Van She recently released their hotly-anticipated second album Idea of Happiness via Modular UK, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The follow-up to 2008's V displays a much more confident side to the band, and the 405 seized the opportunity to grill them about it in an interview recently: mostly about the new record, but also about some of the band's contemporaries, recording studio habits and which albums the band would ensure to have with them if they were ever stranded on a desert island. Oh, and they've started writing album number 3 too…

How are you all feeling about the release of Idea of Happiness? Tell us what it's like to be going through the album cycle again.

Feeling pretty good at the thought of a 4 year journey appearing finally in the public consciousness. Not really sure yet about the album cycle thing but I can tell you that this time it feels a lot easier because we understand it a lot more than we used too. General positive feelings maybe?

It's been a while since you were last on the scene - V was released in the dim and distant days of 2008. How do you think things have changed for you as a band between then and now?

Haha well as I said in the last question, I guess we understand the process more so we are more at ease with the whole journey. I think things have changed in the fact that because we produced and recorded it all ourselves we are a lot more confident in this record and feel like it is more us than the last record V

Can you explain why it's taken so long to get the new album out? A lot of bands that have had gaps like that between their first and second albums have mainly put them down to either label issues or writer's block; what's the case with Van She?

Well we all do a lot of other things as well as Van She like Tomek and his architecture and furniture design, Matt being a famous man of Yoga and general handsome fellow who also writes with other people while Mikey and I have both co written and produce a handful of other albums in the meantime. I have also been doing a regular night in Sydney with my brother's art gallery called PIZZA! 

In terms of what the band want out of the rest of the year, how far ahead are you looking? Do you just want to get the record out and tour, or are your plans more varied than that?

We have actually started writing for the next Van She record which is good considering the amount of time it takes us to put out a record. We are planning some dates in the UK and Europe in late September which we are excited about.

What was the biggest difference between the creation of your debut and that of its follow-up? What was the most fun you had whilst recording it?

… I think the biggest difference is that we knew what record we wanted to make this time as apposed to V, where we had no idea! I think being able to use the time we did making it from the comfort of our own studio made it way more enjoyable than V and not having some outside producer saying "No you have to do it this way." This time around it was all pretty fun.

If you had to choose a favourite song off Idea of Happiness, which would it be, and why? Are there any songs you recorded that didn't make the cut for, or didn't fit on, the album?

Yeah loads of songs didn't make the cut … I think close to 20 or 30 haha. Well for me I guess 'Move On' would be my favourite because it was about the time my girlfriend left me so it just feels genuine … 'You're My Rescue' is pretty fun also because we share a studio with Connie and Angus from Sneaky Sound System and Connie came in and just jumped on the mic and did a bunch of the backing vocals on that track.

Have you been enjoying any Australian bands recently? Who would you recommend to us?

Forces are great! And also Panama have a great track called 'Magic'. Flume is a good friend of ours who is doing some great mixes.

What sort of things are generally on your rider?

2 x BBQ chicken, Ice Berg lettuce, Chilli Mayo, Coriander, 3 x Avocado, 3 x Lemons, Tequila, Case of beer, Vodka, 6 x Coconut water, Fruit Platter, Coleslaw.

What three albums would you choose as your 'desert island discs'?

  • Michael Jackson - BAD
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Cassuis - 1999

Idea of Happiness is out now via Modular Recordings. Their forthcoming single, 'Jamaica', is released on July 30th.