The Vamps talk ahead of Birmingham gigs
It’s a few short months since The Vamps were on the road playing 11 of the UK’s biggest arenas – including the Genting, in Birmingham.
But the boys are already back, and tomorrow will headline Birmingham’s O2 Academy, with a matinee show, followed by an evening gig.
The band are fresh from the release of their recent single, Middle of the Night, which bassist Connor Ball says wasn’t intended to be linked to their 2016 hit All Night.
“People are saying we’ve got a theme going about the night thing, but it’s not the case. I don’t think we actually intended to do that.
“There’s a bit of a drop on it, but we’re really excited for this one. When you hear it, it talks about drinking and emotional material like that. It’s just a natural progression really. We’re just grown as people really. I don’t think we’re trying to be a certain way, it just happened.”
The band have fun when they’re on the road and don’t mind living it up. They tend to keep their stories under wraps most of the time but there was one fun night in South America last summer.
“It’s quite dangerous out there. You have to take security but one night we went out in the middle of the night and got lost in Peru. We couldn’t get home, but we didn’t want to call our management to come and get us because we would have been horrendously told off.
“I don’t even know how we got back. It was half four in the morning, we had to try and find a taxi without getting attacked. I thought I could speak Spanish when I was a bit drunk. I did Spanish GSCE. I was trying to convert that but they speak more Portuguese. There was definitely a language barrier because it didn’t mean anything to them.”
Middle of the Night was recorded with Danish DJ and record producer Martin Jensen who left his own mark on the record. “He put it flavour on it, adding extra parts which made the track sound nicer.”
The Vamps are Connor Ball, Tristan Evans, James McVey and Brad Simpson, who is from Sutton Coldfield. They gained fame in 2012 with a success of YouTube cover versions, which led to comparisons with One Direction. Soon after, they were signed by Mercury Records and early in 2013 they supported McFly on their Memory Lane Tour. Festivals followed and further supports were lined up with Demi Lovato, The Wanted, JLS, Little Mix and Lawson.
The band won a host of awards, including the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards, The Hot Hits Awards and the 4 Music Video Honours. And their two albums – Meet The Vamps and Wake Up – both broke the top 10.
A new record, Night and Day, is out this month.
Things haven’t all been plain sailing, however, and James McVey almost left the group.
“I had a really difficult time last year where we were on tour in America and things were just building and building for me,” he says. “I was getting terrified of being late for a hotel lobby call. I wouldn’t be sleeping because of it.
“I’d be on stage and I’d be like I hate this, because I don’t understand how I was feeling or why.
“I was on the verge of saying ‘I’m leaving the band’.”
He spoke to his bandmates about how he was feeling.
“It took me a lot to speak to Brad. I said to him, ‘I’m really struggling, man. I don’t know if I can do this’.
“Just opening up to someone about my emotions was so refreshing for me as a person. It really pulled me from that edge.”
That proved to be a turning point and his bandmates rallied round.
“If I hadn’t opened up about that, I probably would have left. In hindsight that would have been a ridiculous mistake.”
The band have enjoyed a great 2017 and singer Bradley says there have been plenty of highlights. “We were at Kris Kross Amsterdam this year, which was great. Other than that we’ve been locked away in the studio.”