VanLadyLove ready to rock Cisero’s
VanLadyLove is a band from Utah County, the same place that bred Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, Joshua Jordan and The Used.
Just like those other bands, VanLadyLove has caught the attention of music insiders and in the past couple of years, the band’s debut single "Neverland" from the CD "Love Matter" charted on iTunes.
The band was then invited to the New Music Seminar in New York City in 2014. While there, VanLadyLove was voted the New Music Seminar’s 2014 Top Artist on the Verge. The band was later selected for VH1’s Staff Picks of 2014 and received the 2014 Utah Music Awards for Best Pop and Best Album of the Year.
On Friday, April 8,Park City will get to see and hear why VanLadyLove has gotten all of this attention when it plays at Cisero’s.
Band members — guitarist/vocalist Travis Van Hoff, guitarist Jordan Clark and bassist Steele Saldutti — took some time off rehearsals to speak with The Park Record about the performance and its upcoming extended play CD release.
"We love Park City," Saldutti. "It’s like playing in our own backyard."
During the show, the band will play some of the new songs that will be included on its new, as yet untitled CD that will be released in early summer, according to Van Hoff.
"We’ve got five songs done and we’ll play all five of them when we’re in Park City," he said. "We’re looking forward to getting these songs out to people."
Van Hoff formed VanLadyLove four years ago, and was joined by Clark and Saldutti three years ago.
"I had just moved back from Los Angeles, where I was working as an audio engineer at some recording studios," Clark said. "I had a buddy who played with Travis and he asked me to come play and the same thing happened with Steele."
"I hadn’t been doing anything really serious before Steele and Jordan joined," Van Hoff said. "I would put a song on the internet and stuff like that, but that all changed."
"We met Trav at practice and jammed out," Clark said. "Since there was such a good vibe and chemistry, we kept jamming together after that."
Shortly afterward, the bookings began to roll in.
"We got some good gigs and realized that it was something we could pursue and do for a living," Van Hoff said.
Playing music was something that Van Hoff always wanted to do.
"I loved singing and did it anywhere," he said. "I picked up piano when I was young and then the guitar when I was 15. I was sick of playing other people’s songs. I had something to say and started writing songs for myself. It turned out the people liked listening to my songs and so this turned everything into something else."
Clark credits — or blames — the 1991 Pete Hewitt comedy, "Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey," for his foray into music.
"When I was nine years old, I watched the movie with my family and when Bill and Ted won the battle of the bands at the end of the movie, I knew I had to play the electric guitar," Clark said with a laugh. "My parents got me guitar lessons and started me on the journey."
For Saldutti, the inspiration came from an array of influences.
"My uncle is a guitar professor at Brigham Young University, but also in a cover band with his wife and kids," Saldutti said. "They would do corporate gigs and play rodeos and stuff and my parents would take me to those shows."
When he turned 12, Saldutti got bit by *NSYNC mania.
"I learned all of their dances and Napster just had come out so I would download *NSYNC songs all day," Saldutti said. "That’s when my dad got worried and took me down the road to Led Zeppelin, Rush and REO Speedwagon, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix and all of that good stuff. I found out that I didn’t want to listen to *NSYNC after that. I wanted to become a lead guitar player."
A few years later, Saldutti picked up his first bass.
"I was playing with some friends in a garage that was converted into a studio," he remembered. "We were jamming and I picked up this bass and started playing."
The band stopped and told Saldutti they needed a bassist for a show the next day.
"I said, ‘OK,’ but had to learn five songs overnight," he said. "I was so stressed, but it turned out pretty good. So, after that people asked me to play bass and started learning the approach and I really enjoy it right now."
While Van Hoff, Clark and Saldutti have talked about making the break and getting the attention of music-business insiders over the past couple of years, they were taken aback when they were invited to New York.
"One of the most surprising things that has happened to us was in New York when we saw our name come across the screen for the Top Artist on the Verge," Van Hoff said. "Not that we didn’t think we deserved it, but it was like ‘Wow, industry professionals in New York City think we’re good, too.’"
"That was an amazing experience," Saldutti said. "It was so surreal when it happened."
Fast-forward to the present day and the band is looking forward to releasing its new CD, the follow up to 2014’s "Love Matter."
"Now that we have found the right producers and we’re ready to release a new record, it’s time to do this all over again times 10," Van Hoff said.
He also said that being from Utah County has helped the band focus its efforts.
"While we just write our songs and do that, knowing that the other bands like Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons and The Used are from this area and have made it, per se, gives us confidence that people from around here can make it," he said.
VanLadyLove will play at Cisero’s on Friday, April 8. Doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.vanladylove.com , Look for the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.