Hard Rock

Intervista The Vintage Caravan (Óskar Ágústsson, Stefán Stefánsson)

Di Davide Sciaky - 24 Novembre 2019 - 11:34
Intervista The Vintage Caravan (Óskar Ágústsson, Stefán Stefánsson)

Puoi leggere l’intervista in italiano nella prima pagina

Hi guys, how are you doing?

Oskar: Great, yeah, how are you?


I’m well, thanks. I’d like to start talking about your music in general: you play a Hard Rock that is influenced by Blues and Stoner that sound’s quite vintage. In the last few years there has been quite a few bands like Kadavar, Blues Pills – I know you’re friends with them – Graveyard and more playing similar music. Why do you think people are so much into this vintage trend?

Oskar: There’s a lot of warmth and power that comes from that time, from that sound, and I guess it’s a feeling that people like.
It’s just really good music!
Stefan: I think it’s a very honest kind of way to express yourself, it’s very… but we try to do our own twist on things, we get some inspirations from a lot of different stuff, but it’s a modern twist on what we like.
We don’t really want to sound like we’ve been frozen back in ’69 and microwaved today, we try to our own thing.


You talked about inspiration and there are some influences that are quite obvious, Deep Purple, Cream, Hendrix and so on, is there any other bands you were influenced by that you think people don’t really realise had an effect on your music?

Stefan: Yeah, for sure, there are of course a lot of great bands from that time, but also Queens of the Stone Age, Abba… personally as a drummer I was influenced by Opeth, back in the day when I was listening to Opeth, it comes from everywhere but it goes subconsciously into what we are doing now.
For example, we got blast-beats in some parts of the new album, the influences are quite varies.

So, it must be pretty cool to be touring with Opeth now for you, if you have been a fan for long.

Stefan: It is, definitely, it feels unreal, I still haven’t realised that this is reality.

Are you hanging out together too?

Oskar: Yeah, we got to know these guys.
Stefan: It’s really fun.
Oskar: They are really nice guys. Yesterday me and Fredrik were trading guitar licks for, I don’t know, forty minutes or something [laughs] That was really fun, it was a fun afterparty.


Is there a side to your music that you’d like to explore more in the future? Like, doing more bluesy stuff, more psychedelic stuff…

Stefan: Yeah, there’s…
Oskar: Anything, I guess.
Stefan: We’re quite open.
Oskar: I really want to do something more Blues, then I want to, you know, being inspired by Led Zeppelin I really enjoy that they tried to do something different with every album, you know, they have a Reggae song, they have Folk songs, you name it.
So, I’d love to do something bluesy, I’d love to do something full-on, just unbearable Prog.
Stefan: And I would like to do a lot of stuff so, yes, basically, except for maybe a few things, I guess you won’t hear any EDM then, what’s it called, Drum N’ Bass, we will spare you.
Oskar: We might do a little bit of Italo Disco, we are huge Italo Disco fans, actually, me and Stefan in particular. Kano and Fancy, I looove Fancy.


“Gateways” has been the first album you recorded with Stefan on the drums, how has it been like, has anything changed in how you record and write music, compared to the past?

Oskar: Every album writing has been kinda different…
Stefan: Being the first album with the band there was a little bit of pressure, is it gonna be worse or better, it was really fun and I was doing a lot of stuff that I’ve never done before during the recording process, some interesting techniques we used recording the drums, like not recording the cymbals at the same time, recording the cymbals separately, which was interesting, but it worked.
I didn’t do a whole lot of writing, but I was just trying to do as much drumming as I could and maybe a little bit of keyboards.
I’m really happy with it and I’m especially happy to go into the next album with all the knowledge that I have from the last.

I was looking at your album’s titles and “Voyage”, “Arrivals”, “Gateways”, it looks like they’re all connected with the theme of the journey, can you tell me something more about it? Is it a sort of the theme of the band?

