INTERVIEW: Jared Laville, VITAMIN (Live At Leeds Preview)

by - Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy Friday! The sun is shining, the weekend is near and festival season is fast approaching. With Live At Leeds kick-starting things in just two weekends time, we've spent the past couple of evenings with sharpie'n'schedule in hand, trying to plot out our day through old favourite, new stars and a bit of local pride.

One such band are Vitamin, Leeds very own-buzz band who's perky pop lives up to it's legacy. A stalwart of the local scene both for their relentless gigging and their 'Brothers & Sisters' club night, their live show has somehow evaded us thus far, making them top of our 'get down early' list for the LAL weekender. Ahead of the festival and upon the release of new single 'Waterfall' (their best yet), we caught up with Jared from the band to talk about local pride, sweet veggies and steel-pan bands...

As a local band yourself, I imagine you’ve probably grown up going to Live At Leeds – what’s your best memory from the event?
Yeah totally the first time I went I must have been 14. I have fond memories of waiting to see King Krule, I was a big fan at the time, and wanted to get a good spot in the crowd so went down early, and ended catching Fryars, I was completely blown away by 'On Your Own' and 'Thing of Beauty' and his music basically soundtracked my summer after that gig.

What bands you most looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?

I'll be checking out a bunch of mates this year. Really looking forward to Natalie McCool a singer-songwriter from Liverpool, Clean Cut Kid another Liverpool band that we toured with last month.

I love the artwork you’ve been using – where did the inspiration for this come from? Is putting out a ‘full package’ so to speak (artwork, videos, social media presence) something that is important to you?
Thank you! For the first two EP's I actually came across the 'Sweet Veggies' in a magazine I was completely captivated by them. They were the perfect visual metaphor for our sound and what were at the time. Sweet and colourful on the surface but with something stark and sobering beneath. Being in a band for me is so much more than just the music. Everything has to have identity and purpose to it otherwise I see no point to having it. I want people to see something and immediately know it's us, that's my goal.

Taking a look over the bands you mention as influences, it seems we grew up with a lot of the same same bands – TheMaccabees, Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club – all acts that are now crossing over into the big league but still retaining a certain level of intimacy. How do you think you’d handle this sort of success while still remaining loyal to your fanbase?
I don't think about how I would handle a particular level of success, it's not what one of those things that one morning just smacks in the face, I feel that you would build and grow into it and that when you're ready for it, it will come. As long as I'm loyal to myself I would remain loyal to our fanbase.

You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that your drummer Theo brings a West Indian musical influence and I can see from your spotify party playlist that you’re into a pretty eclectic mix of hip-hop and electronic stuff too – how do you think this sound influences your more traditional guitarwork?
Theo’s entire roots in music came from West Indian steel pan music. His first instrument was the the steel pan and he was basically taught everything he knows from Dudley Nesbit one of the most renowned pan players in the world. The rhythm in West Indian music is what influenced us the most and to have Theo, with such renowned and traditional roots in the style, gives our sound a real authenticity.

You’re currently working on your debut album – will songs from your previous EP’s feature or are you going for a completely clean slate? What can people expect from the record? Do you have an estimated release date?
Yeah we're wiping the slate on this record, it's our chance to give people the full spectrum of what VITAMIN is. It's also really exciting to think that people will hearing the us in ways they haven't heard before. The record is the most extreme we've taken the aspects of our sound. The electronic tracks are more synthetic than they've ever been, the guitar tracks are more organic than they've ever been and the song writing is the best it's been. I seriously can't wait for people to hear it.

The band play Live At Leeds festival in The Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 30th May at 9pm - weekend tickets available here.

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  1. This is the first time I am hearing of this band! Who are they? I am in search of new singers and so would have loved to listen to the preview of the track but it isn't available in my country.