You might remember that not too long ago we premiered the video for “This Isn’t Love”, a fiendishly catchy number from Leeds indie-poppers Vitamin. Decked out in all-white with an infectious insouciance to match, the foursome won our hearts with the sugar coated, guitar led tunes and polished vibes. Well, the single is out today (so you can pretend its summer with the song’s bittersweet yet sunny atmosphere even if this weekend proves to be as grey as ever) and the boys are getting ready for the July release of their debut album, so now is a good time as any to get familiar with the up-and-comers before everybody else does.
We caught up with them moments before their show at the Notting Hill Arts Club earlier this month, where they talked inspirations, their hellish basement, and generally back-and-forthed like you would expect four mates who live together to do.
How did it all start for you guys?
We started making music in high school (covers and stuff) and then two years ago we met Harry at a party and said, “do you wanna join?”
Then we made some tunes, recorded some tunes, put the tunes online and here we are.
Since the New Year?
Finishing our album off really. We’re finishing writing a few tunes and we’ve come back from just mixing it so that’s been a very fun and creative process.
We’ve done a little stripped town tour as well of these vintage shops. A northern vintage shop tour which was cool.
So how do you feel the sound has changed since the last EP?
More concise, only because especially the lyrics are really hitting home. It’s all just coming together, all boiling up to the point of the album. So this is like the first taste of the album really.
In terms of writing, is that a very collaborative kind of thing?
Yeah, it’s basically just, we all fill each other weak spots I think.
But yeah basically sort of collaboratively say I can’t do a bridge and Cam will be like, “how about this?” Or someone comes in with a melody or a beat or a guitar riff or an electronic. And we all just kind of write together.
You all live together is that right? How does that work out?
Good, no one’s killed each other, there haven’t been any fights. There’s been some like dirty bowls in the sink.
We have our basement which has a nickname, it’s called The Hole, referencing a black hole. If there was a film about the hole it would like start off and it’d be like, “things were good man” and there was a recording studio down there and the boys would write tunes and have a nice time. But then we had a party down there once. A big, big party, and it was never the same. And you came down the day after and no one knew why or how it was like, it was literally like a squat and it’s never changed since then. It’s basically like if you’ve got some shit to go work out you’d go into the hole and just work it out and no one judges you, just go work it out and come back.
So with the mixing and production, do you do that yourselves?
Yes. We’ve basically been mixing the record in the last week. Not like actually ourselves at a mixing desk, we were really involved in the mixing process and we do all the additional production.
You’ve got a club night?
We had a 3-parter…We just thought, “fuck it, let’s put on own club night. Let’s do something ourselves, let’s start something!” That’s how that came about…It’s coming back though, in different forms…We kind of want to cross the two world of gigs and actual club nights, but not indie nights, actual good dance music…There’s just so many indie nights and we feel like, it would be dishonest of us to do something like that…We go to techno or house, something like that…We wanted to create that vibe with like a band.
So outside of music what inspires you?
Like the seasons and long walks on the beach…
Film and photography for me.
Life, I know that’s super cliché but life inspires us.
I’ll like to keep that out of the inspiration
It’s important though.
Where’s the light without the darkness.
Wow, that is bang on.
Sound bite. So what musician are you really into?
Mine’s probably like in terms of my favorite artist is probably Ray Charles, just like number one for me.
I just kind of comeback round again to The Strokes. I keep doing it every couple of months and come out…I kind of comeback to The Strokes, it happens every couple of months. It’ll go away by next week and come back in a couple months, kind of like a cough or cold or something.
So what is success to you?
Chains, guns, multiple houses.
I think just to be an international band. That feels like success. You go to places you’ve never been before and there’s people there that want to listen to you. Or even on any level, if you go to do a gig and people come and are interested in the music.
Do you prefer recording or playing live? What really gets you buzzing?
I think we love both of them, when we’re in the studio we can’t wait to tour. When we’re touring, we can’t wait to be in the studio.
It’s like a pretty peaceful balance. So were right now we’ve been basically writing and recording, we just want to be out in the road playing gigs. And after a while doing that you get the itch to write and record.
Is there a particular tour memory or gig memory that stand out?
Could be the food poisoning one at The Hoxton. It was a bonfire night and I just had food poisoning and had to play ad I thought I was going to die.
What gave you the good poisoning?
I don’t know. I could probably sue someone. Someone is just waiting for a suing I don’t know who it is.