Five Minutes With: Vancouver Garage Soul Band The Vanrays

The Vanrays have just released their latest long-player “Put It Out” with an accompanying video for the album’s focus track “Hard Times”. The band carries on with their tradition of belting out undeniably catchy Motown and Soul tunes with big hooks, big melodies and an even bigger brass section. Taking notes from classics and contemporaries like Spencer Davis Group, Detroit Cobras, Curtis Harding and the Daptone Records roster, The Vanrays have delivered an album of soulful classic R&B and garage music. We spoke with Vocalist Spencer McKinnon to find out more.

The Vanrays


The Vanrays


Garage Soul



# of Albums:

LP and an EP

Latest Album:

Put It Out

Latest Single:

Hard Times

Latest Video:

Favourite musician growing up:

My parents had some Solomon Burke and Otis Redding albums. I didn’t appreciate them then as a kid as much as I do now but they certainly influenced me. KISS I bought for myself.

Favourite musician now:

Nathaniel Rateliff

Guilty pleasure song:

I Want to Rock And Roll All Night.. and part of every day (that’s the way we always sing it).

Live show ritual:

Dinner and drinks

Favourite local musician:

Paul Pigat

EP or LP?


Early bird or night owl?

Night owl

Road or studio?

Road if going to festivals or if we’re in Europe. Love being in the studio though.

Any shows or albums coming up?

Just released Put It Out. We have a show at the Fox Theatre on Sept 22nd with The Asian Persuasion Allstars

Where can we follow you?

WebsiteTiktokYoutubeInstagramBandcampFacebookApple MusicSpotify


Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite local restaurant?

Mezcal on Commercial Drive

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

200 block East Georgia between Main and Gore. Close to home and great bars, produce and restaurants, and St. Bernadine ( Vanrays guitar players business where we rehearse sometimes)

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

A tie: The dog park beach at the end of Spanish Banks and of course Stanley Park. It is lush, large and beautiful and I love riding my bike to Third Beach.

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

Lana Lou’s Rock and Roll Eatery! Intimate venue run by great people!

What is your favourite music store in your city?

Red Cat Records


About Emilea Semancik 127 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: