Q&A with – THE BANDOLIERS
Posted On 02 Oct 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Deerhunter, Dookie, Faded Colors, Foals, Foo Fighters, Gems, Green Day, Hunter van Houten, I Get Around, John Mark, Leslie, Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Pond, Presidents of the United States of America, Prove Yourself, Texas, The Bandoliers, The Beach Boys, Tourist, Victoria's Secret
With a healthy dose of bluesy swagger and a nod to their Southern roots, THE BANDOLIERS are making their mark in the rock world. Formed in 2011, the band consists of: Rusty Redden, Eric Vines, Hunter Van Houten and John Mark Capers, all talented multi-instrumentalists who cite Queens of the Stone Age and, fellow Nashvillians, The Raconteurs as musical inspirations. In 2015, they beat out over four hundred bands to make the top four in Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem competition, and are planning a tour in 2016 to support the release of their upcoming third album.
The new album promises to build on their previous efforts, delving into sounds previously unexplored and building on their musical chemistry. Their first release, Prove Yourself, set them apart from the mainstream with eerily tuned-down pianos and distorted gang vocals, firmly establishing the band as creative risk-takers. Currently showcasing music from their sophomore release, Leslie, you can catch them live at clubs in and around Nashville, delivering their signature energy-driven performances to an increasingly devoted following.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa recently got to catch up with guitarist, Hunter van Houten. Read more in their catch below!
Hi Hunter! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey Nicole! We’re doing great! Well I’m just working away, also have a guitar building business on the side, so I’m working on that today. Trying to be outside as much as possible. This Cali weather is too nice to stay inside!
For those that are not familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start? Who or what was the catalyst for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
For me personally, it started when I was 15, got my first guitar and couldn’t put it down. Once I got to college I decided to go to school for audio engineering/music production, which sparked my interest even more. After that I wanted to be surrounded by everything and anything that related to making music.
I worked with bigger artists for about 5 years, engineering records, but wasn’t truly fulfilled helping facilitate others creativity without having any creative input. So I decided to leave that and focus strictly on collaboratively creating and making music for myself and with friends. That’s why I love being in The Bandolier’s, because it is such a collaborative band!
Also I know that I can’t do anything else in life and truly be happy, music is my life’s blood so I have to follow that, wherever it may lead me.
This year, The Bandoliers beat out over four hundred bands to make the top four in Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem competition. How was that experience?
It was an awesome experience! When they picked us we had no clue. John Mark just happened to be listening to the radio and heard our song, “Leslie”, come on. At first he just thought it was his ipod just playing on random. It was a surreal experience.
Our fans are amazing and we couldn’t have made it into the final 4 without them. Playing the show was incredible, especially since we were the only alternative rock band to make it to the finals. To have hundreds of people singing our songs back to us was awesome and definitely something we didn’t expect. It’s so cool when we are able to connect with a huge room filled with complete strangers and see that happening live.
Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?
Growing up, I was only allowed to listen to Christian music. I know…I know… hahah. So the only secular music I was allowed to listen to was The Beach Boys. Needless to say, I was heavily influenced by them. Oh and 90’s alternative.
Personally I’m always inspired by so many things, other music, a feeling, films, the weather, a place. I know that I get inspired when I’m in a room making music with these other three guys.
What did you learn between your previous releases like Prove Yourself and sophomore release, Leslie that you felt you wanted to infuse into your upcoming third album?
I think we grew a lot in between the first two albums. Prove Yourself was basically the first 7 songs we wrote together and we were so excited to make a record that we went into the studio and recorded them all live and put it out. For Leslie we took a slightly different approach by doing more pre-production and thinking about what we wanted things to sound like.
We also experimented with different sounds and instruments. The first two records is us trying to hone in and find our sound which can really be heard in the songs “Faded Colors” and “Leslie”. For the third album we are really playing around with different textures and space. We are definitely going for a more dynamic feel, but shooting for something cohesive.
What was the inspiration for your new single?
Well, “Leslie” is a song we wrote a while back and as soon as we did we knew it was something awesome. It had that swagger, so much swagger, that the original rock version of the song was first titled Victoria’s Secret song. The reason for that is because we thought it sounded like it could be the music for a Victoria’s Secret commercial…hahaha. That changed though as we hashed out the lyrics and wrote around a specific self-destructive character, which we refer to as Leslie.
What was the first album you bought for yourself?
I got three at the same time: Foo Fighters, Presidents of the United States of America, and Green Day, Dookie
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
The Beach Boys, “I Get Around”, I felt so cool listening to that song and I loved the harmonies and lyrics.
Who is in your current playlist? What artists or bands are in current rotation for you?
I’ve really been into Foals, Deerhunter, Pond, Gems, and Tourist.
What’s on tap next for The Bandoliers? What are you most excited about for this year?
We are super excited about the rest of this year! We are playing some one off shows in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York, and Texas. But also trying to focus on finishing up the writing for the new album. I’m most excited to play shows and get this new music out to people.
To keep up with THE BANDOLIERS , visit them via their socials below: