The Vin­tage Car­a­van

They come from the land of the ice and snow. Lit­tle won­der they're “su­per-in­spired” by Led Zep bootlegs.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Ice­landic trio the Vin­tage Car­a­van started mak­ing waves out­side their home­land ear­lier this decade when they were still teenagers, but their sounds are steeped in rock his­tory, from bluesy psych to 70s hard rock and prog-tinged wigouts. They’re es­pe­cially known for their live shows, which are rau­cous and brim­ming with in­fec­tious en­ergy.

They’ve just re­leased their third al­bum, Gate­ways. We caught up with singer/ gui­tarist Óskar Logi Ágústs­son to find out more.

It’s been three years since your pre­vi­ous al­bum, Ar­rival. What have you been do­ing in that time? There were three years be­tween [sec­ond al­bum] Voy­age [2012] and Ar­rival, and af­ter that we were like, we’re not gonna let three years go by again with­out an al­bum, that’s too long. Then we did it again [laughs]. I guess we were just tour­ing our asses off – we played like a hun­dred shows per year. So then in Au­gust [2017], for six months we ba­si­cally took a tour va­ca­tion to write the al­bum.

Gate­ways, Voy­age, Ar­rival. What’s the sig­nif­i­cance of those ti­tles?

I think the theme be­tween the al­bum ti­tles is move­ment. When we saw the al­bum art­work, we felt that the word ‘gate­ways’ fit the im­age.

So the al­bum art­work came be­fore the ti­tle?

Yes. The artist is Ju­lian Haas. We met at a fes­ti­val in 2014 and we saw the pho­tos he did of our show, and they looked great. We de­cided we didn’t want an­other paint­ing, an­other drawn al­bum cover. This time we wanted to do a photo. It’s like colours un­der­wa­ter, but you can’t re­ally tell what it is. It’s good with al­bum art­work if you have more ques­tions than an­swers. Mu­si­cally, Gate­ways sounds like a step for­ward for the band.

Voy­age was more of a straight­for­ward hard rock al­bum with some prog in­flu­ences, and Ar­rival was a re­ally important al­bum for us be­cause we didn’t care what peo­ple thought, and wanted to ex­per­i­ment, to dwell on the dark prog in­flu­ences of the 70s. With Gate­ways we learned from those al­bums, and tried to be the best song­writ­ers we could be. I think it’s more song-based, and we made more space for the vo­cal. I also think the lyrics are more ma­ture on this al­bum. They are more per­sonal.

“The new al­bum is more song­based, the lyrics more ma­ture.”

Are there any songs on the al­bum that are par­tic­u­larly important to you? With Ne­bula I was try­ing to make a pro­gres­sive rock song that fits into a four-minute for­mat in­stead of a twelveminute opus. That song has a lot of chap­ters. It came out of me when I picked up a gui­tar that was my brother’s, an old acous­tic gui­tar, and I started play­ing these chords I wasn’t used to play­ing. It was like that song lived in that gui­tar. You are known for your live shows. Is there any­one who par­tic­u­larly in­flu­ences your per­for­mance?

The Led Zep­pelin bootlegs were su­perin­spir­ing for us. It was kind of dif­fer­ent for them, and each night it was never the same show. That’s one thing I took from them: if we do a few shows in a row and I see some of the same peo­ple there from the night be­fore, I’m like,

“We to­tally have to change what we did last night!” I try my best to make each show spe­cial.

Gate­ways is out on Au­gust 31 via Nu­clear Blast. The Vin­tage Car­a­van tour the U K in Novem­ber.

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