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Music Interview

The Vamps interview: 'We love McFly comparisons'

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The Vamps press shot 2013.


The Vamps formed in 2012 and quickly secured a deal with major label imprint Mercury Records by the end of the year.

They have since travelled the UK with pop's finest, including McFly, The Wanted, Little Mix, JLS and, most recently, Selena Gomez.

Digital Spy caught up with the four-piece - consisting of Bradley Simpson, James McVey, Connor Ball and Tristan Evans - to talk about their debut single, their hugely popular YouTube covers and Selena's impressive tour bus.

How are you finding life as a rising pop act?
James: "It's amazing. The travelling is awful, but everything else is wonderful. We've got a really small bus with no air conditioning, so it's really hot!"

So it's not as glamorous as your childhood expectations would have you believe?
Bradley: "Well if you go on to Selena Gomez's tour bus, hers is glamorous. There's a double bed in the back and a bath! You've got to work for that."
Tristan: "I can't imagine when driving, having a bath though. The water would go everywhere."

Is Selena as lovely as we imagine her to be?
Bradley: "She's a really nice girl."
James: "I was petrified about meeting her. It was like walking over to the headmaster's office."
Bradley: "When we went in she was lovely. She was quite quiet if anything."

Bradley Will-Simpson of The Vamps

© PA Images / Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

Bradley Will Simpson of The Vamps



How did the support show go in the end?
Bradley: "It was awesome. It was a younger audience than usual. Not that we have a really old audience! It was so much fun, because we hadn't really played to a Selena audience before - we hadn't covered her. People were up on their feet, so it was great."

Congratulations on new single 'Can We Dance'. It's had nearly 2 million views on YouTube already, which is rather good.
James: "That is crazy - I thought we were on 1.2."
Bradley: "We've been lucky that it's getting a bit of TV and radio."
Tristan: "We haven't had much hate for it really, which is interesting. We thought some people would be like, 'What are they doing?'"
Bradley: "We've seen a lot of love from the newer people who know us from 'Can We Dance' and not the YouTube covers. We'd like to be recognised for having our own good music."
James: "They'll probably hate us by the second single!"

The 'Can We Dance' EP went straight up the iTunes chart on pre-orders alone, so you must be feeling confident?
Bradley: "We're still really nervous. I guess we'll see how it goes. It's the intensity of the fans that put it up on the first day, so going to number one was incredible."

How did the song come about and why did you decide on it to be your debut single?
Bradley: "I think we liked the fact it is a bold statement."
James: "It was kind of different from the paths of similar kinds of groups that are doing songs at the moment."



Obviously being young guys in a guitar-pop band you're going to be compared to McFly. You've supported them in the past, so have they given you any advice?
James: "McFly is a band we love to be compared to over other bands, simply for the fact of their good musicianship. They write very well and they're very energetic on stage, which is something we try to replicate in our own performances. I think they're awesome."

Have you worked with them on any new music?
James: "We had a writing session with them at Tom's house. And Danny's house. It was really good fun and we'd love to do it again."

Lawson made a cameo in one of your YouTube videos too, which was nice of them.
James: "Yeah, we get on with them really well. It's weird because I was a massive fan of Lawson before we started gigging. It's really strange to be friends with a band I listened to a hell of a lot. They have been really supportive. They're like big brothers to us and give us a lot of advice, because they've done what we're trying to do. Musically, they've influenced some of our writing."

They've done well touring across America recently, so is that something you are hoping to do?
Bradley: "Absolutely. It's great seeing a British guitar band going over there. It gives us hope. The great thing about YouTube is that from day one it's international. Only 20% of our views are from the UK and then another 20% are from America. Then we get views from France and across Europe."

If you could collaborate with any of the artists you've covered so far, which one would it be?
Bradley: "Well I know James's already! Taylor Swift."
Tristan: "It would be Miley Cyrus for me."

The Vamps press shot 2013.


Would you get out the foam fingers for it?
Tristan: "Yeah, and I'd do some twerking as well."

Most pop acts coming through these days have come off shows like The X Factor. Did you ever consider that route?
Bradley: "From very early on we always knew we wanted to write our own stuff, play instruments and gig. So I don't think that was ever anything we were looking to do. We just thought the YouTube route was natural for us, because we had always done covers before individually and then it luckily worked as a band."

The single is out later this month, but the album is not out until 2014. What have you planned between the two?
James: "There will be another single. We'd like to do another support tour to promote our music, because we'd like to increase our fan base any way we can."

Is there a particular act out there you would love to support?
James: "Taylor Swift for me probably. For many reasons!"
Bradley: "I know they wouldn't really work for us, but Arctic Monkeys have been a big influence for me."

The Vamps' new single 'Can We Dance' will be available to download from September 29.

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