Posts Tagged ‘Jack Kansas’
Damn Vandals release new single ‘This Amazing’ on the 5th November
“This Amazing” is the new single taken from the recently released debut album ‘Done For Desire’ by London’s Damn Vandals. Produced by Julian Simmons, whose credits include Midlake, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, and Goldheart Assembly this album showed the band to be quite possibly the most talented and exciting rock band on the music scene for years.
The deep and powerful distinctive vocals of Jack Kansas have drawn comparisons with David Bowie, Mark Lanegan, Jim Morrison and Matt Berninger of The National. Jack is supported by a toweringly-talented band, consisting of Adam Kilemore Gardens (bass), Chris Christianson (drums) and Frank Pick with his soaring and haunting guitar riffs.
You can catch the Damn Vandals live in the next few months:
Thurs 4 Oct @ The Bullingdon Arms
162, Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE,
£5 on door – On stage 8.30 pm.
October 6th @ Dublin Castle
94 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN
On stage 9pm Entry £5 Adv / £7 on Door
Wed 14th Nov @ Upstairs At The Garage
Islington – Single Launch (Supporting Club Smith)
Friday 7th December @ The Fleece, 12 St. Thomas Street, Bristol, BS1 6JJ
Supporting The Blue Aeroplanes
Jack Kansas from Damn Vandals Q&A – TAPEtoTAPE
Having recently been rather impressed with the upcoming debut album from Brit Rockers Damn Vandals I thought I’d take things one step further and get a little Q&A with them. Lead singer Jack Kansas duly obliged and below you can find out what they would do in a zombie apocalypse, how they thwarted a Death Metal band and what tea towels have to do with anything…
We’re excited in the main. The album’s been a couple of years in the making, it rocks and we’re all happy with it. Just want to take it out there and visit as many people’s ears as possible.
2. There feels like quite a few influences throughout the album with a strong leaning towards the 80s indie/rock. Is this a particular era of music that is significant to you?
It’s not the main influence really because as a band we’re all over the place in terms of what we listen to. On bass is the biggest Ramones/early Sabbath fan you’ll ever meet, the guitarist might as well be Jimmy Page and the drummer could easily be caught listening to Jazz on an evening. Me I like Dylan. Having said that, I can see why some people have made a comparison with the 80’s alt rock scene – it was a pretty fierce time socially, not dissimilar to now really, with loads for bands to kick off against musically and politically. Perhaps Dvs are subconsciously spinning that wheel again.
3. Which one artist/group has had the biggest impact on you?
So much to choose from … If I have to pick one it would be someone like Neil Young. Seeing him live and witnessing what can be done with guitars is always a thrill – just makes you want to play, write, steam-roller on and never look back.
4. Is it easier to write songs about personal experiences or about characters?
We find it much easier to write about characters through story and imaginings. That way you can still drip parts of yourself in without that horrible singer-songwriter whining nakedness. On top of that it’s just more fun and entertaining to provide colour and structure to a track through a good tale.
5. Is the artwork and running order of an album still important to you or has the digital takeover destroyed the need for these things?
Artwork and running orders are still a big thing for us. The album format is a great way to be introduced to a band or re-visit a favourite artist. At best they’re 30-40 minute journeys which really take you places – would be a real shame to lose the idea of the album. Sites like Spotify are still album-based so it’s not all doom and gloom. In terms of artwork, we do all that ourselves which is fun. The web needs images, so it’s important to keep the visuals fresh. On top of all that, there are videos to be handmade so, all in all, bands should be busier than ever ….
6. What is the most Rock n Roll thing you have done so far?
Prevented a Finish death metal band from throwing a TV out of a hotel window. Stopping clichés in their tracks is the new rock n roll.
Adam has a tendency to go on walkabout before shows and not answer his phone. Frank has no sense of direction yet insists on being the map reader. Chris has the temper of a wild animal and eats smelly food. I’m always whistling. It’s surprising this band’s still together really. … still early days yet …
8. Is it harder to be headline act or a support act?
Always depends on the night and the crowd – it’s the people at a show that make the gig. We’ll take either and see who comes with us.
9. If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?
Always fancied being a door-to-door tea towel salesman. Plenty of fresh air. Have never minded getting the odd door slammed in the face, there’s always the next one to try …
10. Who is the most over-rated artist around at the moment?
Damn Vandals – those bad boys need to be taken down a peg or two.
11. England reach the World Cup Final but it falls on a night you have a show booked, what do you do?
I guess we just play the gig because it’s just shit to cancel a show. We’ve clashed with big football games before and it is a real bummer – still, show’s you who your real fans are …
12. There is a zombie apocalypse and only the band survive, who would be the first to be eaten, who would sacrifice a band mate first and who would be the last to die?
Adam the bass player gets the munchies pretty bad so I reckon he’d kill us all before the first night was up. He’d then roam the streets, looting off licenses for as long as his skinny legs could sustain him. He’d probably have the time of his life.
As told to Jules.
Done For Desire – Damn Vandals
Hype is a little like a puppy, you can wind it up to fever pitch and then it just pisses on your carpet and ultimately fails to deliver the fun you think it will (true story). Damn Vandals have been generating a fair amount of excitement over the last few months and the debut album Done For Desire needs to deliver big things to save them from being just another victim of the PR machine.
Thankfully, Damn Vandals appear to have been concentrating on actually writing tunes rather than their own hyperbole and have served up something a little special.
The opening track Revolution/Rehearsal sums up the spirit of the Damn Vandals perfectly, hook laden tunes with barbed commentary. Jack asks ‘Is this the rehearsal or the revolution’ alongside sly comments like ‘Jean now lives in Guantanamo bay, eats for free, wears orange everyday’, politically charged lyrics hidden in an infectious pop song, always a potent and effective weapon.
The vitriol is then levelled at mass consumerism in As Seen On TV, the low slung rumbling bass of Adam Gardens provides the springboard for Jack’s sneer as he lambasts the media.
Don’t panic though; Jack is not competing for the Bono crown of pomposity just yet. Sex It Narcissus is a seedy tale sound tracked by an equally sleazy tune whilst Dan’t Go Dancing When You’re Gone is a two and half minute stomp with that sees Frank wrestle a solo from his guitar.
The Revenge Of Spider Toothy is goth rock tinged, with all the towering majesty of The Mission covering The Jesus And Mary Chain and the camp horror of The Damned.
Returning to the deeper themes, religion is next in the firing line as Jack confesses, ‘I’ve got trouble, trouble with Jesus, Jesus, Jesus got trouble, trouble with me’ in Trouble With Jesus before moving on to several other deities, all of whom appear to be ‘trouble’.
The closing track Beautiful Mind has the anthemic aspirations of early Simple Minds and is a suitably inspiring track to leave the album on a high.
Jack Kansas has the vocal presence that easily lends itself to comparisons with the greats, somewhere between Ian Curtis and Ian McCulloch whilst musically they echo everything from The Damned to The Psychedelic Furs. The back bone is unashamedly on an 80s indie rock vibe but with the sparkle of 2012 know how. Definitely working on quality over quantity, Done For Desire is a perfect 10 tracks that barely creeps over the 30 minute mark thus ensuring you are more likely to hit repeat than lose interest come the end. If the Damn Vandals are half the band live that they are on record, then believe the hype, the rock revolution has begun.
To find out more about Damn Vandals, click HERE.