Indie four-piece VITAMIN have been taking the music scene by storm, with catchy, energetic tracks and memorable lyrics there is no stopping them. Currently on tour with Sundara Karma, we caught up with frontman Jared and guitarist Cameron. Check out the interview below:
How did you guys meet in the first place?
Jared: We met in school, high school. Me, Cameron and Theo played together and we did covers and stuff and little gigs around Leeds and we met Harri who’s the bassist who was in another band. We met then, and we didn’t really do anything until about four or five years from that point. Then about two years ago we bumped into Harri at a party and I was like ‘Do you want to come play bass for us?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’ and then he just came and it was really good.
Where did the name VITAMIN originate from? Who came up with it?
Jared: I think it was a group thing really. I think we were just really into it.
Cameron: Yeah, we lit all these crazy smoke candles, like incense sticks and we held hands in a circle and went, ‘One, two, three...VITAMIN.’ So that’s pretty magical.
Your logo and single artwork really stands out. How did you come up with the vegetable and sweets idea?
Jared: It was actually a piece of art that I just stumbled across by accident in a magazine and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing,’ and it really jumped out to me. I thought, ‘Well, if it jumps out to me surely other people might share that feeling about it.’ So I thought that would be a great EP or album cover. We just approached the artist and said, ‘Hey, can we use that?’.
Cameron: It kind of ties into our whole idea of making a big collective out of vitamin-wear. So like a collaboration between us, our friends, producers, artists. So becomes this whole sort of thing that has a really strong identity.
Jared: Yeah, because we’ve used her for our first EP, using her for the second EP and hopefully you know, we’ll do it for the album aswell. So it’s like, the same artist is always there, does all the artwork as it gets bigger.
Cameron: Yeah, that’s what we were thinking of having a consistent thing throughout really.
So you’re supporting Sundara Karma on this tour. How’s that been so far?
Jared: It’s been really good, we’re having a really good time.
Cameron: It’s actually been pretty plain sailing, like nothing dramatic has happened particularly. I lost my bag, that was pretty bad but apart from that it’s been just lovely, like really really good fun.
Any shows that stood out for you on this tour?
Jared: Last night was great in Southampton, Nottingham and Manchester were really good, Leeds was really good. Actually, a lot of them have been really good.
Cameron: Yeah, there hasn’t been a single bad one. Which is really really cool.
Do you enjoy the live show aspect of being a band?
Cameron: Yeah, absolutely, we love it. Just tour, party, chat with people, see old friends see new friends.
Jared: Yeah, that’s the best thing that we get to see a lot of our friends who have moved to different cities. The best bit also is meeting so many new people. I constantly like being in different places, which we’re just kind of like getting into it and going with it you know?
Cameron: Yeah, it’s fun.
So you’ve been relatively busy in terms of touring, supporting Rat Boy a month ago. How was the audience reception on that tour?
Jared: The demographic varies I think but the crowds themselves were really receptive of us as they are on this tour aswell.
How was playing the prestigious KOKO the other night?
Jared: That was amazing, that was definitely a highlight because we headlined it and it was a really really nice venue and it was for Halloween and NME. It was all the right things I think.
Cameron: It was just amazing. Fully massive I was like ‘Woah!’
You’ve been putting on your own residency in Leeds? You have two more dates coming up?
Jared: Yeah, basically we’ll finish this tour and then play that straight away. We’re basically doing it monthly at the moment, in the same place but we go and curate the night ourselves. We put on the people we really like in Leeds. So it’s kind of like us starting a little bit of a scene around us and all the other bands in Leeds. I think there’s a space for it if you know what I mean?
Any special things planned for the residency? Anything for Christmas?
Cameron: We’ve got some ideas, definitely ideas. Either cheesy Christmas party vibe or like something a bit more hmm we’ll think about it.
So ‘To Believe’ is your new single/EP. What was the inspiration behind the track itself?
Jared: The track itself is kind of like the fear of...how would you put it?
