VHS Collection, the NYC trio renowned for their signature heart-pumping, arena-ready synth rock and alt-pop sound has a new single out. ‘The Deep End’ marks the latest effort of James Bohannon, Conor Cook, and Nils Vanderlip.
The three friends who banded together in New York City in 2015 have proven that their gamble to go it alone as an independent trio has paid off. With bragging rights to certified hits, ‘Waiting For The Summer’ and ‘So I Met Someone’, taken off their 2016 record Stereo Hype, VHS Collection has garnered an impressive following with millions of listen. The band has also earned the distinction of performing at festivals such as the Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits.
Now six years after coming together, the trio have begun a new chapter to their music. ‘The Deep End’, serves as anthemic single of VHS Collection. Taken from their forthcoming album ‘Night Drive’ (Tiger Tone / [PIAS]), which is due out in February 2022, the track is a late-night catharsis— a top-down, cruising the highway kind of track about finding your place in the world.
With its sonic nod to the ’80s, ‘The Deep End’ is nostalgic ride through analog synths, retro-modern production, along with a massive chorus. With a fresh single out, we have a quick chat with the band to find out more about their music and their future aspirations.
Your music is unique, but where do you think VHS Collection’s tracks would ideally fit in?
Indie rock with electronic elements. Some pop references there too. Shooting for The Killers meets the national, Modest Mouse, LCD Sound System etc. We want emotionally charged high energy music. Trying more and more to push the envelope.
You’ve been together for six years now. How would you say your creative collaboration and music development has evolved over this time?
We have really been moulding our sound over the last 3 years, trying to hone in on what makes a VHS tune – I think we have the formula identified and are still mastering it. I think once we release the piece of work that most speaks the formula we will then seek to add variety and evolve further.
How did VHS Collection end up becoming the band’s name?
We would always do our initial demo and writing sessions in these wood cabins in New England. Whenever you would go into an old house with an old TV and look to the right or left what did you see? A collection of old movies. The name just felt right as soon as we said it out loud. It was a reference to our childhood, the last generation who use VHS tapes.
It was a reference to technology but an old one. The name was a good description of a group of stories. We were huge movie buffs and felt music was a great way to tell a variety of stories, love, comedy, drama, action, and thrillers. All a part of the fabric of life.
Who would you say were the biggest influences on your music?
LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie, Modest Mouse, The Killers, The National, Max Martin, The Beatles.
Your new track, ‘The Deep End’ is out, and it was written pretty much during the pandemic. Did this track happen by accident and are you surprised how all of it came together?
It was our last allowable trip before the pandemic. We snuck into LA and had a few sessions booked, right when everything was getting cancelled. The groove and concept came out really fast, maybe 20 minutes. Then we spent a few hours in the afternoon crafting what it meant.
Producing this and ‘The Dark’ during COVID times must have been challenging. How did it all come together?
We had been working on it for a couple years, collecting songs and concepts. Doing writing sessions in New York, Nashville and LA. Doing some of our demo sessions with just the three of us. We had 9 weeks booked to cut the whole album, then COVID-19 hit. Like everyone we had to change our plans a bit. But we made it work. We persevered. Some remote sessions, some flying in risky times… we found a way.
You’ve been known for your live performances. Are you stoked that things are beginning to open up again and you start performing for your fans?
We are so thrilled to get back on stage. This project for us is about sharing times and experiences with our supporters, family, and friends. It’s a lonely road when you can’t get out there and share it. We’re excited to get back to it.
(Photos: Grant Spanier)