Face to face with Damn Vandals.

Damn Vandals 1

Damn Vandals are causing some considerable stir on the UK scene at the moment with real, zealous rock ‘n’ roll performed with talent and vivid instrumentation. The release of their debut album ‘Done For Desire’ propelled the rockers to the radar of public eye and, in fact, it’s high time wider audiences discovered Damn Vandals. The band’s lead singer Jack Kansas talks about life, music and, well, Damn Vandals. 

– Since the release of your debut album ‘Done For Desire’ there’s been great buzz around Damn Vandals. How have these buzzy times been for you?

– I’d love to say we’ve been on a debauched rampage, suckling from the teat of success whilst jumping in and out of helicopters. In truth, however, we’ve mainly been familiarising ourselves with the M1, M4, M3, M40 and other beloved arteries out of London – trying to spread the word in the real world. It’s all been good clean fun, and hopefully there’s a hot summer with plenty of gigs to look forward to …

– During the recordings of ‘Done For Desire’, what was the most surreal experience for you?

– Throughout the session there was scaffolding up all around the building. You’d be doing a take and a decapitated head or a builder’s bum would just float past the window – I guess that counts as surreal. The builders were pretty noisy, so at first we tried asking them to stop banging. Eventually we just went with it and turned all the amps right up. If you listen closely to the end of track 3 I’m pretty sure you can hear a bloke saying ‘right lads, tea break’ in Polish.

Damn Vandals 2 Your new single ‘Kings Of Never’ is out on 18th March. What were the main inspirations behind the tracks comprising the single?

– ‘Kings of Never’ falls into the lusty pits-of-desire category of Damn Vandals’ songs (of which we have a couple). It’s a loud/quiet rocker which doesn’t shy away from its influences – can’t really hide the Pixies or Nirvana poking out of that track. Anyhow, played live it always sets fire to gigs, so hope people enjoy the recorded version. ‘The Revenge Of Spider Toothy’ is a completely different can of worms. People don’t believe me when I tell them that it’s written by a 3-year-old child. But that’s the truth. The lyrics are lifted directly from a conversation I had with a kid who had a sick imaginary super hero friend he called Spider Toothy. When quizzed, he described how Spider Toothy lived in bushes, trees, on TV screens and on ceilings and that he was basically out to seriously F-up the bad guys. He also told me Spider Toothy had a dinosaur brain and a chicken’s heart … it went on and on … I just wrote it all down and made the odd bit rhyme – so simply put, it’s a stolen song.

– How was the video for ‘The Revenge Of Spider Toothy’ born?

– It’s basically the story of the song (as told above). There’s a midget in a homemade mask and Spider Toothy costume running madly about and dreaming up ways of taking revenge on Damn Vandals for stealing his song. He plants a bomb in our bass drum. For those who don’t believe, it’s up here gagging for hits:

– What’s your main touring principle you never break?

– Personally it’s my principle to never fart in the tour vehicle. Long journeys in confined spaces of white vans can do peculiar things to groups of young men – resulting in a form of psychosis akin to mobile cabin fever. Given this delicate dynamic, the last thing you need is to be inhaling someone else’s arse fumes. Unfortunately Adam the bass player does not share my principles.

– What’s the funniest story that has ever happened to you on tour?

– Once we had our tooth brushes stolen by a mad woman who owned a hostel somewhere in Croatia. Then she damn vandalskicked us out on the street for being too noisy. How we laughed …

– How would you describe Damn Vandals in three words?

– Stunted Teenage Dreamers

– If you could choose your own music to soundtrack any event in people’s life, what even would it be and why?

– I’d like Damn Vandals to be playing at supermarket self-checkouts to drown out the voices telling us we’ve ‘unexpected items’ in our shopping. Anything to smother the robotic nausea those machines give us, and the nagging suspicion we are all now slaves to the beep.

– If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what record would it be and why?

– ‘Wombling Merry Christmas’ by The Wombles. If I’m going to be driven to the brink of insanity by one single record, I might as well give myself a head start.

– What’s your biggest music ambition?

– To play every city in the world at least two times – once on the way up and once on the way down. Thanks for having us Rock Britain, you the best. Jack and Damn Vandals x

2 Responses to “Face to face with Damn Vandals.”
  1. eva6kora says:

    Love this! Really enjoyed interviewing them myself. Jack has some hilarious answers!

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