Meet The Vamps: Decoding the pop rock band from England
It all began in 2011, when a young budding musician from Bournemouth, England, decided to form a band. Little did he know that this assembled band would go on to become one of the most popular pop rock bands in global music. Formed by lead guitarist James McVey, The Vamps, as they are popularly known as today, consists of three other members — Brad Simpson (lead vocalist), Tristan Evans (drums) and Connor Ball (bass guitarist). We spoke to the members to know about their lockdown days, the reason behind the small break they took last year, how they manage to stay on the same page, and more. Excerpts:
How has the lockdown been for you?
James: Lockdown’s been a long one. It’s kind of crazy that it’s by the time it’s sort of over, it will be a new year. But I think it’s been really good for us that we’ve had the album Cherry Blossoms to focus on I guess this year, and in many ways the years gone quite quickly. It has been a really challenging time for everyone around the world.
How important is it for everyone to be on the same page?
Brad: We have been a band since 2011. It’s important especially now more than ever that everything that we do needs to be something that we’re united on and that we’re passionate about. Because if you’re not invested in something at this point then we probably wouldn’t have got this far. We took a little bit of time between the last album and this one to really figure out exactly what we wanted to do and to find something that we wholeheartedly believe in.
How did the small break help you as a band?
Tristan: A human body needs rest, and I think the world forgets that a lot of times. The world forgets that you need to recover, you need to relax and mentally make sure that you’re okay. So, it wasn’t anything weird or like we didn’t hate each other. We just needed a break. We finished a tour and we were like, ‘okay, let’s just take some time out because like my arm is just ridiculously hurting (laughs). But we wanted to make sure we maintain our health, happiness and career. I feel like that gives us a kind of a revival in a sense of more energy and more inspiration, so we can create better things in the future.
As a band, how important is it to support each other?
Connor: It’s really important. The key to The Vamps’ success and longevity is that everyone is equally involved and we enjoying what we’re doing. So, I think, it wouldn’t work very well if two of the four of us hated it. We just wouldn’t be together. We wouldn’t force ourselves or like grit our teeth to just carry on and do it if we if we hated it. And if there’s any issues or potential problems on the horizon, we sort of talk about it and try and figure out the best, because at the end of the day, we all want the same thing, which is The Vamps to be carry on touring, releasing music and traveling around the world.
The Vamps has been referred to as a boy band usually. Does this bother you?
Tristan: We have always been asked but we have never really answered with anger. It doesn’t really bother us and it never will. But people always wanted to bother us and I find that quite funny. We are a band, a boy band, call us whatever you want to call us. We play our instruments, which is sick and we rock it up live and get people dancing.
What is that one factor that keeps pushing you all to do better?
James: There’s something definitely in the fact that us making music is, in many ways, therapeutic. As songwriters we have like a passion for just writing songs and releasing them. I think it would be different if we didn’t write any of our music. I don’t really feel like we’d have a purpose in the same way. So, I think even if we weren’t in a successful band, we would still be writing songs and putting them on the internet.