THE VANDELLES as part of MAGNIFICENT SEVENS night at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), tonight (Thursday, June 7), 2 am, $10, free w/ $28 NXNE wristband. Also at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Friday (June 8), 10 pm, $10, free w/ $28 NXNE wristband. www.nxne.com. Rating: NNNNN
From the entrancing echo and drone of the Vandelles' songs - which recall the late 80s grind of Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine - you'd suspect the Manhattan crew may have broken into some rusted-out 19th-century foundry to record them.
On the contrary, no coal-fired furnaces were employed by the Vandelles, who actually travelled hundreds of miles away from Gotham's hubbub to put down their tracks in bucolic upstate New York, right there in the forest among the deer and rabbits.
"Our guitarist (Jason Schwartz) has an aunt who works at a camp for the performing arts," explains Vandelles frontman Dave Herbert. "They had this big room that wasn't being used, so we set up there and put down tracks whenever we felt like it. Of course, we did a lot of summer camp stuff, too you know, swimming, hiking in the woods, and I think some s'mores might've been made."
The Vandelles also managed to bank enough material for two albums and possibly even a single for Davy Love's Magnificent Sevens label. But they also had to pay for their keep by putting on camp concerts, and those eight- and nine-year-olds can make for a tough audience.
"I'm pretty sure the kind of stuff we do isn't what those kids were used to hearing. But at least they were attentive.
"Being performing arts students, they were probably a lot more open-minded than your average teenager. I think it was a good experience for everyone involved. I know we had a great time."
Additional Interview Audio Clips
The Vandelles haven't yet deciding on a label but they haven't yet ruled out working with Davy Lee's Magnificent Sevens