[INTERVIEW] VINYL STAIRCASE
Rising stars Vinyl Staircase want your attention and they’re ready to put in the hard work to get it.
Vinyl Staircase members Mike Thorpe and brothers Luke and Jake Andrews talk amongst themselves as we move away from the venue where the band played a storming set of psychedelic and guitar driven rock earlier this evening. Following the release of their EP Aquarelle last year the four-piece have been playing a busy schedule of gigs as their fan-base continues to grow in size.
Its freezing to say the least, and as we come to a stop in a suitably quiet spot our warm breath fills the air for a moment before vanishing into the night as if it had never existed. “Joel is a really cool guy, he went to the same secondary school as we did and that’s how there’s a worthwhile connection.” Explains Thorpe, detailing their relationship with the Wolf Alice drummer who wrote an article on them in NME, before pausing to think for other potential candidates that may steal the crown as the four-piece’s highlight of last year, “It’s that or Swim Deep” he says nonchalantly.
“We try to keep it as varied as possible in order to give them a taste of all the stuff we do, rather than just go down a heavy route or a psych route”, says Luke, revealing the thought process that goes into their energetic and noisy live shows. Doused in purple and blue lighting on the small stage at Proud in Camden the group put on an impressive performance, executing each song with an aggression that caught the attention of the audience in a way none of the bands sharing the bill managed to do. Whilst they’ve undoubtedly got a long way to go, they’ve gone from recording a few tracks at a small studio in their hometown Guildford to playing shows in established London venues in a matter of months and understandable feel great satisfaction at this achievement.
Gigs are unquestionably important for a new band, and when asked whether they prioritise live shows over making new music, drummer Jake Andrews speaks first: “I think gigs are important because we get to play to people who haven’t heard us. When you first start off, the most important thing is making the music and then once you’ve got the songs just go out and gig them”.
The crowd here in Camden is trendier than that you would expect to find at the Boiler Room in Guildford where the band first established themselves. “It’s a totally different atmosphere here in London” explains Luke as a distinctively ‘hipster’ character passes us with fitting timing. “In London you have to think a little bit more about how you present yourselves, people aren’t going to be forgiving here.” Where others many find this lack of forgiveness a frightening factor, this is a confident group of young men and it is clear that London shows present an exciting opportunity for the band to gain new fans, rather than occasion to get nervous about or fear.
There is a noticeable bond between the three bandmates. They met at secondary school and have shared a friendship ever since, their bond can only benefit them as they continue to grow and develop. When asked whether they hope to sign to a label at some point they confer for a moment before responding, “If we find the right people, we’re going to try and hold out for as long as we can.” this is a band that want things done their way, in the most egalitarian way and are willing to work hard in order to make their dreams a reality.
Words by Joe Austin