Vance Joy: "I definitely have dreams like Kanye West"

Touch the sky, Vance.

Touch the sky, Vance.

Vance Joy | Varsity Theater | Monday, November 10
Sometimes it can feel like an artist out of nowhere jumps onto the music scene, and with Australian singer Vance Joy, it certainly seemed so, but behind that quick success was a lot of hard work. His single "Riptide" is more infectious than a case of chicken pox in a kindergarten classroom, and culls random thoughts into the love song.

Before his sold-out show at the Varsity Theater tonight, Gimme Noise chatted with the singer about Michelle Pfeiffer and Kanye West.
Gimme Noise: Your new single has somewhat catapulted you onto this new level as an artist, do you find this to be true?

Vance Joy: From my perspective, I feel like I've been chipping away at it for a while now. It may seem like I've just broke out on the scene, but in America, you've got a lot of work cut out for you because there's so many radio stations and press to cover. For me, the dream was built a couple of years ago. I've been trying to take as many opportunities as possible that come my way.

Do you feel it was the right place, right time-type situation with your single "Riptide"?

I think so, there certainly is an element of that. It's unexplainable. You never know when you write a song if someone listens to it, whether they will connect or not.

Remember that song by Gotye? That song came along, and it took the whole world by storm at that time. When someone connects with some energy or a feeling at that time, it can swell with interest.

Was "Riptide" your choice for a single?

It was kind of obvious. In Australia, we went with it. It's got an infectious tune. It has something real in it, something human.

Have you met Michelle Pfeiffer? What do you think she'd say to you?

Not as yet. I'll probably scream; I don't know what she'd say.

Even though you do voice the words "I love you," in the song, I feel it's the subtlest of love songs. How you write a love song with out making it cheesy?

I've met people that have said it does sound cheesy [laughs]. You have your own sensors when it comes to that kind of thing. I guess it's trial and error. You just try and get it right. Sometimes you do a cheesy line, and sometimes you degrade the cheese. You try and do what feels comfortable for you. You have to stand by it. I'm willing to stand by these lyrics and hold my head high about them and not buying into my own success.

Do you think you'd be listening to this music in 10 years?

I don't know. I wouldn't be listening to it, but you want to make something that lasts. The songs I've written, I've done so with the hope that it happens. That will be the test of whether I can keep doing what I'm doing.

What's your goal in music?

I just want to be able to write songs that give you a sense of value. You value yourself based on that fleeting sensation of writing a song that you've been chasing.

You played professional soccer up until a few years ago. When did you decide that wasn't the right path for you anymore?

It was probably three or four years ago. I was playing with a lot of guys, and we got to the top level. I was getting complacent, and that's never a good place to be. I was getting itchy feet, and I wanted to travel and explore music. There was a lot of things that I wanted to do besides football. You can't really do music and play professionally; I had to make that call.

Do you think you'd ever get tired of music and try to reinvent yourself?

Yeah, I think that reinventing ourselves is something we're constantly doing. I think it's natural. I definitely have dreams like Kanye West. He said something to the effect that people are multi-talented, and they become fully realized in different areas. People have a lot to offer -- not just in songs. They can design things or whatever it is they're meant to do. We can push the boundaries of who we are; we aren't just limited to one thing.

What do you like to do outside of music?

Right now I am definitely happy doing it. I love food, and I love movies. I don't get bored very often, so I always try to find things that pique my interest.

What about your ping pong skills?

[laughs] I said that in an [a recent] interview that I was really good at ping pong; I don't know why I said that. I'm a good to average player, I'm nothing special.

Not Forrest Gump level good?

No, and I'll put it on the record, I don't like Forrest Gump -- that's a bit of a scoop for you. "He wants his fans to know he's not a fan of Forrest Gump."

Vance Joy will play at the Varsity Theater on Monday, November 10, 2014 with James Young.
, $17-$30, 7 p.m.
This show is sold out.


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