Leeds indie pop quartet VITAMIN have been brightening up our days, since we first heard them late summer, last year. Since then, the band have signed a huge record deal, and continue to light up the airwaves with their vivid and infectious pop. After the release of their debut EP ‘Giving It Up’ earlier this year, the band are following it up with another immensely catchy indie pop cut, ‘To Believe’, from the titular EP.
We caught up with the band in Manchester, while they’re out on the road with Sundara Karma. We chatted about the band’s progression, Christmas tree’s, touring and much more.
You recently released your debut EP ‘Giving It Up’ and you’ve just announced your next. Is this going to be the last EP before you start thinking about the album?
Jared: “Potentially, it could be yeah. At the moment it is.”
The lead track from the new EP is ‘To Believe’. I remember when I first heard that track last year, I guess it was more of a demo back then, but I loved it. When you recorded the new version, what was your plan when you went into the studio? Did you go in with new ideas?
Jared: “Yeah we just wanted to develop it a little bit, and bring it more up-to-date to where we’re at, at the moment, because we really believe in it. Excuse the use of believe [laughs]. We just wanted to release it again, but properly this time.”
You’ve been on tour with Rat Boy recently and now Sundara Karma, both are pretty cool statements to be able to make. What’s been the best thing about touring with them?
Cameron: “Just being on tour. We’ve never been on tour before. Properly on tour. I guess we’re beginning to find our feet on the road.”
Harrison: “Yeah it’s been really nice to hang out with the bands. Rat Boy were lovely, really nice, and they’re really good fun. So I think it was good for us. Well, you know, we hadn’t really had the chance to tour and get to know other bands, and get into these circles so I think it’s helped us out.”
Theo: “Making best mates.”
How are you finding the crowds? Have they been pretty receptive?
Jared: “Yeah it’s been really good, the last few gigs we’ve done on the tour have been sold out and pretty much all the ones on the Rat Boy tour were sold out, so we’ve been really happily surprised that we’ve been making a connection. It’s good.”
Theo: “It’s nice because everyone’s really invested in it, because on the whole especially Rat Boy, it’s a slightly younger crowd than what we’re used to playing before and everyone’s really into it. There’s no kind of…you know, when you go to a gig, and you want to try to act and cool. But everyone’s fully into everything and will vocalise their opinion, when people come up to us, which is nice.”
Earlier this month, you began your monthly residency at the Brudenell in Leeds. I guess it’s like your own little hometown party every month? How did the first gig go?
Jared: “Amazing, we were so happy with how it went. It was the first ever headline gig we’ve ever done and it sold out, so we were really happy about it. The idea is that we curate the night with our friends, and Harry’s sister was one of the bands that supported us. It’s called Brothers and Sisters.”
Didn’t you film the video for ‘Need Air’ in the Brudenell?
Jared: “Yeah we did.”
Theo: “We love it there. We live like 5 minutes away and they’ve supported us since we were like 14, when we were doing various other things. It’s just like a massive hub for us, we’ve done video’s there, rehearsals there, gigs there and Nathan who owns it’s is just a boss. He’s such a nice guy.”
If you could play a show at any world monument, where would you play?
Harrison: “That’s a good one, I like that question.”
Theo: “Taj Mahal. Outside the Taj Mahal, how nice would that be?”
Harrison: “That would be sweet.”
Jared: “The top of Machu Pitchu.”
Cameron: “Mount Rushmore, we’d just a head each.”
Theo: “Yeah how awesome would that be.”
Jared: “On top of the Hollywood sign.”
All: “Oh yeah, that’s a good one.”
Cameron: “Pretty much we’re just listing all of them!”
What have you learned about each other from making music together?
Cameron: “I proper love these boys.”
Jared: “Yeah basically we’re just like a gang. We’re a serious gang. We’ve become really protective of each other, and it’s quite funny.”
Theo: “To take criticism really well because in a creative environment, you can’t hold grudges and get offended, because if everyone’s on a level, if it’s someone who you trust, like one of these boys says ‘I don’t like that, I don’t think it’s good’. It’s not an offensive thing, they’re helping everyone, so it’s a different dynamic to, I suppose, most friends.”
