Vandaveer is the project of Mark Charles Heidinger, releasing their debut album Grace & Speed in 2007 before following it up with the acclaimed 2009 release Divide & Conquer, which was the record of theirs that first made us sit up and take notice. Since then we’ve had the equally excellent Dig Down Deep in 2011, and now the wonderful Oh Willie, Please… a fabulous re-interpreting and re-imagining of age-old murder ballads and songs of self ruin.
In fact these themes of “people doing very bad things, and then we sing about them“, have long been central to Vandaveer’s work, making them a nigh on perfect fit for Mad Mackerel. Death, hauntings, tales of evil, retribution and regret combined with plenty of pedal steel guitars, banjos, pianos and vocal harmonies are a mighty fine combination, and one that Vandaveer do far, far better than most.
You can order the new album from the band’s website here, and here are Mark’s answers to the usual set of Five to One questions.
Five words to describe your music:
Available mostly everywhere starting tomorrow.
One book you’d recommend to an alien:
John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden.
Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you?
Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy.
Pink Floyd’s Meddle.
Bob Dylan’s Desire.
Tom Waits’ Alice.
In that order.
One moment in time you’d like to have witnessed:
When I recommended Steinbeck’s East Of Eden to that alien visitor.
Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & Billy Preston.
One biggest regret in your career (to date):
Not sharing a stage-jam with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & Billy Preston.
Five things on your perfect rider:
There are only five things on our rider, so if we score ’em all that’s pretty much perfect at this point.
One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
My wife & my son. And my dog. And our cat. In one big pile.
Five perfect songs:
Um, Louis Armstrong’s – What A Wonderful World
The Beatles -Two Of Us
Ben E. King – Stand By Me
Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
U2 – One
Jeez, that’s a little man-heavy… maybe Nina Simone’s version of Just Like A Woman, should be in there too…
One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
Beat, Beat, My Heart.
Download Vandaveer – Concerning Past & Future Conquests mp3 (from Dig Down Deep)
Download Vandaveer – Dig Down Deep mp3 (from Dig Down Deep)Follow @madmackerel