The Bon Vivants

The Bon Vivants

 London, England, GBR

The Bon Vivants are a London based band and the joint brainchild of Zachery Stephenson and Daniel Fell; of Special Needs and The Argonauts respectively.

The band are currently playing shows and working on their debut album.


Extract from Itch magazine, by Liz Stott

The Bon Vivants are a newly formed band, compromising of friends who have plenty of experience in the industry, yet have only just had the stroke of genius to put their creative talents together. Led by Zachery Stephenson and Daniel Fell, they already have a vast collection of electrifying tracks. A real mix of instant indie hits such as ‘Oh No Way’ , the infectious ‘Lines’ and proof of beautiful song writing with ‘Champagne and Grenadine’. So we are here to find out about them now before they really take off and get too big to track down.

Hello chaps, hope you are all good! So I want to talk to you about your new band. How would you describe your music?
Zachery: Personally I describe it as the sound of growing up but not growing old.
Daniel: Coming from the man who wrote a song called You Are Gay, that's quite a claim.

What response do you want from people when they hear your songs?
D: "Nice tunes".
Z: What does anyone want? We want people to be moved, amused or informed at the appropriate junctures. I want people to sense the authenticity and the sincerity that we try to get across in our songs. You won’t get anything about spending the night in the jailhouse with us, unless we have really done it.

What inspires you to write a song?
D: Heavy nights; though I'm trying to have a few less at the moment.
Z: A newspaper headline, or a sentence overheard in a charity shop. A drunk Serbian man on the Northern Line dressed in all-brown clothing trying to talk to everyone. Memories, hopes, fears and things we refuse to be afraid of.
How do you decide whose songs to use? And are you going to write any all together soon?
Z: We use the good ones! Dan’s songs tend to be more complex and romantic.
D: You’ve made me sound like I write for Westlife! Zac's tunes are William Burroughs, mine are more William Blake.
Z: Mine are generally more sort of observational commentaries on things but we’re both capable of doing the opposite. We will certainly be writing together. It’s good to collide ideas sometimes because it takes you out of your comfort zone and you end up with something that isn’t either one or the other but something entirely new.

You've been in a bands before. Do you feel those experiences have helped you learn what does and doesn’t work quicker?

Z: Partially. Every new band brings a new set of circumstances that have to be dealt with on their own merits but I suppose having been in bands does make you slightly more prepared.
D: Yeah, you see through people’s bullshit a bit quicker.
Who is your favourite band currently out at the moment?
Z: At the moment I really like a new unsigned band called Parties in Belgrade. I’ve seen them a few times in the last month or so and they have a real energy and honesty about them. I strongly recommend them.
D: Yeah, I really liked Parties In Belgrade when we saw them live. Something Beginning With L are ace too. Every time I see them they get better. Beautiful girls and the bass player’s not so bad himself.

What are your feelings on the music industry at the moment? Do you feel with the likes of X Factor that it is easier to be successful, or has that made it difficult for actual hardworking and talented musicians, as they have to compete with the manufactured pop that has guaranteed sales due to their exposure on the show?
Z: Getting the opportunity to make a living through music these days is almost entirely a lottery. I know it’ll make me sound like an old geezer but the music industry is almost completely moribund. And there are fewer and fewer saviours. The NME doesn’t represent anything it used to, indie labels are struggling to survive, and record shops are closing. It seems the more talent you have the less chance you have of making it, and vice-versa. And it makes me sad when people spout on about what a genius Lady Gaga is. As if ‘playing the game’ is now a noble aspiration, as opposed to making great music. Although it’s kind of moot as she has no real say in the direction of her career anyway. She’s as much of a puppet as Jedward are.
D: Well it's kind of similar to the 70's. There were loads of these kind of talent shows then but there was the counter-culture of punk. Obviously, that came from the art world, but the sentiment's the same in that it gave someone like John Lydon a wave to ride in on and create something great. People will only tolerate averageness for so long.

Finally, what do you hope to achieve, where do you want to take the band?
D: Higher, like Sly Stone.
Z: To play on the same bill as Lady Gaga, just after her and to see her stomping her feet in frustration at being outshone. Like Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion or something.


Debut Single to be released November 2010. Already had plenty of play on XFM