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INTERVIEW: Vanbot

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

I’m good thanks! A mix of very proud and very exhausted.

For those who aren’t familiar with you or your sound yet, how would you describe it?

I would say it’s something like melancholic melodic pop.

Can you talk to us more about your latest album ”Siberia”?

This project has been a dream of mine for several years! It’s written and recorded entirely on the Trans Siberian Railway, from Moscow to Beijing. We wrote and recorded all the way along the 8 000 km long railway, it was a very direct and liberating process. It was more like an experiment than a normal album production. I wanted to work with limitations instead of endless possibilities. I tend to overdo everything and have a hard time to know when to stop. So I felt I had put put myself in a context where I couldn’t control the conditions to learn a lesson. It was amazing to work with Johannes and Petter, I think we made a perfect team. It was all about breaking things down, peeling of layers, trust that very first instinct and stay away from doing any polishing.

How did the album name come about?

Haha, this album title was the easiest one ever. All the songs have alternative titles based on the geographical place where they were written, so choosing Siberia for the album title was kind of obvious.

Did any event/s in particular inspire you to write the material?

I think all the places we passed and visited affected us in different ways. The landscape, the culture, the other people on the train. Being in Mongolia really shook my grounds. We went straight out into the wilderness, four hours away from the nearest civilization. In this area people live as nomads, and horses, sheep and cows roam freely. This was something I had never experienced before and the overall symbiosis between man, animal and nature made a huge impression on us. Out there in the wilderness we wrote ”Wasted (Terejl)” and it’s pretty much about that.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was very direct and simple. A typical day started with jamming and sharing ideas, then I wrote lyrics sitting in the isle between the cabins and by the end of the day the recording was finalized. When we left Stockholm we didn’t know what the outcome would be. It really was  an experiment in every way. Luckily it ended up being a whole album.

What’s your favourite track from the record and why?

My absolute favorite is ”Hard To Get Used To (Baikal)”. When recording that song I had some kind of meltdown. We had been on the train for four days when we made our first stop by the Lake Baikal. We were tired, worn out and I felt pretty bad and emotional when recording that song. I’m happy that we kept that very first meltdown taking, even though it  felt way too stripped down at the moment.

How different are the new tracks from the previous material?

They still have the same melodic feeling, but it’s more ambient and dreamy.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, we’ve done some shows in Stockholm and we’ll do some tours this fall. I’m really looking forward to it!

How do the official videos for your latest singles compliment the music and why?

For ”Collide (Krasnoyarsk)” we wanted to create a video thats deals with space and time and focus on two people borderlining breakdowns and intimacy. I totally love the way the two dancers mediated the feeling of that song. I had goosebumps the whole day we filmed it.

Why should people pay attention to Vanbot? What’s special about you?

Haha, that’s impossible to answer. I just do what I love doing, and if people find something that connects to them, that means the world to me.

What else is happening next in Vanbot’s world?

Right now I’m rehearsing, doing some shows and planning tours. And I’ve started writing for a completely different project… more info will come.

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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