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INTERVIEW: Vander

Hi William, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you very much! I’ve been incredibly busy over the last year. I wrapped up the release of my debut EP, ‘Venus’, and then flew to LA to record my follow-up EP! We’re now currently on the back of those sessions completing the tracks, as well as finishing the last couple of songs for the EP in Sydney. We’re aiming to release the EP later this year!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Back To The Sun”?

‘Back To The Sun’ was a ‘first’ for me in many ways. It was the first song that I ever finished writing, and the first original song I had ever played live. It was the first song that was ever recorded professionally.

It also has a lot of history behind it. I put the song together when I was about 20, and the music itself had been moulded over the last seven years by new opportunities and experiences. It had been recorded three times in it’s near decade-long life, starting as a demo in an 80’s revival style, to a synth-pop track which was released on my latest release, ‘Venus’, and finally ending up as a modern alternative track, which will be the version released on my upcoming EP. It’s interesting because each version represents a different stage in my life. The demo represented my life in university studying music in Sydney. The first professional recording represented my first time in LA and the second represents my second time recently. I’m extremely proud of what it became. It was truly like watching a child become an adult.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The lyrics for the song actually came out of a bad relationship. There was someone that I was good friends with a long time ago and we had started to get more intimate. However, she started distancing herself out of fear of getting her heart broken again after a previous relationship, and that’s what the song ultimately became about: fear of relationship, fear of opening your heart to possible hurt, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past already.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I actually released a music video for the ‘Venus’ release of the single! It was quite conceptual and comic-inspired. You can watch it at my Youtube channel (youtube.com/user/vandermusicofficial). But I can tell you now that there will be a new video coming soon in support of the re-release!

The single comes off your new album Venus – what’s the story behind the title?

The title came after the songs for the EP were completed. In retrospect, I realised that, almost by coincidence, that the stories in all the songs were about a girl. A girl I was in love with, or a girl I wanted to inspire, or a girl I wanted to be promiscuous with. It seemed that the EP was centred around the focus of a woman, so I wanted the title to reflect that, so naming the EP after a Roman goddess was a cool way of doing that.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a really exhilarating time! I travelled to Los Angeles to work with Jeff Blue (Linkin Park) and Sahaj Ticotin, (RA). We spent four days co-writing and recording the songs for the EP in Sahaj’s studio. It was gruelling getting the three songs written and recorded within such a short space of time, but I learnt a great deal from the sessions as anyone would working with such great people, and we all were really excited about the songs that came out of them!

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else than when you are writing your own original material?

I think the biggest difference between working on a cover and an original is what is available when you first start. When I cover songs, whether for a video or live, I try to stay true to the record. I don’t try to be overly creative about it, because at the end of the day, whether it’s a video or a show, it’s all about the audience having a great time, and most of the time, they would be happy to just hear the song as they know it, so I usually end up working on an already-completed song. However, with my original music however, it’s a completely different beast, because you start from scratch. There is nothing but air and maybe an idea when you first put pen to paper, so you end up taking a separate and usually longer journey which requires a lot more creative input. It’s also a lot more personal too because the ideas are entirely your own, compared to a cover when you’re expressing someone else’s message.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics on this record?

For most of the songs on the EP, we were inspired each other’s stories. A lot of the songwriting process simply involved one of us telling a story about something that happened in our lives; love, lust, and we decided to write a song around it.

Any plans to hit the road?

Absolutely! I’m currently in the process of finalising the second EP, so once we have everything set in stone, a tour will definitely be in the works! I’m really excited about the songs that we’ve finished so far, so I genuinely can’t wait to share them with you all!

What else is happening next in Vander’s world?

Quite a lot! Amongst finishing the mixes of the songs I recorded recently in Los Angeles and writing the last couple of songs for the second EP, I’ve also started putting together cover videos of songs that inspired that upcoming release, which you can see on my Facebook page (facebook.com/vandermusicofficial). Then shortly, I’ll be preparing the set for my next line of shows! Very turbulent but exciting times!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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