Cameron: For me personally, it’s about having anxiety and feeling out of control of yourself at a point, but then finding that one thing to believe in that brings you back to reality. So the message is kind of like, there’s always something worth striving for to bring you back down to a happy place. You know what I mean?
Jared: Yeah, definitely.
What’s your overall songwriting process like? Or does it differ from track to track?
Jared: It differs from track to track. Some tracks we’ll get into the room and like ignite, the whole thing would just come there and then. Or somebody will bring something separate to it and we’ll go from there. Or we’ll start with a little electronic loop. We write to electronics quite a lot, because it’s just so easy to just make something on your laptop and just play it and just sing to it. Kind of like a karaoke!
Cameron: Glorified karaoke!
Your ‘Need Air’ Live Session was recently uploaded. Was that different to filming an official video as such? More nerve-wracking?
Jared: Yeah, I suppose it was a standard band session I guess. I suppose it’s the first time we’ve really done something like that. It’s not anything groundbreaking but it was different for us to do, you know? With all our videos so far we haven’t really been performing in them. In the ‘To Believe’ video we threw a kind of party and we’re performing at that, but that was very like performance focused. ‘Need Air’ was filmed at the Brudenell Social Club, the place where we do our residency, we live literally five minutes down the road from it.
Cameron: Yeah, we see gigs there, go for drinks there. It’s been kind of our little social hub for the last three/four years really.
Jared: Yeah, it all just ties in really.
In a lot of your videos you utilise old video footage as such, whose idea was this?
Cameron: I think it’s something we all just have a mutual love of. We really love old VHS style videos and recordings and stuff and to bring that in and mix it with high quality HD footage. For us, it’s a nice twist between our sound and image and I feel like it’s the right visual representation.
Jared: We like it because you can go on Youtube and find all the old 90’s rave videos of people just absolutely just going all over the place.
Cameron: I love those, at college I just used to watch 45 minute videos. They’d have the best old school tunes and just these guys absolutely in the moment. How it looks it’s just great.
Jared: That’s the thing, there’s such an atmosphere to VHS that you just cannot capture even when you like try to replicate it with a HD camera or whatever. It just has like a good vibe.
Cameron: Yeah, we’ve just always loved that vibe so it makes sense to do it in our videos.
Favourite track of yours at the moment? Why?
Cameron: Mine’s probably ‘To Believe’ because the song means a lot to me lyrically, it’s like the most fun playing. I love it. It has a nice funky riff. It always has a great reaction live. I love the video, I’m just really proud of that tune.
Jared: Yeah, I really like that one. I also really like the one which we close our set with at the moment called ‘Waterfall’.
Cameron: That’s a good one, I really like it.
What was the recording process like for the EPs?
Jared: Very relaxed I think.
Cameron: Working with a guy called Richard and he’s become such a part of us, like he’s the funniest guy. Every time we record with him, it’s wicked. So fun and relaxed but we always get a really great end product.
Do you record in Leeds?
Jared: We’ve been recording in Liverpool up Parr Street which is where we did all the EPs. Actually, we’re doing our album in a converted church that is now a studio in Leeds. That’s where we’re doing our album.
Cameron: Keeping it local.
Jared: We went there the other day to check it out before we start recording and it’s just amazing. I like to think that it would make a really good house as it has a really good layout. It’s got a pool table downstairs which is really nice.
Cameron: Yeah, it’s really lovely.
Jared: We’ll basically be living there.
What can fans expect from VITAMIN in the future?
Jared: Just bigger, better, more exciting. Just constantly evolving.
Finally, what’s the last track you listened to today?
Jared: I think it was actually a Queen song. I think it was ‘The Miracle’ by Queen. I was listening to that, I don’t know why. I was just like, ‘I’m going to listen to that tune.’
Cameron: I think the last tune I listened to was ‘Gin and Juice’ by Snoop Dogg actually. I like a bit of a party vibe.
Jared: That’s basically what we sound like, those two songs. Snoop Dogg and Queen. Just push them really hard together.
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