They still have it in them. After a six-year hiatus, Bran Van 3000 is back with their third album Rose and they can still bring the goods.
You wouldn’t think BV3 went MIA with Rose taking off right where 2001’s Discosis left off with a potent cocktail of pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop and soul. BV3 founder, mastermind DJ James Di Salvio gave me a “ring a ding ding” from NYC to talk about the Canadian collective’s new album.
James! Why make us wait six years?
It was important for me to just grow up and realize the importance of music, positivity and soul. We all searched for life lessons. We’ve had time to learn a lot and travel. We had some hard times and some great times. One thing that brought us together was the understanding of the power of music, healing and positivity.
Was this comeback after six years a calculated one?
No, we went to the end of everything we had to do and realized how much we missed each other. It must be the internet because people have discovered us all over the world. Everywhere I ‘d go I would get people asking me “When’s the new album coming?” We never announced anything being officially over or calling it a day. When this bus crashed we made sure nobody got hurt and went our separate ways. We stayed in touch and just felt like it was time now.
So your fans played a significant role
in your return?
We have a lot of appreciation for people still asking about us and wanting to show us love. It was time we show it back. This album is a labour of love.
Were you nervous about coming back with an album after six years?
We do get nervous, we’re only human. There will always be someone with something to say but we knew out hearts were in the right place. When you know that deep down you can’t be too nervous about it.
Rose carries 21 tracks and that’s a whole lot of song.
So many tracks came out from our jam sessions. The songs that ended up going on the album had that thread throughout. The designing factor was positivity and I feel great about that.
How is this album different?
This album is more a groovy and a more dance floor bumpin’ album. It’s like a love song to the planet and that’s what motivated us.
Does Rose have as much contributors as your last album Discosis? I remember there being a star studded lineup.
On the last album we had a lot of help and realized a lot dreams like working with Curtis Mayfield. On this album, we took it back to the neighbourhood. It wasn’t a big name game.
Why is Rose rose anyway?
I don’t really use musical terms I talk in film terms because of my film studies and I communicate in colour. Rose is the color a player lounging at a pool side in a pink shirt, having a mojito and just being a player. As a concept album on a funny level Rose would be the story of a player who has a global conscious. He’s sitting poolside thinking Mother Nature. That’s Rose. They say real gangsters don’t die they go to Miami and wear pink shirts. (Laughs)
If Miami seems to be pink, what colour do you see Montreal being?
Montreal is a prismatic, always in motion. It depends on what part of the mountain you’re sitting on and the time of day. Pretty much like life. But if I had to dress Montreal in a colour, it would be in a cream and mauve plaid silk dress with a nice rose scarf. Oh, with raver bunny ears.
Care to remind us where the name Bran Van 3000 comes from?
I’m actually talking to you from the park where it happened in New York City! (Laughs) It was in 1995 or something and New York was just being New York. It was sparkling, people, poetry, DJ turntables, just a sparkling Sunday. What do we call this? The name Bran Van 3000 just popped into our heads. So simple.
How excited are you to be back on course with Bran Van?
I can’t tell you how excited I am. Bran Van is a world party but to have had it start at home and still get so much support, I’m just so touched. The love we’re getting is ridiculous! Here I am talking to The Concordian and I used to go to Concordia. It’s all come full circle.
Rose is in stores now.