Ones To Watch 2010: VanGuard
Beth: How long have you been making music?
Tom/James: We've been making music together since September 2008 but we started for fun and didn't take it very seriously. We put a few tracks up on MySpace and started getting attention immediately from DJs and a few blogs. So we then spent a lot more time on producing our music and really wanted to take it further.
Beth: What got you started, what equipment did you use?
Tom/James: When we started we had no equipment whatsoever apart from Cubase and Ableton Live on our Laptops. We still mostly use just those programs but we've recently invested in an Edirol PCR 300 midi keyboard, an M-Audio midi controller as well as a pair of Behringer Truth B1030A monitors.
Beth: What music has influenced and inspired you?
Tom/James: Our French House influences are Daft Punk, Room 5 and Modjo from when we were 9-10 years old along with Le Knight Club, DJ Falcon and Alan Braxe. And at the moment we are massive fans of Louis La Roche, Phonat, Danger and Xinobi. Some other inspirations are Quincy Jones, Spandau Ballet and Cameo.
Beth: How much time do you dedicate per week to producing?
Tom: At the moment it's difficult as I'm in my first year of University in Bristol, so finding the balance between work and VanGuard is difficult. James is taking a gap year at the moment so he spends a lot of his time making some new songs. When I'm back from uni we spend a lot of time together finishing tracks that we've started and getting some new mixes and remixes ready.
Beth: What dreams and aspirations do you have for the future?
Tom/James: Our ultimate dream is to release an album and to tour the world playing to massive crowds. We'd love to play in Paris at some point, that'd be really cool. We've also been wanting to play C-Y-N-T in Cardiff for a long time, ever since Erol Alkan played, we'll be headlining on the 4th of February which will hopefully be a good night!
Beth: Has West Wales been an inspiration or a frustration to you growing up there?
Tom: James and I were in a Post Hardcore band called Attack Pattern together and it was really difficult to get gigs in the area. We had to travel to Cardiff to get any decent gigs. However with VanGuard, because of the genre, it's a lot easier to get attention. There's no stress with getting good recordings or having band practice. Once a track is finished we send it to the blogs and to various Radio Stations. All in all, the only frustration with our area is that we have to travel quite a way for gigs.
Beth: Which DJ/producer would you most like to play with someday?
Tom/James: Thomas Bangalter would be absolutely amazing. Justice or Erol Alkan would be a lot of fun too.
Beth: Which track/remix/mix are you most proud of and why?
Tom/James: It's a toss up between Femme Fatale and our first ever track, Caprice. We love Femme Fatale because it was the song that got us the most attention from Radio One and because it's so epic. At the moment we're re-making Caprice as we produced it a long time ago and we've changed since then, but because it was the first track we made together, it has sentimental value.
Check out more of their music on myspace.com/levanguardfunk
And listen to their mix on Radio One for seven days.