vanA primer
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vanA primer

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"vanA primer: A Night of Firsts"

Now just from reading the title of this show article, you might be getting an uneasy feeling. You may be remembering the last first date you went on or perhaps an unmentionable blind date with your new cyber-crush from a type site, or maybe (hopefully) maybe you are reminded of some other “first”. Well the kind of “first” I am talking about fits in the “other” category. The kind of first date or meeting that isn’t awkward and full of deadly silent pauses but rather leaves you impressed and comfortable, and totally willing to do it again.

This specific live show took place at The Reverb, a local club that is long in width and short in height, yet surprising extremely hard to fill. Tonight was somewhat different, it was full of crossfire; the crossfire of freshness and comfort. Besides not feeling like a night of “firsts” it was. It was my first time seeing the band on stage and the first time meeting some of their family members. Old and new friends all crammed into one room, enjoying one thing; the leadership of vanA primer.

From the moment the band entered the venue and took their position on stage it was apparent; nothing about this situation was new and awkward for them. Three things entered my mind as they took place and plugged in their instruments; first how comfortable they looked, second the musicianship between the members as they shifted modes and lastly the professional attitudes they all shared. While on stage the band reminded me of “everyone’s favorite uncle”. Let me explain. The brother of one of your parents who looks out for you, he is the one that makes family get-to-gethers bearable, makes things comfortable, covers your ass and the one willing to bail you out of sticky situations so your parents do not find out. Every member of vanA primer did their part that night, they all helped make things seem easy and they did this by grabbing everyone’s attention. From there they took us on a winding journey that was controlled yet free. A night of firsts.
- - Matthew Parrish

"vanA primed for success"

When five guys with loaded musical backgrounds get together, the result is a rock band with great chemistry, explosive energy and the drive to break out of the typical mainstream mold with an intensity and urgency rarely seen on today’s music scene.
Enter vanA primer. The band from Toronto, who played with Seeking Dawn last Friday at the Shack, prides themselves on their high-energy live shows and love to be onstage performing for their fans.
“Playing live is the greatest emotional release,” said lead singer Matthew Pearn.
Their shows are also their biggest marketing tool right now, as vanA primer has yet to release an album. There is a seven-song EP in the works, but until its release in March, the guys rely on word of mouth to build some hype.
“When you’re at a grassroots level like us, you focus on one fan at a time,” said Nate Kreiswirth, who plays guitar and supplies backup vocals. “And playing shows like Fanshawe allow us to have a good time and attract a college crowd, who we can relate to.”
The Friday night show at the Shack was no exception. Displaying their talent with a explosive enthusiasm to the crowded bar, the band was sure to have strengthened their fan-base on campus.
“We had a great time playing at Fanshawe,” Pearn said. “The turnout was better than expected and the crowd response was incredible.
“Other than the stage falling apart slightly, the show went off without a hitch.”
All of the band members have been academically and actively involved with music since childhood, and have pursued their passion throughout their lives. From Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program, to playing in a steel band while studying music in Trinidad to attending the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, the members of vanA primer have more music education and experience between them than many bands acquire in a lifetime.
Their extensive knowledge of all things musical results in strong, smooth songs of technical and musical perfection. Each band member looks at things from a different angle, but with a common ground.
“We all have the same focus and the same ultimate goals,” Pearn said, “so even though it takes a little longer to get ideas through, it’s really beneficial that we each have different views.”
The band is planning a tour in April 2005 throughout Ontario, and the Canadian and American east coasts. Along with the anticipated March release of their EP, vanA primer is focusing on writing and recording, playing shows and hopefully signing with an independent label.
- Interrobang (Fanshawe College) - Stephanie Taylor

"vanAprimer Interview"

December 3rd, 2004 - Toronto, ON:

vanA primer. I wasn’t completely sure where I had heard this term before, so I looked it up on the internet and discovered a world of genes and biological organisms that resist other genes and what not. Somewhat confused or overwhelmed by how much science is a mystery to me I took the basic concepts of resisting and listened to the few tracks available by vanA primer. After hearing “Slow Falling” and “Climb In” (two tracks currently available) I wanted to know where these songs came from. I spoke with lead singer Matthew Pearn to find this out.

Truth.Explosion: So where would you like to start?

VanA Primer says: So Matthew, how long has it been since your last colonoscopy?

TE: Seriously... it seems like yesterday.

TE: Is there a similar experience you would like to talk about today?

VP: Not especially.

TE: Ok, colons aside... anything else?

VP: Never had one. I’m waiting. You can't have all the good stuff happen in the beginning of your life.

TE: I agree, gotta space things out a little.

VP: You start wherever you'd like.

TE: Ok, then. I understand VanA Primer has been working on some new material?

VP: Yes. We just took off a couple of months, and spent the time recording and writing some new material. I am really excited about the direction we're taking.

TE: This new direction you speak of... what is driving it?

VP: I think like most artists, we have a desire to keep moving. We’re still a young band. We’ve been together since February of 2004 and already I can feel us shifting a little. Small things. It seems like the closer we become as friends and band mates, the more conviction we have as song-writers.

TE: Specifically…

VP: We are becoming more concise, more focused.

TE: So you've been together almost a year, honestly how much progress could there be?

VP: More than I expected. Personally, it seems like I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I feel more focused within our own sphere of music. There is urgency in what we do. We’re all musicians in our own right, but now we're really becoming a band; a unit. I think that’s been the catalyst for us. We’re more dependent on each other. We expect the most from each and every member of the band. We trust each other, and that’s allowed us to skip a lot of steps in essence.

TE: Within that, there are still a lot of things that are essential for a bands "success" like the creative writing process...what is this process like for VanA Primer?

