The Sound of Renfrewshire: The Van T’s
The brainchild of two siblings that morphed into one of the nation’s most hotly tipped bands, we spoke to Hannah Van Thompson about their journey, the music scene and a recent career milestone.
What are your roots In Renfrewshire?
“We moved to Johnstone when Chloe and I were five from Thornliebank and before that, we were in Dundee. We went to Thorn Primary, but the pub’s a lot better than the school if you ask me (laughs). Then from there, it was Johnstone High before heading to Glasgow. Now, I’m actually moving to Howwood!”
You and Chloe initially played as a duo before you became a four piece. How did that transition come about?
“Well, Chloe and I were listening to bands with a rhythm section and we realised that was the direction we wanted to head in. I met Shaun (Hood, drummer) working at Primark in Braehead. We got to chatting and eventually I was like ‘do you want to be in my band?’ Shaun had been playing death metal and hardcore so it was a bit of a shift for him. Our bassist moved to London and then I met Joanne (Forbes). She’d never played it before but I asked and she picked it up! From there, the sound just progressed. Nowadays, we’re thinking of getting a bit more synthy.”
As one of the bands that predate the West of Scotland explosion of music, has it been exciting to watch the area gain recognition as a hub for talent?
“Yeah, it’s definitely cool. At the moment, there’s two prominent movements- the more gothic or aloof stuff from Kingdom (Management) and the whole Glasgow punk scene. It’s nice to see that these bands all doing so well after seeing them in The Priory or King Tut’s and it just goes to show that people are looking to the West of Scotland as an exciting place for music.”
Back in July, you supported Foo Fighters at Bellahouston Park. Did the experience live up to your expectations?
“No words can really describe it, we supported one of our favourite bands ever and everyone was so cool. It didn’t really seem like a big hectic show because the crew were all so effortless. The crowd were really good and responsive so we really couldn’t have asked for a better day. It’s what every band aspires to, we were just lucky enough to get there.”
What’s the plans for the year ahead?
“We’ve got a few cool shows coming up with our friends FEET down south and the AGP Christmas gig in Aberdeen. We’ve been offered a few others but I think we’re going to hold off until we unveil new music. We’re hoping to release early next year then head out on tour.”
For the latest band news, follow them via facebook.com/TheVanTs. This interview was published in Mill issue 8 November/December 2019.