Getting to know Vasudeva

Instrumental indie punk band from New Jersey, Vasudeva has been jamming out for about nine years together and has built a catalog of post-rock, ambient songs together. The close-knit band toured and played numerous house shows throughout their tenure as a band and have evolved together to create a musical blend that crosses music genres. The band will be releasing their second full-length album titled No Clearance this Friday, March 31st, 2017 on Skeletal Lightning. Punknews editor Samantha Barrett spoke with guitarist Corey Mastrangelo to chat about the new release.

You guys are a new band to the site. Tell me a little bit about your band?
We have been a band for a while now. We formed in high school in 2008 when we were all sophomores. We are all friends playing music in different projects for a while before we all started writing music together in 2008. It was 4 of us at the time, we all lived very close to one another, we were hanging out all the time listening to new bands like Minus The Bear and stuff like that. We were influenced by tappy dance music.

You guys were originally a four piece band. Now you are a three piece, has that change affected the direction you took with the band?
A little bit we were always trying to go into the direction of more like sampley kinds of stuff and more electronic influenced arrangements. It was kind of a natural progression, I guess our live shows have changed up a bit since we do not have a bass player, and there are a few minor changes. A lot of the stuff felt somewhat natural to go in that direction anyway.

Since you do not have a bass guitar member, how does that work for your live shows?
When we play live we re-amp the bass tracks that we recorded through a bass cab. How did you come about naming your band?
That kind of came out at the time when we were much younger as well. We were all reading a book in high school called Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. There is a character in the book called Vasudeva. A bunch of characteristics about that character, we thought was interesting and pertained to what we were doing with our music. He did not speak much and when he did it was a very eye-opening.

Do you think that character represents your band?
I would say so… We are rather low key individuals as well, we didn't realize it at the time but yeah you’re right for sure.

What made you guys decide to keep your band instrumental?
It was not a conscious thing necessarily, none of us sang in our previous endeavors and it just worked out that way. We just kind of found some instrumental music that we were into, some Japanese band and stuff. We are not set on things, we are always down to mess with new things. We can have some vocalist featured or sing ourselves one day but it's just not a conscious thing.

No Clearance is your second full length. What was the inspiration for writing this album?
I guess we just wanted to hone in or better our songwriting this time. We were trying new recording techniques and getting deeper into recording ourselves. We just wanted to experiment with more of that and really wanted to focus on making a complete record again. One that can be listened to straight through with transitions and stuff like that, a lot of Death Cab For Cutie like production and stuff like that.

Was there a theme you had in mind for this album?
Um not exactly… We never really have a theme in mind when we are recording. There are genuine influences of things we have gone through or an experience that we went through. I wouldn't say there is a general theme. We like to focus on the songwriting when creating the album.

You guys put out Life In Cycles in 2012 and people have a lot of different interpretations of Life in Cycles. How do you think this album differed from your last record?
A little less technical as far as No Clearance goes, generally there is a lot of the same things in there as far as the instrumentation and stuff but we were thinking outside the box. We did some stuff that we normally don't do. We wrote a few songs while we were demoing them, using different elements that piano and synth and drum machines and stuff like that that was definitely a big different. There are more diverse influences we incorporated into this releases, I would say. Other than that, it still the same band, maybe a more crisp and clear recording this time around.

How was the experience recording this one yourselves?
Kevin Dye from Gates was busy this time around. He just entered the studio to record Parallel Lives or something like that. We were crunched for time and wanted to get the process going so we took it upon ourselves to record the whole thing ourselves this time and we had a friend of ours mix the record, we love his stuff and he helps us out a lot.

There must be a lot of pride in doing this yourself and getting it put out.
Yeah, we learned a lot about recording this time around so when we record again hopefully we will be a lot more knowledgeable and a lot more productive in a shorter amount of time.

You guys will be on tour recently. Tell me about the tour?
We were on tour with Dance Gavin Dance and Chon. It was fun. It’s our first time having a legitimate support slot. The first time we are on tour not playing house shows every night. The opportunity sort of just fell into our laps, we were not really expecting it and it happened at this perfect time when we just finished this album we were honored to play with these bands.