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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Vandalism

By: Nina Bertok

As far as a large chunk of Europe is concerned, Australia is pretty much the birth-place of electro, according to DJ/producer Andy Van who’s flouro-loving group Vandalism is about to return to its globe-trotting ways in 2009. “We have two gigs happening in Russia, a gig in Sweden, and a possibility of either Spain, France or Germany as well,” he begins. “We’ve been there before and we’ve done gigs all across the UK too. We’ve also done Poland and we’ve done seven gigs in Canada and about six gigs in Russia, but Mexico should be really exciting this year, it seems off the dial.”

And with an international touring schedule like this, it’s no wonder Vandalism is the dance act the Europeans just can’t get enough of. “A lot of countries seem to believe that electro really came from Australia,” Van claims. “I remember when we did a gig in Sweden and the promoter out there said, ‘wow, Australia, it has the best electro coming from there’. The same happened in Russia where they thought electro came from Australia too. It’s because there was this really big electro boom here three years ago and over the last year and a half it’s really been taking over the world. Germany had electro happening, that’s true, but I think Australia really took over the baton with artists like Dirty South and TV Rock slamming out really rocking electro tunes.” Since then, it hasn’t taken long for the rest of the world to jump on board, says Van. “Having said that though, once the Europeans cotton onto a sound they stick with it. Fortunately that has been the case for us. Still, I wouldn’t say that there is an ‘Australian sound’, because you can get the rock-edged Modular type of sound or the more clubby-edged electro like Vandalism or the more house-y sound coming from Melbourne like TV Rock.”

But it’s not all about conquering the international scene for Vandalism – blowing the socks off crowds back home is just as vital for the Melbourne trio. “We’ve already done a show since the New Year,” Van points out. “We did Summadayze on January 1 in front of 25,000 people which was incredible. It was really good to get on the main stage considering the international acts playing, which can make it a bit hard if you’re local, but they obviously thought we were good enough to get it.”

‘Good enough’ is probably an understatement on Van’s part considering Vandalism’s remix of Blue Monday recently reached the number one position on the Aria Club Charts, as the group’s vocalist Cassie adds. “We’re always in the process of creating something,” she says. “Maybe it’s just working on a verse or a chorus, but we’re always writing song material.” In fact, as Cassie claims, perfecting her songwriting and lyrical skills for the group is something of a New Year’s resolution for 2009. “Especially lyric-writing, I am on the computer every day just writing out verses and choruses, so that is my main personal goal for this year. And as a band actually, we always want to keep improving our writing skills. Churning out the songs and getting the music out there to see how it affects the people is the plan for 2009.”