Interview with Ryan Van Gennip from Chase the Sun

Written by Benjamin Smith

After a five year break from recording blues masters Chase the Sun are back with a new single Live it Up and are days away from embarking on a new tour. Ryan Van Gennip, bassman for the enigmatic Sydney-siders sat down with us to chat about the journey the band have been on.

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Ryan, thanks for talking to us mate. I guess firstly welcome back to the scene after such a long hiatus. The most obvious question is, why the five year break?

We’re a band that doesn’t really rush to do too much. We’ve all got other bands and other musical projects that we’re involved in, and I guess we just didn’t feel like it and now we do.

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In the five years since you’ve been away how has your perspective on music and music-making changed and how does that effect the sound that you’re producing?

Well actually three years ago I obtained access to a warehouse I turned into a studio in the blue mountains so I guess In the last year or two we’ve had access to a semi-decent recording facility. So there’s no time pressure or money pressure and we’ve been able to just get comfortable about making music again. People go in different tangents and we’ve sort of come back from that I guess.

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Did you find that you all sort of slotted back into being in this band pretty comfortably after the break or was there a period of adjustment?

Nah, we all get on really well, we’ve always got on really well. In the early days of Chase the Sun we were doing like 200 gigs a year pretty much living in each other’s back pockets. We all got along like brothers. So everyone is just in a good headspace to make some music. Its a pretty collaborative effort. Jan (Rynsaardt-guitarist) brings a lot of the songs to the table and we sort of flesh them out as a collective which I find is a really fun way to do it.

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And in terms of the new track “Live it Up”, was that a pretty collaborative effort? How did that track come into being?

Live it Up is definitely Jan’s lyrics, he writes pretty much all the lyrics. He pretty much just came up with the groove and then we flesh out the rest of it together and all the different parts. We’re not trying to be the biggest band in the world, we’re actually just wanting to make music for the fact of making music and having fun and enjoying the process. I guess that’s why it taken us so long to get of our arses; you’ve got to get hungry again.

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You guys take a pretty rock n’ roll approach to making blues music. I know the blues can be one of those art forms where the purists can make their presence felt pretty loudly. Do you ever get any opposition from the blues purists who question that blended way of coming at it?

Yeah, I guess our first album was pretty acoustic blues and then… well to answer your question, yes; but we don’t really care. We make music in a selfish way, we just make it for ourselves. But we definitely have had some of that opposition in the past and there are definitely elements that lead into heavier styles of music and different time signatures and heavy grooves but then there are some things that sound like sitting on the back porch with a banjo, although live we do usually heavy it up a bit. I remember the very first gig that we ever had. I met the guys and put the band together and they came over for a jam and recorded it. Within a week we were recording the first record and two weeks later we’d finished the first record before we even did a gig or anything. So we made this acoustic blues record. Then we rocked up to the the first gig and Jan had this like Marshall JCM 800 head and 4×12 cab and Les Paul.

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I understand that there is an album to follow the release of this track Live it Up. Can you tell us how far away that might be?

We’re aiming for a September release hopefully. We’re half way through tracking it and we’ve got a few more days in the studio before we go on tour next week. Everyone’s really keen Jan’s playing some great guitar and bringing a lot of passion to the studio. Its pretty hard to go wrong when you’ve got someone like him in the band just pouring his soul out.

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The tour you’re about to go out on I notice includes a lot of smaller out of the way venues. Are there places within those regional space you particularly like to play?

Well the festivals are always great, we’ve always been pretty heavily festival focussed especially the blues festivals. But it really is down to the people at the venues rather than the venues themselves. We’ve done a few gigs down at Baha which is always really fun. Lot of gigs on this tour that we’ve never done before. It should be fun to meet some new people. This tour is kind of regional but I think the next one that we’re doing is going to be bigger. We actually finish this tour supporting Black Stone Cherry for four dates in April.

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Black Stone Cherry are a great band with a great sound and I think it’ll be a nice blend with your own band. I think the two acts compliment each other nicely.

Yeah, thanks. They actually asked us to come and play with them. Their publicist who was working their last tour gave them a copy of our last record and liked it and on the strength of that asked us to join them on this tour.

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Are there other bands that you particularly enjoy playing with? Either because you get on well with them as people or because the crowds react well?

Yeah, well Jon (Howler is his nickname), the drummer and myself have a label called Rhythm Section which we started about the same time we started the band. So our roster is actually filled with a lot of the crew we put together like Marshall Okell, Claude Hay, Lloyd Spiegel. They’re the Australian crew that we’ve been working with a lot recently. We did a few years ago a Family Vacation Tour and we took some of the acts on the road together and that went pretty well.

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Alright Ryan. Thanks for taking some time to talk, can’t wait to see how the tour comes off. Good luck with it all.

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The new single ‘Live It Up’ is available for free download HERE
and can be purchased and streamed from all online retailers.

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TOUR DATES

Friday 10th February
The Factory Floor, Marrickville, NSW
with 19 Twenty, Colin Jones & The Delta Revue

$20 + bf presale, $25 door
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Saturday 11th February
The Stag and Hunter Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
$12 + bf online, $15 door
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Thursday 16th February
The Old Bar, Fitzroy, VIC
with special guests

8:00pm, $8 on the door
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Friday 17th February
Baha Tacos, Rye, VIC
8:00pm, $15 on the door

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Saturday 18th February
Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival, Bruthen, VIC
Tickets from $75

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Sunday 19th February
Harmonie German Club, Narrabundah, ACT
5:30pm, $5 on the door

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Friday 24th February
Finnian’s Irish Tavern, Port Macquarie, NSW
8:00pm, Free Entry

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Friday 10th March
The Old Manly Boatshed, Manly, NSW
9:00pm, $10 on the door

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Saturday 11th March
The Windsor Leagues Club, Windsor, NSW
8:30pm, $15 tickets available from the club (02) 4577 6488

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Friday 17th March
Club Sapphire, Merimbula, NSW
8:00pm, $15 members $20 non members

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Saturday 18th March
The Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
8:00pm, $39.50 online

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Saturday 25th March
Mojo Burning Festival
The Hamilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD

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Sunday 2nd April
Beaches, Thirroul, NSW
5:30pm, Free entry

with special guests Dog The Duke
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Saturday 8th April
Revamp The Amp
Kuranda Amphitheatre, Kuranda, QLD

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AMNPLIFY – DB

February 6th, 2017

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