Jared: “We do absolutely everything [together]. We play music together and we live together, we’re friends. So it’s intense.”
So the hundreds and thousands and the broccoli – is there any meaning behind it? It’s like its good for you but also with a little guilty pleasure in there too…
Cameron: “Yeah I like that. We’ll take that one for sure.”
Theo: “We could say that it’s some deep meaning about indulgence or something but it just looks really cool.”
Cameron: “We really liked the artist, Wendy Van Santen, who does it and we thought the aesthetic of that really fit what we’re doing with the colours schemes and all that.”
Jared: “It’s so hard to describe what you want for artwork for releases, and when things are just thrown in front of you, and you’re like ‘yes’. You just know and I was just looking through a magazine or something online and then that just came up, and I was like ‘that is really interesting, that would be great if that was related to us in some way’.”
You seem to love social media, it’s nice to see a band that doesn’t see it as a chore and it’s just a lot of fun. Are there any band accounts that you love to read yourself?
Jared: “I’ve seen that Slaves have been doing this thing at the moment, where one of them just writes this really hilariously long, boring story but because it’s so long and so boring, it’s really funny.”
Cameron: “They did one recently were they got people to cuddle their pets while listening to Slaves tunes, I thought that was pretty sweet.”
Harrison: “Rat Boy’s one’s are pretty funny. He’s posting some really funny stuff, I think they’re quite similar to us, they are just like a gang, aren’t they? I think it reflects on their social media really well.”
You curate your own playlist on Spotify every week, what are the jams right now in the tour bus?
Theo: “We’re on Spotify discover today, I’ll get my phone and have a little look.”
Cameron: “What was that tune? There were 2 tunes from that girl?”
Cameron: “That was sick, I really liked that.”
Jared: “I’ve been listening to Raury’s new album.”
Cameron: “I’ve been listening to Real Lies debut, I love that.”
Jared: “Yeah we saw Real Lies last night. NIMMO, we saw them as well, they’re really, really good.”
Cameron: “And Favela.”
Cameron: “Been listening to Kayne West a lot. My Beautiful Dark Fantasy.”
Harrison: “Adele’s new record, listened to that today. Powerful stuff that. Heartbreaking.”
So if a band was to cover one of your songs in the live lounge. Who would you want it to be and what song would they cover?
Cameron: “Flipped it the other way around, that’s cool.”
Theo: “I think I would want SKEPTA to cover ‘To Believe’.
Harrison: “Big Narstie.”
Theo: “Oh yeah yeah, Big Narstie.”
Harrison: “Big Narstie covering ‘Need Air’.”
Cameron: “I was thinking I was gonna go grime or Metallica or Iron Maiden, just a big massive rock band. I think it would be sweet Kirk Hammett just shredding out ‘To Believe’. He’d just play all of our parts on his own. Guitar God.”
What’s next for VITAMIN after this tour?
Jared: “We’re gonna go and record our album. And that is it. That’s the big one.”
Harrison: “We’ve not told anyone that yet as well.”
Theo: “We’re doing it in Leeds. Keeping it real. There’s a new studio that opened in January and it’s really, really good. So we just thought, you know because a lot of people go to very extravagant places to do it, we thought fuck it. Leeds mate. Yeah that’s happening pretty much as soon as we finish the tour. Then who knows. Christmas. New Year.”
Harrison: “Christmas is gonna be amazing. We live in a house together now, this year, so we’re gonna have an actual band Christmas.”
Cameron: “I’m making Christmas dinner this time, never done that before.”
Jared: “Also I’ve never had a Christmas tree in my house, so now I’m going to have a Christmas tree. Gonna get a real one.”
Theo: “We have to get a real one.”
Cameron : “I want to get a white plastic one, that lights up with tinsel on it.”
Harrison: “No we’ll make a forest, we’ll make a Christmas tree forest.”
VITAMIN’s new EP ‘To Believe’ will be released on 20th November.