Interview w/ Van Hechter & Chauncey Dandridge

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Van Hechter & Chauncey Dandridge, or Chauncey Dandridge & Van Hechter are opposites in so many ways… One is posh, the other is gritty. One is glamorous, the other is grungy. One is loud—- and the other is—- well they’re both loud, actually, – but in very different ways… Their recent ”Disco Brother” tour enchanted NYC venues across town and on August 6th they will play in Montreal- at Bar Le Stud- for Pride weekend.
I chatted with the pair just a few days ago… (Tim…)

TB: So you’re new song ”Disco Brother” just came out- and is doing quite well in NYC! What is the song about?

V: Gay gay gay gay gay gay! 2 things C and I have in common: we’re both gay, we both love disco. So- we created an LGBTQ disco song that explains our friendship. Eryck Wyseman (my long-time music partner) helped too – although he isn’t gay- hahahahahahah! We’re not heterophobic, you see…

C: It’s nostalgic and campy with a really inspiring message about sticking up for your friend, your brother, your fellow soldier. We’ve all been through a lot in our lives and it’s important to have someone to count on. We are the disco brothers and we stick together!

TB: You’d released duets before- what is it about this one, that makes people react more than usual when you perform it?

V: I honestly love ALL our duets but this one is really- just the story of our ”accidental” friendship and strange bond. I mean- we met and the next day- we started texting daily. Isn’t that really peculiar? This has been going on for 4 years now!

C: Like Van said, this is our most autobiographical song yet. We really did meet accidentally and it really has proven to be something of a prophecy that we connected. We shouldn’t get along in theory but we do. The lyrics are as much our story as a call to action to everyone. We’re all related as queer people, we’re all special and we need to have each other’s backs because there’s a lot of people that want to hurt us, demonize us and destroy our progress.

TB: What is a ”Disco Brother” event?

V: Chauncey spins FABULOUS music, he makes everybody dance and I’m pretty- hahahahaha! No- actually I host, greet, try to make everybody feel special… Then we perform- some songs I do alone but we also do our duets. I love being onstage with C. There’s something very ”slapstick” about our dynamic.

C: It’s all about joy. It’s all about freedom. It’s all about two guys from different worlds that have come together to save the world. It’s pretty magical. I’m usually in the dj booth playing some sexy house and disco-flavored tunes while Van is being charming in the middle of the crowd. We are such a good team.

TB: So- after Manhattan, Stonewall Inn, the NYC boroughs- you guys are bringing your act to Montreal?

V: Yes- I mean I am based in Montreal. I own a small record label and produce everything in Quebec before I export it. Le Stud Bar is actually one of my favorite places to go in the Village because it’s unpretentious. You can be a jock, a twink, a bear, you can be 60, you can be 20- they take you as you are. I like that in a venue. I contacted the manager and he accepted to have us!

C: I’ve Deejayed a few times internationally, once in Lisbon as well as Montreal. Performing a song that I sing with my disco brother in Montreal, my new second home, is going to be one of the highlights of my career. I feel like we bring something really unique wherever we go. It’s a little bit of the past through a futuristic vibe. I hope the beautiful men of Montreal like us!

V: And the women- and the women- and the trans- and the non-binary- and the heterosexuals, and the bisexuals, and the trisexuals…

”Disco Brother” is available on all platforms but here are a few links to follow:

https://open.spotify.com/track/7rl08kWr3SjsNrBJqEpvJQ?si=248e27b511c34b1b
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj-quW7Ypug
https://www.instagram.com/houseofdandridge
https://www.instagram.com/vanhechter

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