Monday, September 12, 2016

Loudini Interviews Alex Vans

Alex Vans had a really, really terrible idea for a business. He got a bunch of dudes, gave them instruments, and made them play stoner rock guitar riffs under smooth vocal pop hooks. He then had the shitty idea to record those sounds onto obsolete physical records and drive around the country in a van trying to sell the records in beer soaked taverns in front of surly bartenders. It was a truly horrible idea. And predictably, he failed miserably. If the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then you can count Alex Vans as among the truly mad. A mad-genius perhaps? No. But the new EP does kick ass.

Why? Because Alex and his new band, Bad Business, got back up, licked their wounds, and made a fundamental change. They realized that if you want to make the kind of top 40 music that lets you retire at 35, you can't write from your heart. You gotta stick to the formula. You have to follow the data. “You think Meghan Trainor makes all that sweet, sweet coin because she’s singing about her feelings?” Vans remarked in a recent interview. “No, she’s got a team of analysts in Korea crunching algorithms faster than Hillary Clinton cashes checks from Goldman Sachs.” In that defiant spirit, they ditched their flannel shirts and skinny jeans in favor of power suits and suspenders. They dropped their guitars and picked up their expo markers and whiteboards. Then they realized how not fun that is, grabbed their guitars again, ditched the formula, and cranked out the most righteously rocking EP of 2016. “Buy American: Vol. 1” is the result of this truly revolutionary paradigm shift.

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