Van Damsel rocks The Blue Grotto

The Kamloops band promoted their new LP at a packed show

Van Damsel performing at the Blue Grotto on Jan. 21. (Tristan Davies/The Omega)

Van Damsel performing at the Blue Grotto on Jan. 21. (Tristan Davies/The Omega)

Hometown boys Van Damsel rocked the Blue Grotto at full capacity last Thursday, Jan. 21, with the audience clapping their hands, hooting and hollering and singing along with a mix of new songs from their upcoming LP and old favourites.

Matthew Barron, drummer for Van Damsel, said the theme of their first LP, set to release on April 22, revolves around striving to be the best and the fact that “being dissatisfied is a good motivator for people.”

The band has released two singles from the album: “The Best of Everything” and “Sophia.”

“’The Best of Everything’ kind of sums [the LP] up. It is about striving. It is about, you know, working towards something, trying to be successful at something,” Barron said.

But, Barron said, they also want people to connect with the music and interpret it with their own ideas.

“The best for one person may not necessarily be the best for somebody else. It’s about finding out what your personal best is.”

Barron also discussed the promotion for the self-titled LP and how being an artist in the social media age has its difficulties. He used an example of Ed Sheeran, who is currently on a social media hiatus.

“An artist is supposed to be creating art and social media is a great way to get that art seen and heard, but having this pressure to always be on and always churning out content of the highest quality at a breakneck pace is pretty daunting,” Barron said.

Barron said his goal for the album is for people to connect with the band and to enjoy the music. “The best thing for me would be for people to enjoy it… A band would not exist in the way that it does without fans,” Barron said. “That’s the goal, to connect with people.”

If their performance on Jan. 21 was any indication of Van Damsel’s success with developing a connection to people, they are well on their way. The place was packed with people still trying to get in even with the Grotto at full capacity. There was dancing, singing and beers clanking at the 19+ show. Van Damsel shared the stage with fellow B.C. bands Little India and The Caspians.

They hope to play another show in Kamloops before their LP release, which will be followed by a cross-Canada tour – the band’s third. This year, they plan to go as far as Halifax, Barron said. The tour will kick off in late April or early May.