Andy Van: Dance music’s veteran vandal

After years of domination as part of the overground sensation Madison Avenue, Andy Van is once again wreaking chart havoc with dance act Vandalism (alongside Kam Denny and vocalist Cassie). On the eve of his performances at the ‘Thank God It’s Over’ festival in Melbourne and Brisbane, he caught up with ITM.

The commercial success of house music in the past couple of years has been phenomenal. One glance at the ARIA dance chart and TV Rock, along with the Vicious crew, rule the roost. You must all be riding on cloud nine!

Yeah, I am so god damn impressed! For the first time in my DJ career, which has been going on for quite a while, I think Australia is leading the world with its artists and production skills, particularly in the electro world. Look at the list – Dirty South, Vandalism, TV Rock, Tonite Only, Hook’n’Sling… just to name a few!

Is the biggest challenge in this kind of successful period not to rest on your laurels and become complacent?

Yeah absolutely, but luckily for me I am a workaholic. I regularly work 60, 70, 80 hours a week. I do have one other huge advantage, [that] I really love my work, from DJing, to remixing, to producing and working at Vicious – it’s all good!

You were a household name during the Madison Avenue days a few years back. Now with the rise of Vandalism, seems like things are returning that way again. What’s it like to be on everyone’s ‘pop’ radar again?

I’m not sure about the words ‘pop radar’, I dunno, I just do my thing and if people like it great, if not, then ah well. I gotta say working with Cassie and Kam in Vandalism has been awesome; they are great partners in the group and it just seems to be flowing really well… fingers crossed we continue getting success in whatever form.

We hear you’ve got a new Vandalism cut coming up? Tell!

It’s called ‘Twisted’, kinda rock, dance styled, with catchy vocals written by Cassie, and it’s coming out in October with remixes from TV Rock, Kam Denny and Pitch Black. The video is way out there with crazy clowns chasing Cassie, and then a battalion of army kids arrive to save her. It’s mad! If you haven’t seen it, check it out on youtube.com.

Any other exciting Vicious developments we should know about?

Yeah, there’s always hot new artists getting signed and top new tunes getting release. Look out for The Potbelleez from Sydney who we just signed, with their new tune ‘Junkyard’. It’s great! Also Mind Electric from Perth has got a belter called ‘Electrify’, and we’ve also signed top new Melbourne artist called Mick Newman, and his first release is called “Rhythm 2 Ya Hyps”.

While electro house is unquestionably the buzz word in dance music today, many underground heads have begun to backlash. Dance music if very trend-orientated of course – can you see the sound enjoying extended longevity?

Yeah, it’s gonna be kicking butt for quite a while yet. I have to say underground heads always have issues when what they perceive as ‘their sound’ becomes more mainstream, but to me that just means more people like what’s ‘cool’. Shit like this happens all the time. I really try to just do my thing and skip all the bullshit, if I can.

You’re playing at the Thank God It’s Over festival in Melbourne and Brisbane on October 14th and 15th. The festival features and incredible line-up of Aussie talent! How are you feeling about playing at the event?

I am freakin hyped! it’s like a Big Day Out for Aussie talent, which is really good to see. We’ve got so many great bands, DJs, rappers and performers in this country I just wish that media would support our talent more. We get an international DJ or band over here and they’re on the front cover of every mag because the promoter has paid for ads in that particular mag. I really wish media would realise how great the talent is here and celebrate them on the covers of their mags!

Andy Van plays the ‘Thank God It’s Over’ festival in Melbourne on October 14 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and then in Brisbane on October 15 at the River Stage. For more info check out www.tgio.com.au. Vandalism’s new single ‘Twisted’ is out soon on Vicious/EMI.