I interviewed Liam MacPherson, bass player with closure. from Syracuse, NY, about their Ford Clubwagon.
Liam MacPherson (bass)
Collins Van Gorden (guitar/vocals)
Tyler Battist (guitar)
Jake Blake (drums)
Why did you get a van in the first place?
Really just to tour with, we didn’t want to have to rent a van – especially if we plan on touring often. So it just made the most sense economically and logistically.
What is the background of your van?
We bought it from somebody on Craigslist. They must’ve owned it for a short while, because they didn’t seem to have used it a ton. It was a fire safety van before they had it. We got a great deal on it, so we were really pretty lucky.
Tell us about the van, year, make, model, color – did it need work, and did you do any DIY, build a loft, etc.? Did you give it a name? Who maintains it?
It’s a 1998 Ford E-350 Clubwagon, ex fire safety van. It’s white with a red stripe going down it, so it looks like an emergency vehicle almost. We were really lucky, because it was in really good shape and well maintained because of that.
It only had 75k miles. Jake put a good bit of work in to it, repainting the bumpers, and putting carpet in the back. Patching up a hole under the driver side seat. Jake also took out one of the seats, and put in a couple bunk beds. He really did a great job with it.
Any funny or unique features?
The best part of the van is we have a power inverter in there. So we can basically plug in lap tops and phones, and whatever we want, and use wifi, and it’s almost like being at home anyways. It’s super comfy.
I think the only funny thing is the drawing on the driver side door by Thomas from Good Sleepy, that just says “a doggone van”, which still hasn’t come off somehow.
What’s the longest drive you ever did between shows? What was the first trip you took with it?
The longest drive was probably to Bowling Green, Ohio from Syracuse, NY. I think it was 7 hours, and we even drove back that night. It was a long drive, but we made it.
The first trip I believe was the doggone tour with Good Sleepy and Knope. It was a lot of fun. It was only 5 nights from Syracuse, NY to Worcester, MA to Baltimore, MD, but the van surely proved itself.
What do you typically listen to in the van?
We listen to a lot of variety, things that come to mind immediately are Chet Baker, Billie Eilish, Knocked Loose, Good Sleepy, and Knope.
What do you do for entertainment on drives between shows?
We bring our laptops and stuff, so that’s always an option. For the most part, we really just chat with each other about whatever comes up when visiting new places, how the shows went, and what we’re looking forward to. Something about driving late night always provides for interesting conversations alongside slight delirium.
Do you sleep in the van, people’s houses, or motels/hotels?
We haven’t actually had to sleep in the van yet, even though we could if we needed to, thanks to the bunk beds Jake made. There always seems to be someone willing to offer us at least a floor to crash on, which we’ve been super grateful for.
Any van rules? Or band rules in general?
Honestly, none that I can think of really. We’ve all known each other for quite some time, so it never felt necessary to establish any.
Maybe the biggest rule we have is just to make sure we lock all the doors!
Do you have any nightmare van/police/mechanical/crash/fire stories from tour or any other shows?
We’ve been pretty fortunate so far, knock on wood.
The scariest thing that has happened was starting to run out of gas on the middle of the highway in who knows where. We managed to roll off and barely sputter up to a gas station, but we’ve got a spare gas tank now, in case that happens again.
Where do you park it?
It’s at Jake’s house! It’s maintained and ready to go whenever we need it.
Any other entertaining tour stories?
The funniest one I can think of was when we were staying at a motel, I think somewhere in Massachusetts.
We had made a good amount of money that night, more than usual, so we decided to get a room.
During the night, Collins had a dream someone was breaking in to the van, so when he woke up, he ran outside – shirtless and just in boxers.
After realizing no one had broken in to the van, it was then evident that he locked himself out on the balcony. Eventually, one of us woke up to let him back in.
That was the first and last time we ever stayed at a motel.
How can we help promote any releases?
We have a new record coming out via Sakers Music on September 17th!
We have a music video out now with our single “call me” you can check out here:
Stay connected with closure. here: