The Van Lears preparing for EP release, talk new video and more (Interview)
By Derek Pastore
Staff Writer. Professional crosswalk predictor.
This genre mixing duo made up of brothers Andrew and Trey were raised on music. Their style is unique and their contributions to both the community and music industry are spirit lifting. Give The Van Lears a listen and make up your own mind on the sound. We know one thing. We dig it.
Raised Rowdy: Sometimes when growing up, siblings can have a bit of a rival. What was the dynamic like for you, and when did you first decide to perform together?
The Van Lears: We started early. We were still in diapers, running around the house, banging on our dad’s guitars, and watching our parents write music in our dining room every Friday night with their musician friends. We had a unique set of circumstances as far as music was concerned. We were always around AMAZING music! Our Mom and grandmother were singing in the house everyday. Like most brothers we got into a tussle or two! (We still get into them on occasion!!) Nevertheless, we got over that pretty fast when we realized we had something special in our voices. We decided that if our goal was to be successful, we had to delete the “foolishness” from our life.
RR: Have either of you ever been a part of a different band?
Andrew: When we were teens we were in a rock band called Cash Farm Killers, but Trey & I have always been together!
RR: What music were you raised on, and what artists inspired you most?
TVL: A little bit of everything. From Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, Boyz II Men to OutKast and heavily influenced by The Eagles and The Everly Brothers. Jack White was always a huge influence and we were raised on Loretta Lynn so naturally when they did a project together we thought it was the dopest thing we’d ever heard… a mix of rock and country soul… the album was called. “Van Lear Rose” and it was at that moment we decided to call ourselves “The Van Lears” as an homage to a sound we were touched by and shaped by.
We could probably talk music and records we like all day… We will save that one for later lol.
RR: Listening to your music, I hear a blend of rock and country, with a lot of soul. How would you describe your sound?
Trey: You just described it. To us, it’s not about genres, it’s about the quality of each song and each song may take you to a different and strange place. If our music isn’t doing that, then we aren’t doing it right.
RR: Tell us about your most recent project, and the time you put in the studio.
TVL: Our most recent project was the “Soul Revival” music video that JUST DROPPED (thank you for sharing BTW) and we will be dropping the EP, TVL Presents “The Prequel” very soon.
We have been nonstop in the studio and are currently collaborating with some of our favorite producers… Focus (Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé), Henny tha Bizness (Ne-Yo, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Ice Cube, 50 Cent) and we are cooking up something very special with our main dude, Bob Robinson (TLC, Boyz II Men, Madonna, Jon B., Tamia) A lot of very dope things happening.
RR: You’ve been active with The Recording Academy as evidenced by advocating a bill that was recently passed in D.C. regarding musician’s and songwriter’s rights. What can you share about the details of the bill, and your view on the subject?
TVL: One is the “Music Modernization Act” and basically, this helps put money into the creatives hands faster and WAY more efficiently. The laws that insure protection for songwriters was last updated in the 1920’s. This creates an organization that collects and distributes mechanical royalties from streaming services. It also includes something called, “Classics” (Compensating Legacy Artist for their songs, service and important contributions to society) Act. Spotify is playing a huge roll in this bill and setting the new standard for all streaming services. We are both very proud to be part of the Atlanta chapter of the Recording Academy and serve along side of some very vocal activist for the music community and cause. Ty Anderson, Steve Bogard, Michele Caplinger, Greggory Smith, Tricky Stewart, and Matt Still just to name a few. Strides are being made to make the music community a better place for all creatives.
RR: You’ve donated food, toys and proceeds of concerts to various organizations. Tell our readers about the importance of giving back to the community.
Andrew: We are coming up on our 6th annual Christmas concert this year that we throw in our hometown, Calhoun (Redbud), GA. We started this event in memory of a dear friend and fan who tragically lost her life, Dana Patterson. She was a shining beacon for love and personified what Christmas spirit is, so we decided to donate the entirety of profits each year to different organizations and outreach programs that help our community. The first year we did toys for tickets and raised over 8,000 toys and provided every child in our hometown with a Christmas gift. Each year is something different and we always have special quest that make it a unique and amazing time for everyone… We plan on taking time to grow this event each year and make it something even more spectacular with each passing year. It’s become tradition with lots of giving families to “bring in the Christmas spirit.” It was Dana’s favorite time of year and her memory is something we cherish very much.
RR: What does the near future have in store for The Van Lears?
TVL: A lot of new miles… new songs… Wearing a lot more holes in our Corral boots. Striving daily to give our family and fans a lifetime of music and memories that we can all cherish forever…. A lot of moonshine and #AmericanOutlawFreedom along the way.
A big thanks to The Van Lears, Andrew and Trey, for taking time to share their experiences and allow our readers to get to know them. The harmony and soul in the sound of this duo has us wanting more and we are excited for their future. Keep your ears open for the soon to be released EP, TVL Presents “The Prequel”. Follow these gents on social media. And for now, check out their new music video!