Photo by Charlotte Robin
You might have seen French native Bastien Vandevelde drumming along side two well known Juans, but he has since taken to his own project to explore his own ideas. Self-described as “Reunion Island untraditional music”, Vandevelde is using Beastie Vee to pay homage to where he came from in the form of post-90’s punk noise rock. Here he talks Marilyn Manson, the Paris music scene, and experimenting solo.
Keeley: How long have you been working on these songs and this project?
Bastien Vandevelde: The first demos were made around 2011. I had just started as an assistant at Motorbass Recording Studio in Paris. Late at night after the work was done, I would stay a few more hours experimenting and recording before I got too tired and eventually had to go home.
K: How does your approach differ as a solo artist versus drumming in other bands ? What have you learned playing in other bands?
BV: I mostly started Beastie Vee because the other bands I played with in the past wouldn’t accept or follow my ideas on the drums or in terms of production. The only way to express what I had in mind was to experiment solo. The hardest part, though, was that I didn’t really know how to sing or play other instruments properly, so I kept it simple and tried to make it sound as best I could with the tools I have.
K: Since you are originally from France, how would you compare a musician’s life and music communities there to the ones in the US?
BV: Originally, I’m from Reunion Island, a French colony off the East coast of Madagascar. Learning and playing music there was pretty chill, calm and slow – nothing like New York or Paris. When I moved to Paris, the music scene offered me a whole new world as a Reunion Island boy. Like all big cities, you have a music scene for almost every genre, so it’s up to you to dig and find what you are looking for. In general, the main difference is that I can’t play as much as I want in European cities. In NYC, you can play several times a week. In Paris, the venues don’t allow you to play more than once every three weeks or so.
K: Where would you say the inspiration for most of your music comes from?
BV: I find inspiration from the musical heritage of Reunion Island, such as artists like Danyel Waro or Alain Peters. Then I try to mix it with the 90s rock scene that influenced me growing up.
K: Are there any artists whose careers you really admire when looking at your own future as an artist?
BV: If I have to pick one, I’d say Marilyn Manson.
K: What do you have coming up?
BV: The Beastie Vee album is ready and I’ve already starting recording new ideas for a second album. I’m trying to figure out the best way to put out my first album by making videos for the new songs and still trying to play as many shows as I can.
‘Vee – Sides’ is available now on cassette and digitally from BUFU Records!