On the eve of their single launch MTTM were lucky enough to grab some time with Northumberland-hailing five piece, Vinyl Jacket. Lead vocalist, Ben Dancer, answered our questions.
MTTM: Your third and most recent single ‘Red Light’ has just been released; are you nervous about this latest recording?
Vinyl Jacket: We’re always a bit nervous with every release. I think there’s a certain pressure we put on ourselves for each campaign to build upon the previous one, and after the string of unexpected successes we enjoyed in 2011 the bar has well and truly been raised. So yeah I guess you could say we were a bit scared but we’re really happy with how people have taken to the new single.
MTTM: This latest record follows the success of 2011’s ‘Painting Stations’ and ‘Koala’. How does this latest work differ from what’s come before and how do you feel your sound has developed?
Vinyl Jacket: We try and offer something a bit different with every release and ‘Red Light’ certainly has its own feel. We tried to strip everything down as much as possible in the verses to give the vocals a chance to breath for once. In terms of our sound developing I think we organically continue to learn things about each other as writers with every new recording we lay down and every time we hit the practice room together. We take a lot of inspiration through playing live too and gaging reaction from our audiences.
MTTM: ‘Red Light’ features a remix by Everything Everything. How did you find the experience of working alongside another artist and was it difficult to allow someone to alter your work?
Vinyl Jacket: We have a huge amount of respect for Everything Everything and so when they offered to do the remix for us there wasn’t a moment of hesitation. I suppose it is difficult and a potential danger in letting somebody tamper with something you’ve worked so hard to create yourself, but we knew with the EE lads that they’d want to put their own position on the song. You can hear how much deeper and darker their version is, using colossal synths and syncopated rhythms which are a refreshing contrast to our original. They are quite simply the boys. Untouchable.
MTTM: The release of ‘Red Light’ is followed by a tour of the EP. Is this something you’re looking forward to and are you apprehensive about playing your newest material live to your fans?
Vinyl Jacket: We’re incredibly excited about getting out there and playing again, as we’ve worked solidly on improving our live game recently. I think we’ve almost grown to pride ourselves on being a recording artist that can bring something exciting and visual to the table in a live capacity too. It’s refreshing to be playing new material, so hopefully that will come across.
MTTM: The video for ‘Red Light’ is a neon wonderland; what was the idea behind it and how do you feel it relates to the track?
Vinyl Jacket: We wanted to create something that was a visual step up from the previous two videos and so enlisted the help of the incredibly talented Emilee Seymour (www.emileeseymour.com) who helped us make this a reality. She designed the concept for the video that helps bring to life and accentuate issues of promiscuity and ensuing temptation to fall in line, two ideas that are laced throughout the song itself.
MTTM: Your sound is quite quirky and diverse; is this a combination of your different influences or does your inspiration come from elsewhere?
Vinyl Jacket: We definitely strive to produce music which runs against the grain but remains true to our character although we’re often compared to key modern artists such as Little Comets, Mystery Jets and Vampire Weekend. It would be true to say they’ve inevitably had a sincere impact on our music yet in truth our influences scope from Paul Simon to Mariah Carey to Stiff Little Fingers. David likes Usher, which has a lot to answer for.
MTTM: With five of you in the band do you often clash over creative differences?
Vinyl Jacket: Yes, normally arguments revolving around the use of synth pads, slap-bass lines and Sam’s extensive use of swanny whistle, to be honest.
MTTM: Finally, what does the future hold for Vinyl Jacket?
Vinyl Jacket: We’ve just announced details of our forthcoming UK tour here. We also have a few exciting announcements coming up regarding festivals this Summer and a couple of other little beauties in the pipeline. Apart from that, we’re keeping our heads down.