the AU interview: Ryan Van Gennip of Chase The Sun (Sydney)


Hot off the hells of their new album Rednecks and Gentlemen, Ryan Van Gennip of Sydney’s Chase the Sun had a chat to us about the new album, bagpipes, performing at the upcoming Snowy Mountains of Music Festival, and Bluesfest last month!

Hey guys thanks for taking the time to chat with us at the AU review! You’re on your Rednecks and Gentlemen tour at the moment – how’s it going and where are you at the moment?

We are at Bathurst tonight, playing at the Park Hotel, Its shaping up to be a great night.

Are you pleased with how audiences have received the new album has been received so far?

We are stoked, I think a lot of the people who come to our shows regularly have been waiting for us to release this record.

It must be great to be able to play new material live again!

We have actually been playing most of the songs on the record live for the last two years.

Can you take us back, briefly, to the recording process of the new
album? When did it begin and how did it compare to putting together
your first record?

We approached the recording process of Rednecks & Gentlemen
completely different to our first album. The main factor was that we
actually went in to the studio with the aim to make a record. For the
first record, we went into the studio to record one song, and much to
our surprise, came out about two weeks later with a finished album.
Sonically they are very different too, the first album was recorded in
a small computer based jingle studio using the program Nuendo, three
mics and one preamp, the second album was recorded at Megaphon studios
in Alexandria Sydney, using some great outboard gear and we used their
tape machine as the main recording medium. I guess we wanted to make a
better sounding record than the first with some sonic flavors borrowed
from some of our favorite old blues rock records from the 60 and 70’s.

Musically how do you think it compares – and how do you think you’ve grown as musicians since the first album dropped?

Rednecks & Gentlemen is a loud blues rock album. To say that it
is musically different to our debut album is an understatement. We
wanted to make a record that represented what the band sounds like live
today. Over the last three years the band has done hundreds of gig all
around Australia, I think we have grown a hell of a lot as a band, both
musically and as mates. Its almost like family now, we have pushed
every personal boundary and done just about everything you could do to
break up a band and yet it has survived.

Was there anything that didn’t make the cut for the album that you’re going to be bringing on the road?

Yeah, we tracked a song called Peaches and Cream that didn’t make the
record. We play it live sometimes and it might make it on the next
record. It just didn’t quite fit stylistically on Rednecks &

I understand that you’ve found success in Japan and the US, too –
with the latter giving you a number 13 spot on the chart for your
self-titled debut! That must feel like quite the accomplishment?

Both of our albums have been released in Japan through the label
P-vine and are going well. We are planning on touring there for the
first time in September this year.

The USA  thing was a great surprise, I remember when we found out
about it. We had just done a gig on a Wednesday night in Coffs Harbour
to 2 people. It was a fun gig cause we just got pissed and jammed all
night, it wasn’t what you would call a career highlight though. The
next morning, on the way to a cafe for a coffee and egg and bacon roll,
i got a call from a guy from the billboard charts in New York. He told
me what had happened and asked for a heap of details about the band for
their records. I got off the phone and met the band at the cafe, told
them what had just happened and of course they thought I bullshitting
them, it took a while to convince them that it had happened. But to
answer your question, it was a great accomplishment for the band,
especially considering that we are a completely independent band.

What have been some other career highlights to date?

I would have to say that playing at Bluesfest this year and last year
have been my career highlights with Chase The Sun, that festival rocks.

It was an incredible lineup. Who were some of your highlights at the 2010 Bluesfest?

Bluesfest rocks, in my opinion, it’s the best festival in the
country. I checked out a heap of acts but I would say Bela Fleck and
Galactic were my favorites.

And of course next month, you’ll be heading to the Snowy Mountains
for the unique festival that is the Snowy Mountains festival.
What are you looking forward to most about this event? What have you heard about the first year?

Most of us ski or board, so the band is praying for snow, although I
think it may be a week or two too early for the season. Besides that, I
dig all music festivals. Its great to actually see other bands. We are
always on the road touring so its very rare to get the night off and go
and check out a band.

For those undecided on whether or not they’re going to see you at
the festival, please pass them along a hyperbolic blurb about your live
show to convince them otherwise! What can they expect?

… are red, violets are blue … if you miss our show, that would
be dumb of you. No but seriously, if you like loud blues rock in a
frantic chaotic manner then check us out.

And finally, what do you think is the most underused instrument in rock and roll and/or blues?

The bagpipes, AC/DC and Korn are the only two bands that I know of who have used them.

Thanks for your time!

No worries, anytime!

Chase the Sun are playing at the Perisher Snowy Mountains of Music
Festival on the June long weekend – 11-14 June.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.