Oskar: Yeah, in a sense also the name, we’re called The Vintage Caravan, that’s also a thing that moves.
It all began with the “Voyage” album, because the thought process behind that was, “I want to make an album that you would listen to and take you to a place”, an album that could take you someplace, a voyage of your mind, that was our thought.
Arrivals” is because we were so proud of that album that we were like, “Oh, we have arrived at this place”, but it also made sense with the songs.
Then we were kinda gonna drop it for “Gateways”, but then we saw the cover and we were like, “Okay, this looks like a gateway or something, let’s keep it going”.
We joke sometimes, the next album is gonna be called “Odd Sized Luggage” or something like that.
Stefan: Or just “Airports”. [Laughs]


Beside the title, when can we expect the next album? I mean, have you already started working on some new music?

Oskar: Yeah, we did five demos in the week before this tour, actually the same week this tour began.
So, we did five demos and all in all I have like 20 ideas that are like skeletons of songs, then there are eight or nine that are pretty far developed, so we’re thinking we’re gonna record early 2020 and the album will probably be our early 2021.


This past summer I’ve seen you live for the first time and, in that occasion, I saw you play twice on the same day. I’m talking about Metaldays where, after your regular show, you played in the night at the beach your first acoustic show ever.

Stefan: The warmest show ever, by the way, Jesus Christ!

Yeah, it was crazy, I guess even more unbearable for Icelandic people like yourselves, less used to that kind of temperatures.

Oskar: Yeah, even more intense.

Four years ago, I’ve seen Blues Pills playing there and Elin [Ed. the singer] almost fainted at the end of the show.

Stefan: Yeah, Johanna from Lucifer also told us that she almost fainted after their set on the same year we played.
Oskar: Alexander almost fainted!
Stefan: Everyone is almost fainting, it’s crazy!

How was the experience of the acoustic show for you?

Oskar: That was so much fun!

There was a lot of alcohol involved, I’d say.

Oskar: Yeah [laughs]
We always play 100% sober, we don’t have a sip of beer before we play, but that was the one occasion when we were like, “We’re in Slovenia, it’s a late show, at 2 A.M., we want to have fun with this”.
We were preparing it a lot, rehearsing, making sure that everything was okay, but all in all it’s the end of the night and everyone is gonna be drunk and just want to have fun.
Stefan: So, we played ‘Careless Whisper’. [Laughs]
Oskar: We did an improvised song about hands…
Stefan: [Laughs]
Oskar: Yeah, there was a lot of weird stuff that happened [laughs]. But people…

People really enjoyed it, I surely did! It was a lot of fun!

Oskar: It seemed like everybody was having a really good time, so I was very happy.

I guess it was nice to see something so genuine, just three guys having fun with their acoustic guitars at the beach after the “normal” shows.

Oskar: Exactly, stripped down… very nice.
We kinda opened the idea of doing something like that again.

Nice, that what I wanted to ask you next, if you think you’re gonna do it again.

Oskar: I think so, yeah. I enjoy doing the acoustic stuff.
It makes us even tighter than when we make our acoustic set.


I think over here in Italy most people don’t know too much about Icelandic bands, how’s the Rock scene like over there in your country?

Stefan: There’s a lot of Rap, Hip Hop, the Rock scene is not so big, but there are a lot of great bands, especially in the old days, bands from the 70s like Trúbrot.
More recently there have been great bands like Brain Police, Sólstafir, Lucy in Blue is a…
Oskar: Great band.
Stefan: A young band that it’s really doing great.
Oskar: I think they even played in Italy with Sleep earlier this month.
Stefan: Yeah, they were supporting Sleep in their tour recently.
Oskar: Hip Hop is kinda dominating the music scene, everywhere I guess nowadays, but I think it’s gonna turn around, I think Rock is up next, next in line.


Thank you for your time, do you have a final message for our readers?

Oskar: Have fun, sing songs about hands and have a good time! [Laughs]

Davide Sciaky