Survival Of The Fittest

Survival Of The Fittest

Leeds' brightest new band is pepping up the UK's indie-pop scene

With two EP releases and a BBC Introducing slot at Reading Festival, the Leeds band Vitamin hit the ground running in 2015. Now the group's debut album is almost ready to drop: the upbeat first single, This Isn't Love, is racking up fans with a candy-hued video reminiscent of a 1980s teen movie. As they prepare to conquer the world, singer Jared Laville spills the beans on the story so far.

‘Me, Theo and Cameron met in the early years of high school, and we’ve been playing together ever since. Cameron plays guitar and Theo is a drummer. When we started considering doing it seriously, we thought “We’re gonna need a bassist.” I bumped into Harry at a party, and it was all quite natural. We’ve been playing as a four for about two years, and as Vitamin for about a year and a half.

We’re from Leeds – it’s a really good platform if you want to start making music. It’s quite a rocky, alternative scene, which is something that we never really fell into as Vitamin, so we started creating our own club nights and playing at them. We wanted to carve out our own little scene.

I would describe our sound as soulful pop music, partnered with the organic quality of the guitar, and then with electronics sprinkled in. Our main inspirations are the records that we grew up on, really – the kind of music that our parents would play. A lot of 70s soul records: the Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack. And then as we grew up from that, we became angsty teenagers, and started listening to Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. When we started writing our own songs, it all came back around – our music is a bit of a melting pot. We're a writing collective of four people.

The first single from our album is called This Isn’t Love. We hope to release the album in the summer, although I find it really hard to sit back and say it’s finished. I think, “I’ll just keep writing” – I can’t help it. Everything has to be perfect. It will be good to get it out there though, because I don’t want us to wait around – I want to keep the momentum going and stay focused.

We recently did a tour of vintage clothes shops, and did some stripped-back performances. We played an electronic set, with Theo on steel pan instead of drums. It was a really inviting atmosphere and a lot of people came down. It was the first time we’ve ever done anything nationally on a headline vibe and had a chance to meet our following, and it was a nice indicator that we were reaching people outside of our little world. It felt really good.'

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  • Photography: Niall Lea

  • Interview: Hattie Crisell