The VANNS began in 2013 at High School in Wollongong when Singer / Guitarist Jimmy Vann and drummer Lachie Jones casually threw a band together to enter a competition.
Lachie explains “From the very first time we properly jammed together I realised Jimmy was a freak guitarist and his voice was insane - I had always wanted to be in a band and tour but that moment with Jim was when it first came together as a reality”
For Jimmy – The VANNS started as a party band that accidentally got serious.
“I’d always played solo and never meant to start a band. We were just good mates that had fun hanging out, getting pissed and talking shit but when people started making T shirts for us and booking us to play parties in our local area we realised there was something more to this.”
When high school finished and members left to pursue other lives, Jimmy and Lachie reached out to bass player and long term associate Tommy Switlek to complete a tightly wound trio dedicated to developing a sound around their shared love of acts like Cold War Kids, Band of Horses and Jeff Buckley.
What followed was a series of 2 EP’s and multiple singles beginning with the Self titled ‘The VANNS’ in 2013, ‘Scattered By Sundown’ in 2015 and culminating with the release of the single ‘Skinny Legs’ in 2016.
Whilst those EP’s led to high profile shows with The Griswolds and being handpicked for national tours with acts like The Delta Riggs, Tired Lion and festival spots at Party in the Paddock, the band really saw a change of fortunes when they enlisted a local guitarist / songwriter Cam Little to try his hand at overdubbing some ideas during the recording process for 2017’s EP ‘Shake The Hand That Starts The Fight’.
By the end of the session it was obvious that the width and talent that Cam bought to the table both in the writing process and live shows was now indispensable
“I’d been playing around Wollongong and joined the band on keyboards at a random show for random fun- but it was the process of recording with them for the EP that confirmed that I was all in.”
Jimmy explains that “Chemistry is so important - I love having a sound that’s not like anything else –and having Cam in the band allows us to bounce off each other and blend our different influences that makes us the band we are.”
With the lineup crystalised as a four piece following on from the release of the new EP - The VANNS undertook an all ages tour selling out shows at the Sydney Metro LAIR and Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel leading to spots on Yours & Owls and opening for Catfish & the Bottlemen and the main support for KINGSWOOD on an extensive national tour.
In September 2017 they came to the attention of Producer Oscar Dawson (Holy Holy, Ali Barter, Alex Lahey) and together they cleared the decks to put the new iteration of the band through its paces to record their debut album in early 2018.
Jimmy describes the role Oscar has taken working with the band
“Oscar is literally a version of us that a decade ahead in time, so it’s like having a an older brother and fifth member who is wise as fuck. We have never worked with a producer like him before - many try to change you to fit their agenda he was focused on letting us be us and bringing that out through the whole project."
For Cam it was another aspect that connected for him;
‘First and Foremost it was cool to have another left handed guitarist to relate to – I have always added sounds and he stripped it back and got the songs to focus – there were no bang your head against the wall moments – it was natural as fuck’
As the album enters its final stage of production in the mixing and mastering stage he also rounds off on what the album has meant for him as a writer and how the process for the band has evolved from previous efforts;
“When we started we didn’t really have a clue – but as we have grown I realise I don’t want to be a rock band that just talks about the same old shit so I’m painting a picture now - I need to write songs that tell a story, to write about things everyone is going thru but not everyone can talk about."