The indie-pop quartet of Leeds lads, Vitamin, are becoming the ones to watch. They are steadily creating a name for themselves as they rise up the music scene with catchy, lively songs of electronic indie pop. The band are now embarking on non-stop gigs and writing new material. I had the privilege of catching the lead vocalist, Jared Laville, on a writing break and he was more than happy to chat about the band, their music and what they have planned for the future.
THE BEST OF FRIENDS
Vitamin are a close knit group of friends; Jared Laville on vocals, Theo Cookson on drums, Cameron Fraser on guitar and Harrison Smith on base. The four live together so spend a lot of time together. I began with the age old question of how they formed;
“Me, Cam and Theo met in school and we played together doing covers”, Jared laughed to himself at this point as he recalled their first cover; ‘Today’ by The Smashing Pumpkins. The recruitment of Harry was a long and complicated process as Jared asked him at a house party “to join and play base.” – The difficulties of the music business.
Leeds is an indie haven for bands like Vitamin with plenty of venues to choose from and constant music events going on throughout the year. I was intrigued to know if Jared felt growing up as a band in a city like Leeds has helped their music career;
“Totally. I think we take it for granted to an extent, there’s so much to do, so much in Leeds, venues especially.” Brudenell Social Club is where the band love to play, an intimate setting where fans go wild at their favourite bands.
For those who haven’t heard Vitamin’s music, Jared defined their sound as “indie pop music.” Their influences are the kind of music they grew up listening to through their mum’s choice including “a lot of soul.” Jared felt this music engrained on him believing “that the subconscious is a powerful writing tool.”
With the mention of writing we moved onto Vitamin’s writing process;
“A foursome of writers. Everyone chips in, some start songs while others finish them.” For Vitamin, writing is a shared responsibility.
I first encountered Vitamin over a year ago supporting Darlia at the Wardrobe in Leeds. I spoke to them after the gig feeling jealous that they were the same age and had a much more exciting, rock n roll life style compared to my essay filled student life. The band were in high spirits when I met them having just signed their publishing contract. I shared this memory with Jared, asking him if that was the starting point for the band’s future success;
“Things took off from there really. We signed our publishing deal, afterwards we went out with our publisher and had a great time. Things have just spanned out from there.”
On the 22nd April, Vitamin are hosting an event at Studio 24 Mabgate, a Facebook event with the description, ‘BANGIN’ TUNES ALL NIGHT.’ I wanted to know a little more about it besides this revealing description;
“We wanted to find the line between a club night and a gig night…do something with live music but have like a club feel to it. We plan on this becoming a monthly club night where we will be DJing a mixture of electric pop and our own songs.”
At the end of the month Vitamin are playing Live at Leeds. Jared told me how he sees the festival as a “gauge” for artists. Certainly with Live at Leeds, the bands ascending success can be measured. They first performed at the festival two years ago, playing at midday at the Pack Horse which Jared remembers as, “horrible, it was an awful gig. I don’t want to talk the place down but it didn’t contend with the other venues.” Last year the band played at the Uni Stylus in the afternoon and this year they are one of the last bands to play at the Brudenell Social Club, “the perfect venue.” From this festival, you can see the band’s steady take off as they’ve been playing larger venues and later times.
Jared explained their take off being down to simply “the music.”
“Using our music to get as many people to hear us as possible and spreading our sound by supporting as many bands as possible.” Something which Vitamin most certainly have done, supporting artists such as Rat Boy, Sundara Karma and Clean Cut Kid.
Starting next week, Vitamin are supporting the Magic Gang, these past few weeks the band have been practising and writing;
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing music. I just love playing live. I love being on stage, being in front of people.”
This summer the band will be playing a number of festivals such as Lost Village, and those which Jared couldn’t remember the name of so collated them as “cool boutique festivals.” He also remained aloof telling me they have planned “some really cool stuff which we can’t say.”
So far the band have released two eps, ‘Giving it Up’ and, ‘To Believe’ and this year they released their new song, ‘This Isn’t Love.’ Even within their busy schedule of performing Vitamin have plans to release new music;
“We recently recorded a music video for a song called, ‘Waterfall’ that will be coming out in a few weeks, it’s really exciting.” Jared was confident about the prospects of all this leading to an album; “Absolutely. That’s what we’re building up to. We really want to just get out there.”
Jared was a lovely and friendly guy, as they all are in Vitamin. Definitely give these guys a listen and see them perform their funky electronic tunes live. Go out and catch some Vitamin D in Leeds…and go see Vitamin while you’re at it.
Keep an eye out on their Facebook page – Vitamin – for their upcoming events and music releases.