VP: It’s different every time. Sometimes we just sit down and jam a song out. Leave it. Come back next practice. Touch it up. Sometimes it’s one member of the band bringing something to the rest of us. It could be a riff, a hook, a melody. Then we work it out. It’s a collective effort.

TE: Has any specific event/experience came out in a song at this point?

VP: How do you mean?

TE: Do you use songwriting to express what is going on around you?

VP: A couple months ago, a lot of what we were writing was a reflection of the current political climate. A couple of our songs deal with the injustice of power, the fallibility of an empire.

TE: Being Canadians and a Canadian band how much were you directly affected by what was going on with olde George W.?

VP: Well, both Nate & Graeme are dual citizens. So, for them it’s personal. Violence and injustice seem to be highly contagious in our world though. George W. Bush has set a precedent. He’s told the world that fear negates justice; that as long as a nation feels that a threat is "imminent", they have the right to attack freely. That’s a scary thing. Look at Pakistan, India, the Middle East, North Korea, & China.

TE: Have you even been attacked by someone?

VP: Pardon me?

TE: Has anyone ever personally attacked you? Have you been the victim of a violent crime?

VP: Ohh attacked, I thought you said attracted.

VP: Yes I have been attracted to someone.

TE: Attacked.

VP: I have never been a victim of a violent crime. Luckily.

TE: Very lucky.

VP: I've had my share of interesting moments. But I don’t feel afraid. I’m lucky. I’m a middle class, white, heterosexual male. A lot of other people in this world deal with shit I can’t even imagine. According to the status quo, I’m of the privileged sort.

TE: I am also in that category but I do not consider myself lucky and I don’t think that gives me any security or a safety net. What do you consider your safety net?

VP: My safety net. Well, music has that affect. It’s a sheltering experience really. It’s a way to deal. Songwriting is an emotional release subtle enough that I don’t have to look my emotions right in the face.

TE: When are you your strongest?

VP: When I’m onstage. Performing. I feel most comfortable. For me it’s not like putting on another face, it doesn't take me outside of myself. I feel stark onstage. Complete. Simple.

TE: What is performing?

VP: Performing is a series of reactions, to your environment, to your audience, to the things going on onstage. It’s carnal almost.

TE: That’s pretty concise, would you like to elaborate on what its like to be on stage?

VP: It’s like a hail-storm.

TE: A hail-storm?

VP: There is this strange smell in the air; anticipation, energy, passion. Then it just happens; you start. Then you wake up and hopefully there is some applause. It’s a flash really.

TE: Do you take much away from that "flash” of energy or is it even possible to take it all in?

VP: It’s hard to grasp everything that’s going on around you. Personally, I’m so inside myself that when we're finished, things seem vague. I was there, but the concepts of time and space don’t really apply while you're performing. It’s like taking yourself out of the present, just for a second. But of course I get something from it. It’s a rush. If I didn’t get anything from the experience it would seem purposeless.

TE: What does the word "resist" mean to your band?

VP: I think that in one way or another, we're resisting mediocrity. We’re resisting what we see in the world today. There is a real disassociated behavior in our society. We’re disconnected from each other. That’s the last thing we want from our music, we want to make connections, build relationships with our audience.

TE: Well from what I see at your live show there is a definite connection with the audience. I think this is due to the fact it seems more like you're singing for the audience, not at them...

VP: Yes. Definitely. I’m putting myself out there. I’m looking for a reaction, some semblance of emotion; something, anything. A response. That’s why I’m up there.

TE: Well I hope you find that.

VP: So do I. It would be a sad reflection of what I was talking about before; disassociation, if I didn’t.

TE: I got one more question for you...kinda the closer.

VP: Sure

TE: What is the "truth" about VanA Primer?

VP: the v isn’t capitalized. And its van(EH) primer, not vana. That’s the truth.

by Matthew Parrish -


Apoptosis - Released May 23rd 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Resist. In the world of genetics, van A primer is known as a resistance gene. In the world of music, van A primer represents the same basic value. Resistant to the current onslaught of mainstream music, resistant to society’s demands for conformity, van A primer is breaking new ground.

After meeting Matthew at Humber College in 2003, Nick Richard soon brought the singer over to the band house for a chance to meet Nate, Graeme, and Dustin and play a little music. Huddled in the basement, this five-some began to write the songs that would eventually give birth to their original sound. Songs like “Climb In” and “Slow Falling” were written in the first week of the band forming. It didn’t take long for their distinctive sound to emerge and quickly vanA primer had built up an incredibly strong repertoire. Finally, they were ready to pull themselves out of the basement and into the streets.

“Things worked from the beginning,” says Matthew, “I realized something great was happening when I couldn’t stop singing the songs. There had been one practice and I was belting out “Climb In” on the subway. People must have thought there was something wrong with me.”

Currently featured on the multimedia disc “Independents 4 Kerry” in the U.S. and a seven song EP (titled “Apoptosis”) planned for the new year, vanA primer will be making their way across North America in the summer of 2005.

It is this same untamed love for their music that vanA primer brings to the stage every show. “We’ve played shows with ten or fifteen people, and we’ve played shows with a few hundred,” adds Matthew, “it doesn’t matter. I still walk out with bruises all over my body.”

Bruised and battered, vanA primer still manages to encapsulate the fury and intensity that lies in their music. Their music expresses the basic human emotions that all of us inherently possess. A mixture of happiness, fear, hope, and misery, vanA primer has managed to ingrain these elements into a map of chaos, a portrait of our innate being as humans. This music is a call to arms for all rock fans. A call to resist conformity and embrace vanA primer.