Face to face with The Vinyls

The Vinyls

If you love catchy, upbeat tunes that can send your heart racing and your body dancing, Rock Britain has got a great band for you. Brighton-based The Vinyls are all into making these heartfelt tunes with great melodies and very memorable, carefree vibes: don’t miss them if you want music with some real fun in it. The year 2014 will the band release new singles and tour, so it’s better to keep your eyes and ears peeled. Rock Britain caught up with vocalist and guitarist Matt MacNeill and talked to him about UK venues, ideal festival line-up and live shows specials.

 How was the beginning of 2014 for The Vinyls?

– So far we’ve mainly been working behind the scenes, planning the year ahead and organising our upcoming tour dates and our next single release.

– You’re planning to hit the studio to work at your new single. Are you planning to introduce any changes in your sound in comparison to your previous releases?

– It’s funny you should say that as our new single is certainly a change in sound from our previous releases. We’ve aimed to keep catchy melodies and the chirpy tongue in cheek vibe but we’ve also added a slightly more soul or motown skipping rhythm to the sound. Our last two single releases have increasingly got more dramatic and the upcoming single is continues this progression as it contains a melo-drama of its own.

– It’s been a while since the release of your debut album ‘Catch!’. When can we expect the follow-up to it?

– When we released ‘Catch!’ we were surprised by its success with our fans. It was in fact, the album that was never meant to be an album. Being mostly recorded in our guitarists bedroom, it began as a few low-budget recordings for new songs that were never really meant to be heard by anyone else. However, the fact that we had no studio time constraints meant that we could experiment a lot more and have a lot more time to develop the songs. We were so pleased with the results that we made it into an album and we were delighted with the response it received when it was released. However for the foreseeable future, we are mainly focusing on single releases as opposed to doing another album. The reason for this is that, as many other bands will agree, with limited resources it is very difficult to release a whole album. I know it sounds a little crazy but the two singles we released last year, each had about as much success as the album release the year before. That’s why it makes more sense for us to pour everything into a single release, it means we can do more of them and we constantly have something to release to our fans. This doesn’t mean we’re counting out an album for the future but 2014 will definitely be a singles year for us.

– Your videos are very creative! Where do you usually get ideas for them? Do you aim at making your videos complement the songs or rather present a story of their own?

– The standard of video making is pretty for unsigned bands at the moment and it’s because of this we always try to do something new or unique. We’re particularly into DIY videos, partially because they’re cheaper to make but also because they contain their own charm. We come up with a lot of ideas, so which we film and some that don’t make it that far, but when everything’s thought through, it doesn’t always mean that the idea has anything to do with the song we started with. The video for ‘Victoria’ is a good example. We got so far down the line with that that when we filmed it, it had very little relation to the song at all but we just thought it looked cool but created the right atmosphere. So in short, our videos don’t always have to relate to the lyrics, but they do have to contain the right atmosphere.

– What’s the most important thing for you in your live shows?

– To have fun and look like it. We’re not interested in standing around looking serious, we believe in dancing, dancing and dancing – no matter how uncoordinated. Live music should be unpredictable and chaotic. After all it’s the one job you can do where you can make a complete idiot of yourself in front of lots of people – and get away with it.

 Have you got any particularly favourite venues in the UK to play at?

– We don’t have any particular favourites but there are a few venues where the sound and atmosphere is consistently really great. To name a few that we have played; Dublin Castle and Proud in Camden, Joiners in Southampton, The Shed in Leicester, Concorde 2 Brighton, Swindon Bowl, Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh. These are all venues where we’ve just loved playing, however we are huge fans of festivals. In 2012 we played at Grendon Festival in Buckinghamshire in front of  over 2000 people and that was certainly a great venue to play at.

– Being based in Brighton, how are you influenced by the place?

– Brighton (Wintertime not included in this statement) is a really cool, friendly, happy place. Lots of music, dancing, pubs, clubs and probably too much drinking. This is definitely reflected on the tone of our music.

– Your band’s name has a touch of old school, classic music released a long time ago, but which we still love and admire. What do you miss in new, modern music, which was present in the music of old days?

– Melody. What really makes music memorable isn’t effects, rhythms and novel sounds – these are all incredibly important but a good melody is always timeless. Even some of the oldest pieces of music in the world would be recognised by people with the least interest in music and this is because of their unforgettable tunes. We feel that while modern music has a lot to offer, it has lost its way melodically. All to often talented songwriters play safe with their tunes and this is a great shame. If we could write even one song that would still be listened to in fifty years then that would be a real achievement – and that’s what we want to work towards.

– If you could invite absolutely any bands and musicians to your own festival, what would your ideal line-up be?

– Neil Young (because he is probably one of the only 60s musicians that is still very cool in old age), Damon Albarn (his voice is a bit rusty now but he’s a truly great performer) Kasabian (because of the ballsy rock n roll factor) and lastly the Eels (because they are one of the bands we’ve ever seen).

– Concerning The Vinyls, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?

– Releasing our new single in the Spring, we’re really proud of it and can’t wait for people to hear it, and more touring. We loved the last tour and just want to get back on the road again.

– Where do you see The Vinyls in five years?

– Lots of festivals, lots of tours and hopefully a lot of fans – or (as John Lennon said) “to the toppermost of the poppermost!”

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