomorrow and we really hope it works out the same. We’re on the main stage this year. We think it may lose that personal touch that you get in a confined space.

H: for me I think it was the Islington O2 gig because my parents came down from Scotland and they’d never seen us play.

O: Yeah that was recently.

H: That was pretty cool.

MN: Ok so that was quite a special one?

H: we got their approval. (Pointing at band mates) They were all really scared of my dad it was hilarious.

O: I was really worried that her Dad hated the band, but he liked us. I really don’t know what my favourite gig is. I really liked the one in Manchester where we supported Little Comets.

E: It was sponsored by Durex condoms. I was really hoping to get some free condoms but I didn’t get any.

O: I had like a right sexual chat with the director and I discovered why you get flavoured condoms because they are apparently for blow jobs. I was like why would you have a curry flavoured condom but it’s for blow jobs! Anyway…sooo…

MN: What is the weirdest experience you’ve ever had on tour?

H: To be honest last week was quite funny we were staying in a tent and they dragged me down these little lanes at midnight. PITCH BLACK!

E: It was to walk to the pub and back, about a 20 minute walk.

O: It was completely pitch black and it was a tunnel that lead to the pub.

H: That was pretty freaky.

E: we were expecting to see like a pig hanging from a tree or something.

MN: Lovely, glad you didn’t.

MN: When did you first realise that music is what you wanted to do?

E: When I was 14. I started playing guitar because I was obsessed with Metallica and I was like I’m going to be a rock star. I wanted to be in a metal band, which is not what I’m in now. I pretty much gave up on everything I was doing to study music

H: I was six years old and at school there was a violin group and I was desperate to be in it and my mum said I could do it and that’s it and I’m still playing today

O: That’s pretty cool. I was quite old really when I started chasing it. I played guitar for ages, but I thought I would just end up doing business as I did marketing at university. Pretty much the first year of uni and whenever I went back to London I would start up the band again with Robin and it just really started making sense. I just started working for my course and then the band just started doing well and we started recording our first album and that was the time I realised I was going into music and that was two to three years ago and now I can’t really see myself doing anything else.

MN: That’s fair enough. If you like it there’s no point in doing anything else really.

O: AJ?

AJ: We kind of went for a wander around the outside of the festival and got lost but I’m back now.

H: This is Rob and AJ.

O: Take a question and read it out.

MN: Do you have a charity or cause that is close to your heart?

O: Because of everything that happened to my Dad we give quite a lot to Cancer Research and do a lot of gigs for cancer. There’s one in particular, St Christopher’s Hospice and we recently, for my dad, did this football tournament and me, Ed and Rob really got involved in it and it was basically like all my family and friends and fans. We are probably going to put some event on in the future and Ed recently did a run didn’t you?

Ed: I ran for children with cancer it was a Bromley to Brighton run, which was really fun!

H: Until it started raining!

Ed: It was only 50 miles and I didn’t quite make it as it started pouring down 35 miles in and everything ceased up and I couldn’t walk.

O: We are raising money all the time we raised £2500 for it.

MN: Excellent. If someone wrote a biography about you what would it be called?

AJ: Alone in the dark.

O: Us vs. the World, you’ve got to get the VS in there somewhere. Van vs Mother Earth it’s been a bit of a struggle we had some hardships along the way but we are getting there.

MN: What is your pet peeve?

AJ Acoustic guitarists.

O: What did you say mate?

AJ: Nothing, nothing.

H: Camping, I really hate camping

O: I really hate people chewing

MN: And you can hear it?

O: It’s like an irrational thing but even if it’s the smallest thing…

Ed: I hate socialising, no not really. I have loads but I cannot really remember them

MN: it is forgetting things in a time of need?

As for my pet peeve, it’s people phoning me when I’m recording an interview. Unfortunately it cut off the recording but apart from the standard what have you got coming up, that was the end. As for they do have coming up, they obviously had that gig in Ryegate and this month they’ve been in the studio as well. As of yet there are no tour dates listed on their social media, but if they’re in the studio once again then there’s hope that they’ll have new material they’ll need to support.

Don’t forget to look out for any charity events they’ll be putting on. There’s always their Facebook, Twitter and official website.


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