Cormac started slaying frets at six, Jake started singing at four and Rory, well he was the same age as Cormac when he picked up those drum sticks. These three young men a year out of High school were raised around music.Their band Joe’s Van formed when Cormac, Rory and Jake were nine.
To directly quote them “ bob’s your uncle the van was formed, we formed because we loved music.”
That love of music is what saw these guys to their record breaking success, competing in New Zealand’s Smokefree Rockquest seven years running before their smashing win in 2015.
Influenced by music all the way from what few have heard of such as Herbie Hancock and Summer Thieves. To the classics like; Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eric Clapton. Their expanse of those the van look up to within music, has meant that the music they create has many dimensions and is accessible to audiences of all kinds.
Upon listening to Jake’s baseline barriers are broken, this goes for Cormac’s guitar mastering and Rory’s drum genius.
This last sentence was a poetic way of saying that the music by these young men, does what a good tune does — brings people together.
Perhaps they are so successful in making an incredible tune because they don’t stress too much. When asked about their writing process they say,“The creative juices just flow when we don’t think about it so yeah that’s when the best stuff pumps out. We don’t really think to hard about trying to write, it stresses us out, so we just wait for a goodie to come out of a jam and then nurture a good tune out of it.”
This technique has led them to write the single Shroomy Sam, which if you looked on my Spotify play history, has been replayed at least forty times by me. You just can’t not groove to it. What’s even more rad about the vans tunes, is that while your grooving on the surface level, there is lyrical depth and storytelling happening without you even knowing it. Their music is in layers, the perfect balance of story telling to melody mastery. For me that is the mark of the best kind of tune.
For their music, Cormac, Jake and Rory “have an ape of a time and stunt it” taking a year off from University in order to put their time into what they love. For this reason I look up to them profusely. It seems we live in a current society that believes in the old school careers; lawyers and doctors are somehow better then slaying frets for a living.
The van, they show you that this line of thinking is false.
If anything, the real truth comes out when a person understands that outside the box careers like music require more commitment and passion then any standard career path. In their words: “you’ve gotta really commit everything into your art if you expect anything from it so be prepared to give up a lot for it.
It pays to have a back up plan, either an education or job that you can fall back on for dosh when gigs are slim but yeah just go skitz.” Their advice here is authentic and truthful, these ideals filter through to their tunes and so they are beautiful people committed to making music just as beautiful, music that means more then is summed in a riff because they are also people and most of all young men worth looking up too.
They have new music in the pipeline, so look out.
Find Letters to Corey