Vacances (pronounced “Vacancies”) is a new band, but its members are not. Frontman Danny Lannon used to play in The Frail, vocalist Allen Davis was in Every Move A Picture, and Nic Gonzalez was the guitarist in The Restless Hearts. Think of them as a supergroup of sorts.
Now, these three gentlemen have united to bring us Vacances’ debut single, “Runaway,” a wave of 80’s goodness that’s perfect for dancing to on steamy summer nights. We shared some nice email correspondence with Danny to find out what’s next.
Congratulations on the release “Runaway.” Did you do anything special to celebrate?
Thanks! We’re pretty excited about it! We got together to write some music and ended the night with a trip to our fav free pizza bar, Charleston on Bedford. I think we’re still technically celebrating though, as we’ve been frequenting Rocka Rolla on Metropolitan Ave. The amount of “Low Lifes” (Miller High Life and Whiskey) we’ve ordered has been absolutely mental. Always a good time!
Is there something in particular you were looking to do with Vacances that you felt you couldn’t do with your past band?
Well, when I started writing songs that would eventually become Vacances songs I was just feeling something a little different. My old band was a bit more top 40 electro pop and I really loved a lot of bands like New Order, Joy Division, The Cure and modern acts like The Drums, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, etc. So I guess I was trying to channel those influences and it didn’t end up sounding like it would fit the old band. So all in all, I was looking to write something that wasn’t as processed as previous songs and maybe had a bit more of dark-edge to it. We want to be gritty and glam. Pop and grunge. Electronic and analog. Darkness and rainbows. You get the idea 🙂
What was it like working with engineer Gus Oberg of The Strokes?
We went back and forth a little bit via an old bandmate but unfortunately never got to the final product. We’re big fans of The Strokes and love what Gus Oberg did with their records. So we’re hoping to work with him at some point down the line. We actually ended up working with my good friend and amazing producer Patrick Brown out of Different Fur Studios in San Francisco. He does amazing work and really brought these songs to a new level. We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and that we were able to work with Pat and Allen on it.
There are so many bands based in Brooklyn. Is it difficult for you to create music you feel is unique?
To be honest we’re all new to Brooklyn, so for us its still a learning experience. We have a bunch of friends out here that we think are in amazing bands, like Rich Girls, High Waisted, Caveman, but like I said we’re still learning what its like to live here. But when it comes to writing we just try to write what we like and enjoy playing. We try not to think too much about how it needs to push boundaries or be crazy different. I think if we just stay true to what we want to do creatively and to ourselves that we’ll leave our stamp on whatever song we push out.
Who has the best pizza in the city?
Great question, I like Vinnie’s pizza. Our friend’s cousin works out of there and its down the street from Dan and I’s apt in Greenpoint. But we’re all for suggestions! Like we said before, you really can’t beat that free pizza from the Charleston paired with a shot of tequila and a Tecate!
Your Facebook page lists bands like New Order and INXS as “Artists We Also Like”. Can you recommend any new wave or 80s tracks that may be overlooked?
Let’s see that’s a tough one! But here we go! Fruits Of Passion – Love’s Glory, The Bodines – Heard It All, The Wake – On Our Honeymoon to name a few. We also like Ultravox, Visage, The Cat Club, Bamboo Industry, The Wild Flowers, The Luxure.
Are there any other aspects of the 80s you wish were more popular? Shoulder pads? Cocaine?
I’m not sure if anyone misses shoulder pads…haha. However, we all remember growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s and loved the fact that the internet was only an emerging technology. We somewhat romanticize a world without smartphones, the internet, which felt more free and full of rich experiences. Don’t get me wrong, we all love technology, but we long for a way to get back to simpler times.
What are your plans for the summer?
We definitely have plans to tour. We’re working on some East Coast routing right now but hope to be hitting the road early July through the rest of the summer. We’re also looking at a West Coast tour in the fall. Getting a sweet base tan at the Rockaways is also on the agenda…goths at the beach?