Tag Archives: interview

Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes Drop By For Rites of Spring


From left: drummer Joel Wren (he likes his personal space I guess), bassist Marshall Skinner, singer/keyboardist Daniel Ellsworth, yours truly, guitarist Timon Lance.

This year’s Rites of Spring was probably the best I’ve seen in my four years at Vanderbilt.  The Music Group did an excellent job of bringing in headliners–Chance the Rapper and Young the Giant–who could excite a wide swath of the student body (unlike NEEDTOBREATHE) and then put on a show to back up the hype (unlike 2 Chainz).  The lineup also ran impressively deep, featuring a resurgent T-Pain and a variety of up-and-comers such as The Lone Bellow and Matoma.  Best of all, there was a strong local presence on Saturday’s docket with Louisa Wendorff and Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes.

I got the chance to sit down with DE+TGL in the WRVU studio before their set later in the day and we had a blast talking about things like eating donuts, crazy stories from the studio, and the concept behind their music video for “Phantoms.”  The band was also kind enough to play two songs in the studio for us as a little preview of their Rites show.  Here’s audio footage of the full interview…


…and here’s video of the band playing “Sun Goes Out” and “Phantoms” live on air, as well as some highlights from the interview (if you’re in a hurry)!

Be sure to follow The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the Vanderbilt music scene!

Nate Banks’ New Single A Valentine’s Day Treat

Today belongs to the love songs.  And with his debut single “Some People,” Nate Banks has made his play to make his way onto your playlist.

Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single "Some People" today.

Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single “Some People” today.

The junior from Fairfax, VA has been involved in the Vanderbilt music scene since a brief stint with the Melodores as a freshman, but this is his first foray into the world of solo artistry.  And “Some People” makes a strong statement about his potential.  The song is driven by a playful, carefree ukulele riff that causes your mind and muscles to relax upon first hearing it.  Banks’ smooth, youthful voice beckons to you over the jaunty beat, entreating you to forget worldly troubles and stay by his side, where you’ll inevitably find the most comfort.  It’s the perfect message for a song being released on Valentine’s Day, particularly if you have a significant other in whose love you can lose your worries until you fall asleep.  And if you are celebrating Singles’ Awareness Day instead, perhaps “Some People” will remind you not to fret, and that as long as you have friends to keep you company, you too can find a way to release the worldly troubles that might be bothering you.  Check out the song on Nate’s website, or just listen via Spotify right here!

I had a chance to talk to Nate about the release of his single and his place within the Vanderbilt music scene.  Read on for the full interview:

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Collin Labak on The VU Backstage

Another Sunday night, another great guest on The VU Backstage.  Collin Labak is not only the president of my fraternity, but also one hell of a musician and songwriter.  You can hear the influence of Julian Casablancas in his songs, which he gave us in a typical VU Backstage stripped-down fashion–the full versions feature layered synths and heavy production, but last night he gave us the raw emotion behind the music.  Check out the entire episode of the show here, and be sure to follow The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter!

Scott Revey Returns to The VU Backstage

Hey everybody,

The last month has been by far the most focused of my life.  All other priorities–school, social life, continuing The VU Backstage–faded into the background as preparing for the LSAT overshadowed everything.  I worked my way through hundreds of pages of mind-numbing reading comprehension, played logic games until they stopped being fun, and even took to nursing my throbbing head with two episodes of The Powerpuff Girls before bed each night.  That’s how desperately I was clinging to sanity.

But on Saturday, the day of reckoning finally came, and with the LSAT in the rearview mirror, I could finally get back on the airwaves with an old friend of The VU Backstage, Scott Revey.  You can probably hear the relief and ecstasy in my voice as we talk about recent developments in Scott’s career and listen to his bright music.  Check out the full show here!