With the flood of cookie cutter bands and pop artists emerging from every which direction these days, it is a breath of fresh air when a promising, talented, non-egotistical and monumental trio comes along to bring rock music to the world. Icelandic psychedelic, progressive rock band The Vintage Caravan brings us to a euphoric state with their modernized 60’s & 70’s classic rock influenced sound. Set to release their 1st album with Nuclear Blast Records called Arrival on May 5th and kick off a European tour, Screamer Magazine was fortunate enough to speak with The Vintage Caravan’s guitarist and singer, Óskar Logi Ágústsson who is also playing a main role in the film “Metalhead” that has become quite a success.
First things first: The Vintage Caravan was founded in 2006 under the name Acid by Óskar and his bandmate and drummer Guðjón Reynisson when he was just 12 years old and it took them about three years to hone their sound and image and most importantly find a better name. “It was great the way it happened” Ágústsson says. “We took our time to develop the music and the band without doing it in front of everybody like most do. We skipped doing all the awkward mistakes in public.” What they found most challenging was that because of their young age, it was difficult to get people to take them and their music seriously. “The one thing we hated more than anything was when people would tell us that we were promising” which understandably would be discouraging but they kept at it and while their peers were doing things a normal 12-13 year old would do, they were playing bars and clubs every weekend. “It was crazy but we did it.” The name Vintage Caravan was a fluke really. They had already decided they liked the word vintage but weren’t sure what to add to the name to make it stick out or be unique. “We all just wrote down a word on a piece of paper, put it in a hat and picked one.” Over the years, they have grown a lot as a band and it shows in their newest album Arrival. “It was a lot of fun just writing and recording the new album. We have definitely made progress since our last album Voyage which we recorded in three different studios when we were with Sena. We are happy to be with Nuclear Blast Records now and for Arrival to be released.”
Ágústsson started playing guitar when he was only nine years old but didn’t start to sing until later when a friend encouraged him. “At one of our shows, I decided to sing so I sang one line of the song with my back to the audience and it went from there.” Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Rush were very influential to Ágústsson’s developing sound. “My father and brother were really into those bands so I really learned to listen to their music and learn about them. You can really hear a combination of those three bands in our music.” Ágústsson is the social media guy in The Vintage Caravan and it states on their Facebook page that their main influence is Barbara Streisand which he takes full responsibility for putting in order to throw everyone off. “I thought it would be funny. You can hear who our influences are, it is obvious and I don’t like when bands put everything about themselves and take everything so seriously.”
Rock music and horror films seem to go hand in hand quite often so it is no surprise that Ágústsson obtained a role in the film Metalhead by Iceland’s most famous director, Ragnar Bragason. “It was weird, I got a message from Ragnar to meet about the film because he had heard about the band and needed someone who had long hair and could play guitar. I agreed, we met in a shady neighborhood and the rest is history. “I play the older brother of the main character that dies leading to his sister taking a liking to his lifestyle” and people are really responding to the film and his acting performance. “The film doesn’t feature any of The Vintage Caravan’s music but I do have one scene where I play guitar.”
Unfortunately, there are no dates set to tour in the United States at this time but The Vintage Caravan dreams of the day they can crossover and bring their live music overseas. Meanwhile, they will just keep touring the UK. Maybe they will be touring with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age which would be their ideal co-headliner. “We would love to open for Rush but they don’t need us, they are big enough to where they don’t need anyone.” Ágústsson said that when it comes to which song he wishes he would’ve written it would be Whip It by Devo because it is a fun, simple and weird song that has been around for ages. “We hope that in 30 years, our music will be even more relevant than it is now” and in listening to the new album it wouldn’t be a big surprise considering the nostalgia factor their sound features.
Getting back to the new album Arrival, Óskar Logi Ágústsson, Guðjón Reynisson and Alexander Örn Númason are way beyond their years musically. You can hear hints of The Doors, Hendrix, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and even some of Danzig’s vocals throughout the tracks. Hopefully, with Nuclear Blast Records backing them up, they will finally get the global recognition they dream of.