An Interview with Vitamin
After breaking into the industry through BBC Introducing, indie-electro band Vitamin have gained more and more popularity by touring and playing Leeds festival in their native city. Ellipsis caught up with frontman Jared and bassist Harry just before their gig supporting Sundara Karma last week.
Ellipsis: Hi! How’s touring with Sundara Karma been so far?
Jared: Really good! We’ve been touring for, like, two weeks now, and it’s been really good.
E: Has anything interesting happened while on tour? Any funny stories?
J: Not really. We’ve been behaving ourselves. We go to bed at 9:30!
E: Where’s the best place you’ve been so far?
J: We’ve been to lots of places we haven’t been to before. We’d never been to Cardiff and we went there last night. We really liked Bristol too.
Harry: I loved Brighton.
J: We’d never played in Brighton before, so that was good.
H: Brighton was amazing. I keep telling everyone how good it was. I got well excited.
E: Your band name is really interesting, how did you come up with that?
J: I guess it’s because we just love health supplements! We just love Vitamin C! No, it was just sent to us. We got sent a few and that was the best one.
E: So how did you guys meet and become a band?
J: Three-quarters of us met in high school in, like, year seven or year eight, and then we met Harry around the same time but didn’t play together because he was, like, a year older than us…
H: I was too cool!
J: It’s a big deal in high school, isn’t it, if someone’s a year older? He was a cool guy. But then two years ago I saw Harry at a party, and I was like ‘oh, we need a bassist, do you wanna come play bass?’ and then he came down and we practised, and that was it.
E: I read you played Leeds fest, how was that?
J: That was amazing. That was like a milestone, because we’ve been going there and seeing all our favourite bands there for years, so getting to play it was a bit of a dream, really.
E: Did you get to see anyone while you were there?
J: We saw this Japanese band called Babymetal – are they Japanese? We saw them twice. And that was it.
H: We had a crazy schedule because we played the Welcome To Leeds tent on the Thursday night, and then we went back on the Friday to go and do some interviews, and then we drove down to Reading to do Reading on the Saturday, and then came back to Leeds on Sunday, so we had no time to see anyone really.
J: We saw Wolf Alice, because they did a secret set after us on the Introducing Stage.
H: They were really good.
J: They were good. We saw them and we saw Babymetal.
H: We saw a bit of Sundara Karma actually, I caught, like, two of their songs. But that was pretty much it, actually.
E: So who would you say your influences were?
J: I suppose when we were a lot younger we were the generation who listened to bands like The Maccabees, Foals, who are obviously a lot further into their career now than when we first heard them. When we were in our early teenage years, that was kind of the majority of what we listened to. That’s obviously a sweeping statement, that’s not all we listened to, but I think that probably transcends now to when you get to this age. For me personally, though, I find that I’m now going back to the music I listened to, that like my mum would play. So a lot of soul and RnB sort of stuff. So I guess our music is like a melting pot of all that, and it’s all put together so you’ve got a bit of everything. And even further back, so bands like Smashing Pumpkins, all those kind of bands. I listened to that a lot when I was younger, like twelve or thirteen, when I was all emo and my hair was really long. So I sort of looked back at that and incorporated those bands too.
E: That makes sense, I can see how your music is kind of like a mix of those…
J: We kind of combined guitar music with like a soul, RnB feel.
H: And all the dance music you listened to when you were like seventeen.
J: And then we have a whole other side to us that’s like electronics and a dance side to our music, I guess.
E I love all the artwork for your singles, where did that come from?
J: I actually stumbled across that completely by accident. I’m not very good at visualising something before, I only know that I like it once I’ve seen it in front of me, and I was flicking through a magazine and it was literally just in it, the broccoli and the leek. There’s actually a third one which you can find on the internet, but we haven’t used it. I just saw it and I was like ‘that’s really cool!’ so then we just got in touch with the artist that did it and she was like ‘yeah, you can use it!’
H: Her name’s Wendy Van Santen.
J: We’ve got the broccoli for our first EP, the leek for our second, and there’s a third one, but I’m not gonna tell you what it is. It’s on the website.
E: So is that going to be for your third EP?
J: Maybe, we’ll see. It’d be really nice if we could collaborate on one from scratch.
E: Have you got any more music coming out soon, then?
J: We released a song today, actually, called “Lights”. Literally today. We re-released the second EP. We’re doing, like, a bunch of live sessions. So we released a song called “Need Air”, we released a second one called “Lights”, which is on our second EP called To Believe. And I reckon from there it’ll probably be our album.