In a bizarre twist of fate, last week I was given the opportunity to interview Peter Dante, the supreme reigning cool dude from some of my all-time favorite movies (grandma’s boy & Happy Madison Productions) and the other half of Vana Liya’s new song “Give Love, Get Love”.
the two make a seemingly unlikely pair, that is, until you actually talk to them both at the same time and realize they are basically just BFF’s in the seventh grade: constant roasting, tons of inside jokes and non-stop laughter. Plus, their bouncy, kid-friendly bop features wholesome lyrics and a sweet, playful melody that is just plain adorable.
PD: So, Allie, always my job in the studio―even way back in the day when we were doing Sandler’s comedy albums when we’d stay up til 5 or 6 in the morning drinking coffee―was snacks. So I always stop and get snacks when I go to the studio. I saw this bag of cashews and I’m like, “I know she’s going to like these”. And I swear to god, right when we start writing after the most important part of prewriting: burning … getting in the right frame of mind―once that happened and I saw her hungry, I threw the cashews in front of her and she goes, “how’d you know I love these?!” and I was like, “I don’t know, dude”. So since that moment―
VL: Wait, wait, that is NOT what you said to me! [indistinct chatter and laughter]
So Allie, let me give you a little background of how all this went down: Dante and I had been in contact pretty much since I got signed with LAW, we kinda met on social media and I was like, “Dude, huge fan” and he’s like, “Let’s write a song”. So In the back of my head I knew I wanted to write with him, I just didn’t know how or what. He told me he didn’t know how to use ProTools or track his ideas, so I knew I needed someone to bridge that gap. So when I was on that KBong tour, I was hanging out with Johnny [Cosmic] a lot, and I was like, “oh dude, he would be the perfect person to merge the two of us”.
So, Johnny picks me up from the airport and we’re going to meet up with Dante. I had never met him before, so I was a little nervous to see how it would go. So we get there―
PD: Meanwhile the Woolsey fire was going on and I couldn’t get a room. It took me all day, Allie. I tried every stupid hotel I would never even stay in and finally I found an Air BnB blocks away from my house.
AA: Oh perfect, that fire was fucked
VL: It was crazy because you could see the smoke from the balcony. I remember that. Anyways, there’s this table full of snacks and we smoke before we start writing. I get up and I pick up the bag of cashews and he’s looking at me and I’m thinking, “why is he looking at me like that?” because up until this point we’re very cordial with each other.
He goes, “I knew you would like those”
I’m like, “what does that mean?”
He’s like, “I looked at the cashews when I was buying them and was like ‘that little bastard looks like she would like cashews’”
PD: I didn’t call her a little bastard!
VL: He did! And I was like, “Oh WORD that’s how it’s going to be?!” so ever since then we’ve been ragging on each other nonstop
AA: That’s a beautiful story
PD: Hey Allie, she grew up in Long Island and went to school in Long Island, I grew up in Connecticut and went to school in Long Island, so that [type of interaction] is east coast friendly. RIght? The nicknames we sometimes give each other are harsh. People in California sometimes are like, “whoa”. And I’m like, “no, you don’t understand, that’s a term of endearment”.
VL: Yeah, it’s a term of love
PD: And I got lots of ‘em for her
AA: You guys are hilarious. Your dynamic is awesome and I think people are going to eat it up the more fans see you doing shows together and interacting
PD: We hang out with our fans, dude. We hired this girl who’s dad was a little bit too drunk the other night to work her [Vana’s] merch station. I showed my ex-wife the photo last night too, dude [talking to Vana]
VL: Oh really!?
PD: Yeah I told Cynthia, “check this out, this is the kinda shit we’ll be doing at our shows when some dad’s too drunk, his ten year old is working for her”. She [Cynthia] goes, “that’s really nice actually!”
VL: Allie, it was literally the cutest thing ever. This ten year old chick, she’s the biggest fan of me in the entire world. She like, made steak and rice and brought it to me at the show and she was hanging out with me the whole time.
I asked her if she wanted to be my manager, just playing around with her. I turn my back for a second, and all of a sudden she has my business cards and is walking around the brewery telling people, “yeah, I’m Vana’s boss and you need this card in your life” <3