Having recently supported the likes of The Big Moon, Yak and Blaenavon ones to watch Van Zeller have proved they’re more than ready to open the O2 Academy Bristol at this year’s Dot To Dot. I’ll be a first for the four-piece since moving to Bristol in 2015. And what a time to start. POND spoke to bassist Nick Berthoud about sharing the stage with Mystery Jets and their “spicy” new track.
Dot To Dot is this weekend. Have you been before?
None of us have been before, no. We all moved to Bristol after last year’s festival. I’d expect it to be a great day for music in Bristol though we played a smaller multi-venue festival in Reading a month or two ago and it was an awesome day. Just a good atmosphere overall. Dot To Dot have smashed the lineup this year too, there’s no shortage of good bands so it should be a good one.
You’re the opening act at O2 Academy. Nervous? Excited?
A little nervous, maybe, but mainly excited. I don’t think there’s much point being nervous before a show to be honest. Just have a drink before and you’ll be fine.
Mystery Jets, Rat Boy, Sundara Karma. Just some of the bands you’ll be sharing the stage with. How does that make you feel?
Pretty mad sharing the stage with Mystery Jets, they’ve got some big tunes. Augustines too. Nice for us to play before Johnny Lloyd again, we played with him and Black Honey in Oxford a couple of months ago; he’s great live. There’s a lot of cool bands across the other stages, it’s nice sharing the bill with too: Spring King, Night Beats, Blaenavon and The Karma Repair Club are all sick, looking forward to seeing them.
You’ve supported the likes of Black Honey, The King Khan & BBQ Show and The Big Moon. Has this experience helped you grow as a band?
Definitely, we’ve managed to play some shows with bands that we love, take The Black Tambourines for example, they’re one of the bands who inspired us to start Van Zeller in the first place. And Yak last week. Playing with bands that good has definitely made us realise the importance of a good live show.
With only one track on SoundCloud you’ve made quite a lot of noise. How have you managed this?
Mainly through gigging and then word of mouth. We believe playing a good show is the most important thing. We’ve been lucky enough to play some other cities too: we’ve had some great shows in London and Oxford, which also helps.
You’re working on a new single. Can you tell us anything about it?
We’re going back into the studio to record some more songs in early June and then the single should be out in the next few months. It’s one of our favourites to play live so if you’ve seen us before you will have heard it – it’s a spicy track for sure.
What advice would you give someone accused of unfair practice (plagiarism) at university?
Van Zeller open the O2 Academy in Bristol.
Mystery Jets | 9.45-10.45
Augustines | 8.00-9.00
Rat Boy | 6.45-7.15
Sundara Karma | 5.45-6.15
Johnny Lloyd | 4.45-5.15
Van Zeller | 3.45-4.15
Interview: Owen Howard