Backstage with Vance Joy

  • Music
posted by Aimee Whistler

Renowned for his smash hit ‘Rip Tide’ that rocked summers past, Vance Joy has become an unstoppable music machine. A home grown success story, the Melbourne born and bred musician quickly shot to stardom after ranking on the iconic Triple J ‘Hottest 100 countdown’. We met up with Vance aka James Keogh on the back on his wildly successful Australian tour to ask him about nights in the limelight and days on the dusty trail…


Tell us the story behind your alias, Vance Joy?
I was reading a book called Bliss by an Australian Author – Peter Carey. There was a character in the book called Vance Joy. He was an older character who appeared for a short time, but he would come and tell stories. His character resonated with me, and I took the name to perform under.

Where are you based now?
Right now I’m in Sydney for the week. I have a room in Melbourne, but I’m essentially based on the road. I am on tour all year.

We all know and love you for sound tracking our summer with ‘Riptide’, but how did you feel when it went 4 x Platinum?
It was quite exciting. To see the song resonate with so many people is pretty awesome.

The single picked up international attention and topped charts around the globe. Why do you think it captured such great attention?
I am not sure. It’s a quirky song with many different colours and flavours.

Since then, you’ve been centre stage everywhere, from Coachella to Glastonbury. What have you enjoyed the most?
One of the most enjoyable was our performance at Lollapalooza last year. We played first on one of the main stages, and we weren’t really expecting too many people. And when we walked out on stage there were like 10 -15,000 people. All signing along. That was a pretty incredible moment.

How have you adjusted to life in the spotlight?
I just continue to take every day as it comes. Trying not to get caught up in everything going on. Just hang with the band & play shows and do our best. No real adjustment. Just continue the way we always have been.

What was your inspiration behind your most recent album, ‘Dream Your Life Away’?
It was my first album. A collection of songs I’ve written over a long period of time. So I guess there are many inspirations. Many stories. I just wanted to write and release an album of my best songs over the last few years.

What is your greatest achievement to date?
I don’t know – actually being able to do this.

Describe a day in the life of James Keogh?
Buy fresh bait at shop and a day fishing licence. Go out in the bay of choice, cast out and wait for the whiting to start biting. Later that day have a cook up.

What triggered your interest in music? How did you start out?
I think it was a totally natural attraction – like it is for most people. Probably the music my parents played. Just hearing music was the trigger.

Where did you grow up?
Glen Iris, Melbourne

Any other hobbies or interests outside of music?
Hackey Sack, frisbee, wrestling my friends

What is your ideal Sunday?
At the moment, watching girls. The TV show

What do you get up to in the first hour from when you wake up every morning?
Drink water – probably unfortunately check my phone too immediately.

What’s next for James Keogh?
Watch the cricket world cup final

What’s next for Vance Joy?
Go on tour around the world with Taylor Swift