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Van Zeller

Musicians — Bristol

Name, where are you from?
We're Van Zeller from Bristol.

Describe your style in three words?
Ben: Double denim venom.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Nick: I can't really pick a single 'best' show, but one of my top 10 would have to be Thee Oh Sees (now Oh Sees) at the Coronet Theatre back in 2016.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Nick: I'd love to play with The Sonics.
Ben: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80. I’ve seen Seun Kuti, his son, twice and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Probably Elton John as well because he’s got the f*ckin' hits.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Ben: Pretty much exclusively outlaw country.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Ben: Freddie Mercury when he was recording 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Or Dandy Warhols when they were recording 'Bohemian Like You'. It’s a win/win.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Nick: I'd say back when we started it was definitely Start The Bus, which has now shut down. We played with some of our favourite bands there, from The Black Tambourines to The Big Moon, all in a really intimate setting. Now it's probably Thekla here in Bristol, where we did our biggest headline show to date last September.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Ben: Probably Merry Clayton who sang on 'Gimmie Shelter'. She probably did more for The Stones than anyone else.

The first track you played on repeat?
Nick: 'American Idiot' by Green Day. I could answer that song/album to most of these questions to be honest.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Ben: 'From The Morning' by Nick Drake. I remember it’s the reason I wanted to start playing the guitar.

One record you would keep forever?
Nick: I'd say maybe Kurt Vile's 'Wakin' On A Pretty Daze'. Such a stunning record, perfect for pretty much any time or place.
Ben: 'Exile On Main St' by Rolling Stones.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Well, I'm sorry for the things that I told you,
But words only go so far,
And if I had my way,
I would reach into heaven,
And I'd pull down a star."

Ben: What an apology. It’s from a song called ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Brighter Day’ by Jim Croce. 

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
Nick: 'Out The Window' by Confidence Man. We all went to see them at Village Underground the other week and that one, in particular, kicked off.

A song you wished you had written?
Ben: 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon & Garfunkel. Cry every goddam time I hear it.

Best song to turn up loud?
Nick: 'Girlfriend' by Ty Segall. Is there any way to listen to blistering garage-rock other than very, very loud?
Ben: Pachabel’s 'Canon in D'. Crank it and weep.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Ben: 'That Don’t Impress Me Much' by Shania Twain. It leads you down the garden path, then it just switches direction. Just like that. No warning. Nothing. It’s fearless and I like that.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
Ben: The Champions League theme song.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Nick: There's way too much great new music coming out at the moment to list it all here, especially here in Bristol. A few favourites would be Scalping (check out 'Conduit'), who blend psych and techno together with live visuals to create something that is unlike anything I've ever seen before.

There's also Giant Swan (listen to 'IFTLOYL'), who make horribly heavy industrial techno with nothing more than a couple of drum machines and some guitar pedals.

On the band side of things, LICE are incredible and have just released their first double E.P. on Joe from IDLES label, so if you don't know them, check out 'Gentlemen's Magazine' off of 'It All Worked Out Great Vol. 2' right now.

Tropic are also great (have a gander with 'No Cigar'), as are Haze (check out 'Ladz Ladz Ladz'). I could honestly keep on going for hours.

Ben: 'Love Brother' by Herman Chin Loy, although he’s not new, and 'Cold' by Nick Hakim. Also the New Golden Dregs album 'Lafayette'.

Name, where are you from?
We're Van Zeller from Bristol.

Describe your style in three words?
Ben: Double denim venom.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Nick: I can't really pick a single 'best' show, but one of my top 10 would have to be Thee Oh Sees (now Oh Sees) at the Coronet Theatre back in 2016.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Nick: I'd love to play with The Sonics.
Ben: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80. I’ve seen Seun Kuti, his son, twice and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Probably Elton John as well because he’s got the f*ckin' hits.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Ben: Pretty much exclusively outlaw country.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Ben: Freddie Mercury when he was recording 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Or Dandy Warhols when they were recording 'Bohemian Like You'. It’s a win/win.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Nick: I'd say back when we started it was definitely Start The Bus, which has now shut down. We played with some of our favourite bands there, from The Black Tambourines to The Big Moon, all in a really intimate setting. Now it's probably Thekla here in Bristol, where we did our biggest headline show to date last September.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Ben: Probably Merry Clayton who sang on 'Gimmie Shelter'. She probably did more for The Stones than anyone else.

The first track you played on repeat?
Nick: 'American Idiot' by Green Day. I could answer that song/album to most of these questions to be honest.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Ben: 'From The Morning' by Nick Drake. I remember it’s the reason I wanted to start playing the guitar.

One record you would keep forever?
Nick: I'd say maybe Kurt Vile's 'Wakin' On A Pretty Daze'. Such a stunning record, perfect for pretty much any time or place.
Ben: 'Exile On Main St' by Rolling Stones.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Well, I'm sorry for the things that I told you,
But words only go so far,
And if I had my way,
I would reach into heaven,
And I'd pull down a star."

Ben: What an apology. It’s from a song called ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Brighter Day’ by Jim Croce. 

The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
Nick: 'Out The Window' by Confidence Man. We all went to see them at Village Underground the other week and that one, in particular, kicked off.

A song you wished you had written?
Ben: 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon & Garfunkel. Cry every goddam time I hear it.

Best song to turn up loud?
Nick: 'Girlfriend' by Ty Segall. Is there any way to listen to blistering garage-rock other than very, very loud?
Ben: Pachabel’s 'Canon in D'. Crank it and weep.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Ben: 'That Don’t Impress Me Much' by Shania Twain. It leads you down the garden path, then it just switches direction. Just like that. No warning. Nothing. It’s fearless and I like that.

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
Ben: The Champions League theme song.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Nick: There's way too much great new music coming out at the moment to list it all here, especially here in Bristol. A few favourites would be Scalping (check out 'Conduit'), who blend psych and techno together with live visuals to create something that is unlike anything I've ever seen before.

There's also Giant Swan (listen to 'IFTLOYL'), who make horribly heavy industrial techno with nothing more than a couple of drum machines and some guitar pedals.

On the band side of things, LICE are incredible and have just released their first double E.P. on Joe from IDLES label, so if you don't know them, check out 'Gentlemen's Magazine' off of 'It All Worked Out Great Vol. 2' right now.

Tropic are also great (have a gander with 'No Cigar'), as are Haze (check out 'Ladz Ladz Ladz'). I could honestly keep on going for hours.

Ben: 'Love Brother' by Herman Chin Loy, although he’s not new, and 'Cold' by Nick Hakim. Also the New Golden Dregs album 'Lafayette'.

Van Zeller | The Coward (2017)

Van Zeller | You can't Lose (2017)