Sara Johnston

Bran Van 3000

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Bran Van 3000

Bran Van 3000 (also known as BV3) is an electronica collective from Montreal, Quebec. Founded by DJ James Di Salvio and E.P. Bergen, they collaborated on a number of songs with Stéphane Moraille, Sara Johnston, Steve "Liquid" Hawley, Jayne Hill, Jean Leloup, Kim Bingham and other musicians.


1994-1996: Formation

James Di Salvio and E.P. Bergen got together in Manhattan and coined Bran Van 3000 in 1994. Di Salvio was a video director and asked E.P. to come teach him how to produce tracks with a sampler and turntables. Together they went and bought studio equipment in Times Square. E.P. returned to Montreal and immediately co-wrote/produced a single with Jean Leloup called: "Johnny Go". E.P. invited James to come over and record his first ever rap on that song. It later went to number one in the Quebec charts. James Di Salvio also directed the music video. This was in effect the first ever Bran Van 3000 collaboration.

Together James and E.P. went back to New York to record "Forest" and "Ma Chambre" for Jean Leloup's platinum album "Le Dome". These tracks were very successful, leading to a record deal with Audiogram Records. Together with Haig V, they co-produced the first BV3 album. Jean Leloup gave "Forest" to Bran Van 3000. Bergen started a cover of "Come On Feel The Noise" with plans to have Sara Johnston sing on it. Di Salvio discovered Liquid. In 1996, the album was almost finished. As a joke, James and E.P. sent a demo of the unfinished songs "Drinking In LA", "Couch Surfer" and "Everywhere" to the Canadian Music Week contest. Bran Van 3000 came in first place with another act, but got disqualified because there was no real band to perform the showcase. They finished the album and E.P. started auditioning the touring band that included Gary Mackenzie, Nick Hynes and Rob Joanisse.

1996-1999: Glee

Bran Van 3000 finally released their first single, "Drinking in L.A.", in February 1997 in Canada. In April of the same year, the band released their first album, called Glee. The record went gold in 1998 and won a Juno Award for best alternative album. It contained 17 tracks, one of them entirely in French called "Forest" featuring Jean Leloup. "Afrodiziak", produced by E.P. Bergen sold 100 000 copies in Germany with EMI and appeared in the movie XChange. The song "Everywhere" was featured on the soundtrack to the film Practical Magic and "Drinking in L.A." was featured in the soundtrack to Playing by Heart. "Ceci n'est pas une chanson" (later "Une chanson") contains the main melody of "Perfect" song from The The.

In March 1998, Glee was released internationally albeit some changes: "Ceci n'est pas une chanson" became an instrumental simply called "Une chanson"; the French song, "Forest", was reworked with several English verses. The international version has 19 tracks. Previously unreleased songs are "Rainshine", "Carry On" and "Old School".

After signing with Capitol Records, Bran Van 3000 began a massive touring schedule. It started across Canada, then zigzagged endlessly across the United States in Bob Dylan's Tour bus. Every day, the band was waiting for confirmation of show dates. The dates were sometimes confirmed the day before and the band would have to drive for ten hours to the next gig, only to find the posters rolled up in the coat check of many venues instead of on the walls. This inadequate tour planning forced the band to play in front of 20 to 50 people a night. Things eventually got better.

In Europe, EMI booked the band months ahead of time so that there was adequate promo. The band enjoyed larger crowds and got the rockstar treatment in every country in Western Europe. They also opened up for Massive Attack, Bjork in sports arenas, as well as Pulp and Moby when they got back home.

In July 1998, "Drinking in L.A." reached No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart,[1] becoming their first transatlantic hit. In August 1999 the single was re-released after the song was featured in a popular TV commercial for Rolling Rock, and peaked at No. 3 in the UK.[1]

2000-2001: Discosis

In 2000, E.P. Bergen temporarily quit Bran Van 3000 to make a solo record: Airport Lounge and work on HBO movie scores: "Dead Awake" starring Stephen Baldwin and "Swindle" starring Tom Sizemore and Dave Foley of The Kids in the Hall.

In the summer of 2001, Bran Van 3000 released the album Discosis. The song "Astounded" featured the final recorded performance from soul legend Curtis Mayfield before his death and became the most successful Canadian single by the collective. Other collaborators on the album were Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and reggae artist Eek-a-Mouse. The song Go Shopping was featured on the soundtrack to the Mexican film Y tu mamá también.

2002-2006: Hiatus

As of summer 2002, the band's website indicated that they were not working on new material or touring, nor did they have any plans to do so.

2006-2007: Rosé

Unbeknownst to fans in 2006, E.P. Bergen contacted Audiogram and the publishers to obtain the initial financing of a third album. It was later announced that BV3 was working on a third album, Rosé, which was released in Canada on October 30 and in the US on November 27, 2007. Rosé was co-produced by James Di Salvio and Sara Johnston with the collaboration of Fatlip, Max-A-Million, Swanza, Chris Opperman, Noel Osborne and others. The album was written in Los Angeles and was recorded at Depeche Mode's studio and in Hollywood at Steve Vai's Studio. On July 1, 2008, the original group got back together, on stage, at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, playing songs from Rosé as well as some of their previous hits, in front of a crowd numbering around 180,000.

2010: The Garden

On August 2010, Di Salvio confirmed the band was in the process of completing a new Bran Van 3000 album, The Garden, which was released on October 19, 2010.[2][3]


Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
  • Release date: April 15, 1997
  • Label: Audiogram Records
  • Formats: CD
15 59 120 96
  • CAN: Gold [4]
  • Release date: June 18, 2001
  • Label: Virgin Records / Grand Royal
  • Formats: CD
15 38 5 89 49
  • Release date: October 30, 2007
  • Label: Remstar
  • Formats: CD, music download
The Garden
  • Release date: October 19, 2010
  • Label: Audiogram Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
"" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1997 "Drinking in L.A." 35 46 9 3 Glee
"Couch Surfer"
1998 "Everywhere" 12
1999 "Afrodiziak" 25
2001 "Astounded" 3 72 49 40 35 Discosis
"Love Cliché"
2007 "Call Me (I'll Be Around)" 50 Rosé
2010 "Grace (Love On The Block)" The Garden

See also

  • List of bands from Canada
  • Music of Quebec


  1. 1.0 1.1 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
  2. Link
  3. Bran Van 3000. Retrieved on 2011-02-24.
  4. Gold Platinum Database: Bran Van 3000. Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 2011-07-30.
  5. Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Top Singles. RPM. Retrieved on December 11, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 International Chart peak positions
  7. UK Singles Chart peak positions
  8. Bran Van 3000 Album & Song Chart History - Dance Songs. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved on December 11, 2010.

External links

  • Bran Van 3000 Official website
  • Stephane Moraille Official website
  • E.P. Bergen Official website
  • Bran Van 3000 - Shopping An extended-length music video from the band's 2001 album, Discosis, starring Liane Balaban and directed by Oakley Centre.
  • Bran Van 3000: The Answer: a large BV3 fan site
This page was last modified 23.02.2012 00:48:21

This article uses material from the article Bran Van 3000 from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.