With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to GETAWAY VAN . Anders Ekdahl ©2018
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
Charlie: I don’t think the band’s vision has really changed too much. It’s certainly got more focused, but it hasn’t ever really strayed from us just wanting to be a band that makes you move, physically and mentally, with their music.
Zack: When I first joined the band I was just happy to be playing music again, after so long. It quickly became much more than that. We’re like a big happy family now! I want our music to be music that people can have a good time to, and shake there hiney too.
Derek: The vision has stayed the same – express ourselves through loud ass music. It’s a creative outlet that we’re lucky to be able to have. So many times you’re struggling to find other people to make like-minded music with, and we’ve been able to find each other. We’re hoping to create something beautiful and be able to share it with people.
Devon: When the band first started, I didn’t really have a certain vision. I just knew I wanted to play good music, whether it be RocknRoll, Punk, or whatever. It’s still the same for me today. I just love to play music, and the only vision I have is to love what I do. Hopefully, other people will like it too.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
Charlie: I hope not! I mean, I think Vancouver is a pretty swell place, and I’m not the kind of guy to judge someone for any reason, especially not for where they’re from. That being said, it’s kinda hard for me to relate to anyone who does feel that way, and I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that judgment personally.
Zack: I should hope not. I would hope that by now people would judge you by your worth, and not by where you come from, but who knows.
Derek: Haha, no. But if there ever is, fuck those guys!
Devon: Not that I’ve really noticed. I guess maybe there are things that people think when they see that a band is from Canada, but hey we can rock just as hard as anyone else, and we’ll be happy to show it!
When you release an album that gets pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
Charlie: We are constantly trying to improve, and honestly negative feedback is a bigger driver in that regard. It gives you a basis to build off of.
I think it is important to be able to identify from album to album, and I’ve definitely had my fair share of experiences where I was excited to listen to a band’s new album, only to discover that it was such a far cry from their previous material, that I couldn’t relate. While evolution in sound and taste is inevitable for any musician/listener, I do feel that if you’re going in a totally different direction, it should be for a new project. That being said, I feel like people will always be able to identify to at least a part of our album, as we always have such a diverse style from song to song.
Zack: There’s always room to improve. I think we often try to outdo ourselves with each new song, so hopefully, that keeps working. Most of our songs also come from very personal places, that most people can relate to.
Derek: I want each album to capture that moment in time for us as musicians. So if it’s a similar place in life for everyone between a couple albums, I’d expect those to be a very similar vibe and sound. I’m a big fan of certain bands because of the stories behind the music, the personal stories of the artists – that plays a lot into how much interest I have in a band. I need the music experience to be multi-level if that makes sense. I’m a weird guy. Sometimes that “what” isn’t enough; I need to know the “why” and the “how”.
Devon: I think all you can do is your best. If all you want from music is to make money or be famous, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. I love to make music, I love to play music, and if it makes me money, then that’s a bonus. I think we make music that we like and that we want to make. If an album doesn’t do as well as the last, but you’re still proud of it, I think that’s great. I never want to get caught up in chasing success. At the same time, I do hope that people like our music. You do it for yourself, but you want other people to enjoy it as well.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write really cool songs?
Charlie: I’ve come to find that the biggest challenge in creating music/an album/songs is getting the song structure absolutely nailed down. You can have a great riff/great lyrics/great chord progression, but if the structure and transitions are not there, it can easily fall flat on its face.
Zack: Typically the hardest part is agreeing on the structure of a song. Usually, one person will write lyrics and a melody, and the rest of the band will build their own parts around it.
Derek: Having 3 different composers in the band, there are a few ways we come up with different songs. When I wrote Branches, I actually wrote it on the bass. I was back at home with family during Christmas and hooked up a bass with a Big Muff pedal to a practice amp and just started playing with riffs. After doodling over a few days, I landed on a couple parts and then sat on it for about 10 months, haha. One day I played it on my guitar with Getaway Van, and everyone was like “Yeah let’s build around that!” and the song organically came together through jamming.
Devon: For me, I just think “what do I want to hear?” I try to think of the songs that really wow me. Specifically the drums parts. If I can find something that I think sounds great, and mix it with what the other guys write, we’re onto something.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analog recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analog?
Charlie: I have not, but I would love to one day. I love vinyl due to the warmth of the sound, even when it’s a digital recording that’s been translated. Then you put on an old record that was actually recorded in the pre-digital era, and it’s warmth just envelopes you. It’s certainly something I would like to experiment with one day.
Zack: I personally think it’s a lot more of an organic experience. Less room for error. We haven’t recorded analog, but I would love to.
Derek: I love the idea of analog. I hate the practicality of analog. It would be awesome to record that way one day, I’d like to hear the output. However in the meantime, some of the EQ options that you get to play with in post-production when mixing digitally… it makes a world of difference in making the “heaviness” of the music come through to the listener.
Devon: I haven’t personally, although I think it would be a great opportunity. I think it forces you to play better. When you think of bands back before pro tools, they had to be good players to get it right. There was no “fixing it in the mix”. Bands all through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, were great because it was all real, and not overproduced. I think that’s something that’s missing today. For the most part.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
Charlie: I think all the time what people’s reaction to this album is going to be, and I’m as excited as I am nervous. At the end of the day, we’re all proud of what we’ve accomplished, so I don’t foresee myself getting cut down too much, but I would be straight up lying if I said I didn’t care what people think.
Zack: It feels great to be able to have and hold something we all made together. IIt’s like our own little Getaway Van baby. I really hope people will have as much fun listening to it as we did making it.
Derek: Honestly, I’m one of those people who always listen to my own stuff and critiques it – so about a month and a half after the final mastering was done, my list of “things I want to improve” is only sitting at about 12,742. So that’s pretty good, haha. All jokes aside, I think people are really going to like it. It’s pretty eclectic.
Devon: This album is everything I’ve been working for as a drummer and a musician. It turned out better than I ever thought it would, and I hope people enjoy it as much as we all do.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
Charlie: I think lyrics are very important to tell a story, but if I’m being candid, I put far more emphasis on the overall sound. Music to me is more about sound than a story, and what story you can make for yourself based on that sound. Classical music never expressly tells a story, but you tell it to yourself while you listen. That’s more my main prerogative when I write.
Zack: The lyrics are hugely important to me. IIt’s what the listener will relate to most. You can have a rocking tune, but if the lyrics don’t click with people the song will fall flat.
Derek: Lyrics are important for me, but they supplement the song rather than being the focal point.
Devon: I think a lot of the songs talk about things we’ve all been through. There are some pretty heavy subjects, but I think it’s important to keep an element of fun on a record. You’re never meant to feel bummed out with this album.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
Charlie: I think artwork is more important than it should be, personally. Never judge a book by it’s cover, right?
Zack: The artwork should tell you who the band is, and give you a taste of what you’re in for on the album, and I think we’ve done that. There are some great albums out there with kind of bland artwork, and like Charlie said, “never judge a book by its cover.
Derek: Dude, our artwork rocks. I think it’s just another opportunity to the vibe of the song/band/album.
Devon: It depends, there’s albums I love that have plain and simple artwork, and ones that have something really crazy. I think as long as it catches your eye, and draws you in, it doesn’t really matter what’s on there. I’ve bought albums that have really cool covers, but were garbage music.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
Charlie: I have definitely been starting to experience that, and it is preeeettttyyy sweet, not gunna lie. When you get people coming up to you after a show and telling you how much they loved your new songs, or how exciting the performance was, it certainly is a nice feeling
Zack: Performing is definitely my favorite part. Looking out and seeing the audience having a great time is what it’s all about.
Derek: That’s one of the coolest parts of playing out. I didn’t really ever consider the kind of attention and coverage we’ve been getting. Very, very cool.
Devon: The last few times we’ve played I noticed people are starting to go a little crazier, and rock out more. I’m even starting to see familiar faces of people who have come to our shows before. It’s really cool to know that you’re gaining new fans.
What do you see in the future?
Charlie: For Getaway Van? Hopefully some touring, definitely a new album, lots of shows.
Zack: Charlie said it best! Nowhere to go but up!
Derek: Putting out more music. Getting in a van and touring down to California and the desert.
Devon: I would love to get out and do a proper tour. I love playing live, and playing in a new town is always fun. Most importantly, I just want to keep making music and have a good time doing it. Life’s too short, do what you love.