VAN STEE Going Under the Microscope During Nomad Residency

VAN STEE | Nomad World Pub | Thursdays in December
Indie-rock quintet VAN STEE have continuously redefined their sound since last year's debut, We Are, weaving in traces of pop and shoegaze rock into their aesthetic. But that doesn't mean the transformation is complete. The group still feel they haven't settled on want they want to be yet.

This month, VAN STEE will push their musical boundaries further with a residency at the Nomad World Pub along with some musician friends. In his hilarious fashion, lead singer Charlie Van Stee shares what the band has been up to and what is on the horizon for the group. [jump]

Band Members: Charlie Van Stee, Jimmy Stofer, Josh Kaplan, and Matt Vannelli

Gimme Noise: What has the band been up to since the last album release?

Charlie Van Stee: We've been through a few lineup changes and are still going through them. We've also been spending time expanding our personal Linkedin profiles. Jimmy has been traveling the world with Ryan Bingham checking out the various AC/DC-related statues Australia has to offer as well as pushing his excellent Weather Maps album on the streets. Josh has been playing with Adam Levy, Jillian Rae, and taking care of his dog Petey while remaining a staple of the improv comedy scene at Huge Theater. Matt has been discovering and eating rare and exotic types of fish, traveling the country as a connoisseur of K-Pop and creating new and unrecognizable sounds on his guitar with PRSMS, Warehouse Eyes, and many others I can't remember off the top of my head.

As for me, I lost my mother about a year ago suddenly and have been spending late nights wandering around Cub Foods alone in a fog. I've been trying to figure out what I would like to write about. I've also been co-hosting a podcast that will be released soon for KFAI with my good friend Pat Dougherty about the rise and fall of Weezer called "What's with these homies dissin' my band?"

VAN STEE decided to put out "She Writes" because we were really excited about how it sounded and knew we had a lot of work ahead of us before a proper follow-up to We Are would be ready to go. We've recorded about four new songs at Humans Win! with Lance W. Conrad and will likely hit the studio in the summer to continue toward a sophomore album.

How do you think VAN STEE has evolved since your last recorded album?

We've fallen apart and been put back together a few times throughout the course of this band. I think we're still figuring out what our flavor is. VAN STEE isn't exactly like Kenny Chesney in the way that we always know what we're going for musically. So... where does that leave us? This band is as unpredictable to me as it is to anyone else, but that's exciting, right?

Do you have new music in the works?

Yes, but we have a lot more writing to do. Which is my fault. We pick apart, rearrange, and re-write songs a fair amount before they get to where we are happy with them, so the process isn't short.

Why do a residency?

It felt like VAN STEE played about four times over the last year. We did a residency at the Kitty Cat Klub when we first started playing and found it to be really helpful as a crash course in learning how the songs work and don't work live. The way we get through new ideas is a bit like a standup comedian trying out new material. We see what we like and what the audience responds to. Having consecutive shows forces the learning curve under a microscope. You remember your mistakes!

Can you tell me more about the bands you have on the bills?

We included bands that have had an affiliation with VAN STEE in some way for the most part. Nathan Eliot played in a trio with Josh and I for many years and is a really focused musician who writes about interesting concepts. Al Church is an old friend of Josh's and we're all fans of Al Church and State as well as BB GUN. I mean, have you heard that super SAXY solo single Al has unleashed?!? Matt plays with PRSMS, and I am convinced Garrison Grouse will only make a bigger mark on the Minneapolis scene, he's crazy talented and insightful. Jill is my buddy Pat Dougherty's garage duo. Their songs are simple and driven and just a whole lot of fun to listen to. Weather Maps is obviously Jimmy's child and we're thrilled that he agreed to do a set. Jimmy is just such a strong songwriter and fantastic human being whom I couldn't be prouder to be associated with. Greycoats are just a band I've been a fan of for a long time. We played a set with them a while back and I think we fit well together.

What are you excited to share during the month-long residency? 

It'll be fun no matter what! You'll just have to come out and see what happens!

VAN STEE's December residency at the Nomad World Pub:

12/4/2014 - with Al Church and Nathan Eliot

12/11/2014 - with Jill and PRSMS

12/18/2014 - with Weather Maps and Greycoats

21+, free, 9 p.m.


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