Comprised of Jared Laville (vocals), Cameron Fraser (guitar), Harry Smith (bass) and Theo Cookson (drums), Vitamin are an indie-pop four-piece from Leeds who have been making a name for themselves since 2014. Now signed to National Anthem, the same label as CHRVCHES and HAIM, and having toured with the likes of RATBOY, Sundara Karma and more recently The Magic Gang, their energetic, danceable earworms will soon be on everyone’s summer playlists.
Gigslutz caught up with Jared and Harry at Live At Leeds, ahead of their slot at their local Brudenell Social Club…
April saw the release of their latest single ‘Waterfall’, which has been leaving an impressionable mark on their live sets for a while already. Previously described by Jared as all about “the moment you dive in head first and don’t allow the fear to succumb you”, the single shows off a more exotic twist to their guitar-heavy sound.
With the track being written so long ago, it’s almost too hard for Vitamin to remember the process but a few things do bring the memories back. “It was so natural,” they explain. “We always knew it was going to be a big song for us, but it was just finding the right time to release it.”
“I remember talking about the drumbeat a lot in its early form, it was quite rhythmic in it was in its early stage,” Harry begins trying to stop himself from giving us a rendition. Jared continues, but instead isn’t shy to sing his rendition of the percussion in the song: “We wanted something that sounded punching in different arrangements (*insert rendition*). [Waterfall] kind of trips over itself and then finds it feet!”
Though describing themselves as a “guitar band, heavily influenced by electro music but with a soulful twist”, the band’s varied musical backgrounds still come to light in their performance and music. Though they may not fully combine the sound of Jared’s upbringing on Marvin Gaye and Joni Mitchell, Harry’s impartiality for a bit of XTC, Cam’s love for punk or Theo’s steel pan skills, they combine the concept of each to put on an energy-filled performance.
It’s not just in the performance though, the tropical-sounding percussion in ‘Waterfall’ can’t help but elude back to drummer Theo’s steel pans. Having been taught by one of the best players in the world, it’s brought a slight edge to their sound. “He really understands the music so it’s so genuine that he plays the beats he does,” Jared says before continuing, slightly outraged. “That was the only kind of music he listened to the first 10 years of his life. He didn’t even know ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC!!” Hopefully he knows it well now.
Today sees the band play Live At Leeds, a festival they’ve been on the line-up for, for the past three years, which they see as a “funny indicator to see where you’re jumping up to every year.”
“The first year we played The Packhorse. It’s this little pub and we were on at 11:30am so we were just like ‘oh my god!’. Last year we played the Stylus which was an amazing gig, and then this year we’ve git an amazing slot at Brudenell which is really cool!”
Their show at Brudenell Social Club is just a short walk from where the band live, making it a true homecoming gig. With plans discussed about popping home for a shower and a sandwich before their slot, Jared explains that “you feel at home. In Leeds, the people want you do well! They feel a kinship to you, it’s love!”
As for the future and the rest of 2016 for Vitamin, it’s going to be full of “more touring, more writing, more recording, more artwork”. With a last chorus of “more everything!” from Jared and Harry, they leave vowing the next year will also see the build up towards the release of their debut album next year (hopefully).
Check out the video for Vitamin’s latest single ‘Waterfall’ below!