If, like us, your 2018 was soundtracked by the razor-sharp art-rock of NYC’s BODEGA, then you’ll be stoked to fill your ears with guitarist Madison Velding-VanDam’s other musical endeavour The Wants.
Stellar new single ‘Clearly A Crisis’ is the perfect intro to his new band’s austere world, where a seedy bassline meets menacing guitar lines to create the sort of dark Joy Division-ish number you’d expect to hear on a dystopian underground dancefloor.
Before the Council Records four-piece bring their precise concoctions to the Hidden Herd & No Coconuts Alt-Dayer at Brighton’s The Tempest Inn on Saturday 11th May, we got to know them a little better.
How would you describe The Wants to a stranger?
“The Wants are a quartet comprised of singer and guitarist Madison Velding-VanDam, drummer Jason Gates, singer and synth player Lydia Gammill, and bassist Heather Allison. We blend danceable grooves and pop songwriting sensibilities with an anxious edge and emotional yet enigmatic lyrics.”
Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?
“Our music is influenced primarily by the interlocking rhythms of techno and pop songwriting. Our sound recordings are influenced by the clarity of techno mixes designed for club speaker and the warmth of listening to a vinyl record. We wanted to create an experience that emulates these experiences on our recordings in the digital domain.”
What was the best gig you’ve played so far?
“Our SXSW show at Cheerup Charlies, it was a Saturday night and there was an electric energy and beautiful synergy between the band and the audience.”
You’re based in New York City – what’s your local music scene like?
“New York City is enormous and there are vastly different music and art scenes in each neighbourhood. We live in a little neighbourhood of Brooklyn called Bushwick, on the border of Ridgewood, Queens. There are lots of venues in this neighbourhood (ex. Alphaville, Elsewhere, Knockdown Center, Sunnyvale, Secret Project Robot, The Glove) which support many genres of music. Each genre can seem to have its own very insular community to an outsider, but they’re just a group of friends with similar interests. The music scene often feels very human, we’ll see serpentwithfeet getting groceries at the bodega across the street, pass Deli Girls on my way to the laundromat, run into M Lamar walking home from the bar, and work odd jobs with Pop 1280.”
Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?
“Black Midi is the most exciting new band at the moment. Each of their three singles ‘bmbmbm’, ‘speedway’, and ‘crow’s perch’, might as well have come from three artists. I (Madison Velding-VanDam) toured with them a bit in France and they’re the real deal. They’ve rekindled my hope that rock music will evolve in a new direction.”
You’re playing the Hidden Herd & No Coconuts Alt-Dayer on the Saturday of Great Escape weekend – which other bands are you most looking forward to seeing on the day?
“We’re looking forward to all bands, but particularly BABii (we appreciate the minimalism), The Ninth Wave (excellent commitment to songwriting and aesthetic) and Orchards (clearly talented players).”
And finally, what does the rest of 2019 hold for The Wants?
“We’re working with Council Records on something very exciting.”
To coincide with Great Escape weekend in Brighton, Hidden Herd and No Coconuts are teaming up with global music distributors CD Baby and Sussex brewers Lost Pier Brewing to bring some of the hottest emerging artists to The Tempest Inn on Saturday 11th May. The Wants will play alongside The Ninth Wave, Orchards, Pizzagirl, Honey Lung, Weird Milk, Wu-Lu, Comforts, BABii and Speedboat. Free entry – RSVP on Facebook.