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INTERVIEW: Van Common

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

Thanks for having me guys! I’ve been well. I’m currently in the process of moving houses, which is exciting. I’m hoping to be arranging a little home studio sometime soon.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Moonlight Blue”?

It’s the second single from my forthcoming debut EP, which should see the light of day somewhere this year. I wrote it late at night in a small beach house in the southwest of the Netherlands.

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

Like I mention earlier, I tend to find inspiration very late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep. That’s where the connection with the moon originates from. I write about the moon as if she is a woman leaving me in the morning as the sun starts to rise. Musically I wasn’t inspired by anything specific at that certain time. I came up with the chord progression one night and the rest of the song came together very quickly and naturally.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I filmed and edited the video myself while I was travelling through the US. I drove 9000 miles across the country by myself, and it was probably the hardest but most inspiring thing I’ve ever done. Initially I went to the US just because I’d always wanted to go, as for Dutch artists it’s not very common to get asked to tour over there. Mostly I just wanted to write songs, record some demos and meet new people. Eventually I ended up playing some shows to try out the new material in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin. The scenes in Joshua Tree were filmed by my friend Brian Dunn, who I met at a Halloween party in LA. When we drove up to Joshua Tree we even got our car stuck in the desert in the middle of the night, which made the process a bit hectic, but a great memory in the end.

How was the recording and writing process?

I write and play all the parts myself (drums, bass, keys, guitars, vocals). The writing and demo process is pretty much intertwined – as soon as I have an idea I think is worth pursuing, I start recording and laying out different production approaches. Some parts of the demos that I recorded in the beach house also ended up in the version that is out there today. But the majority of the EP I produced together with Jurriaan Sielcken at the Ijland Studio in Amsterdam, who also mixed it. Recording in a professional studio gave me the opportunity to learn from Jurriaan as a producer and engineer, and also allowed me to revisit all the parts and perfect them.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

The next single should be released somewhere in September, though I can’t promise anything specific dates yet.

Any plans to hit the road?

I have a few solo shows planned for the summer, and I recently got a band together that I’ll start rehearsing with very soon. I always want my music to sound like it’s a full band, so I’m really excited to hear it all come together in a live setting. The first official band shows will be during the Popronde – a national tour that we’re going to be part of from September until November. I hope we can cross the Dutch borders shortly after.

What else is happening next in Van Common’s world?

I’m always creating and preparing for a new release. And when I’m not actually creating, I’m thinking about how I want to create. One day at a time.

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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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