vanDriver was formed in 2004 by Paul Surjadinata. While working at Uprising Breads Bakery on Commercial Dr. in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada, Paul was asked to play the staff Christmas party. He threw together a few friends and performed a set of mostly original songs that Paul had written since the late 90's. His position at the bakery at the time was, of course, the “Van Driver”.
Since then vanDriver has become a bit of a hobby car for Paul. One of those projects that live under a drop sheet in the garage. Constantly adding to his songlist, and performing with an ever changing cast of bandmates, vanDriver has kept its wheels on the road for over a decade. It was vanDriver's most recent drummer, Michael Simpsonelli, who was a driving force in getting Paul to the studio to lay down an album.
In 2016, Paul and Simpsonelli started tracking vanDriver's debut album. With the help of one of Simpsonelli's many bandmates, Dave Chokroun on bass, they recorded the bed tracks over a series of sessions at Red Light Studios. Surrounded by east vancouver's finest musicians, Paul and Simpsonelli began adding the final touches beginning with long time friend and east van guitar legend, Noah Walker. Having been one of the more regular of the rotating cast of vanDriver members, Walker not only knew the material, he was able to infuse his tasteful energy into the tracks.
The final polish on the album came again from east van's dense pool of talented musicians. Kathleen Nisbet's fiddle work can be found on a couple of tracks as well as some keyboards from Sean Fulton. The sweet and powerful harmonies of the Company B Jazz Band on a number of songs, along with a horn section comprised of Malcolm Aiken on trumpet and Dominic Conway on sax for the closing track, completely embody the spirit of the album.
As for the live performance, this East Vancouver-based ensemble comes fully loaded, with enough cargo space to transport the entire audience down the express lane to the sonic liquor store. Tackling subject matter ranging from prison sex to Saturday morning cartoons, they deliver a meaningless message with a crude sense of purpose. Gritty, provocative and just downright ridiculous at times, "vanDriver" is equipped to provide a comfortable ride that will put a smile on your face. So get in the van, buckle up and enjoy yourselves.....