By E. R. Pulgar, Staff Writer
Despite most of its members coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, Vacances is through and through a Brooklyn band. Getting their start just lost year, the band is set to release their first EP, Last Summer, this week. WSN spoke with Danny Lannon and Dan Bindschedler, the lead singer / songwriter and bassist/backup vocalist, respectively, to discuss the band’s future plans, how they see the scene growing in Brooklyn, and their surf-y new single, “Only You.”
WSN: You guys are a new band, but you’ve all been performing as individuals for years and have hit up some big festivals; how do you bring those experiences together?
Dan: I think it comes into play in terms of experience communicating and we all feel pretty comfortable performing, so we have a lot of fun onstage. We bring different kinds of work modes and work ethics to the table when we collaborate on songs, and converging influences, too.
WSN: What are your influences?
Dan: We all have pretty strong interest in 80s new wave and pop punk; New Order, Joy Division, Duran Duran… I’m a big Echo and the Bunnymen fan. I really like The Strokes; I think we’re all on the same page in terms of that. I also play cello, so I bring a lot of quirky orchestral things into play when I’m working on my base lines. Nick used to be on Green Day’s Adeline Records, so he’s just rocked up all the time, and keeps us on track in that sense. Shawn used to be in an indie/electronic band called Painted Palms, so we’re incorporating a lot of things that he’s into from that group too. I was listening to Grimes’ new record when I was making “Only You.”
WSN: How do you see the scene growing in Brooklyn?
Dan: We just played at a festival called Color Me Bushwick. I see that sort of thing starting to happen more, those sort of small festivals, things that are going to go beyond CMJ. A lot of people are still into CMJ, but I think you’ll see more of these little DIY festivals and things like that in the Bushwick area. When I started playing here, it was all about Spike Hill, Charleston, stuff like that back in mid 2000s; now a lot of things like House of Yes, Video Gallery, and Trans-Pecos.
Danny: I played here a few times in the past when I still lived in San Francisco, and the venues that used to be staples—like Pianos— are not as much of a focus anymore. Like Dan was saying, the focus is shifting toward Brooklyn, which might have to do with rent prices and noise pollution issues or something, but it just seems like there’s not as much going on in the Lower East Side as there historically has been. I think in terms of a scene growing and band camaraderie, where Nick and I are from, those scenes are more closed and tight-knit; we’ve been pretty lucky in the sense of having friends out here and other bands kind of opening themselves up and being supportive.
WSN: What inspired “Only You?”
Dan: I was in [The Frail] for 8 years before I started [Vacances] and had written that song initially as an idea for my old band, but sonically it wasn’t a good fit. I got a bunch of friends together, recorded a demo version in San Francisco, and sat on it for about a year. Then I showed it to a music journalist friend of mine, and he was like “dude, what are you doing? You have to finish this song!” So I ended up doing that, and everyone seemed to like it, so that was kind of the first song I wrote for this project. We kind of re-did it and did some tracking at Transmitter Studios here in Brooklyn. The vision behind it is being on a summer vacation as a teenager in Santa Cruz, and going to the boardwalk and finding your crush,that whole awkward high school experience you might have when you’re in a town for a short amount of time. I kind of put myself in those shoes when writing this EP and wanted to explore the feelings that come up when you’re that age.
WSN: Where do you guys see this band going?
Danny: One thing Nick said recently in an interview is that we want to be able to play “the grimiest basement living room show to the biggest rock club venue that you can play,” and I think that describes it perfectly. We want that lo-fi, grimy feel especially live; I don’t think the recorded tracks do that portion justice, but the live show leans toward a punk rock vibe. We kind of go a little crazy, it’s a little fast, it’s reckless in a good way… we want to play someone’s living room and then go on tour play and play a festival.
Dan: We have tours in the works for the fall and winter; right now, we’re talking with some people in Japan for a small tour there; trying to move quick!
Vacance’s Last Summer EP is due out on July 15th, but is streaming now on Soundcloud.