We caught up with The Vegan Leather after their insane Pronto Mama support show at a sold out Oran Mor as part of this years Celtic Connections. Give it a read below as we talk Propaganda, LCD Soundsystem, Paolo Nutini, Bootlegs and passing out at Kraftwerks T set….
So you’ve just come off stage at Oran Mor, how was the show for you guys?
Gianluca: Show was good, we had a lot of fun. Very sweaty but lots of cool and interesting people
Duncan: Everybody seemed to be really into it as well which was pretty cool!
Matt: Twitters been blowing up, I’ve been getting non-stop notifications
Marie: Gian’s dad really enjoyed it, yeah he was right down the front
Gianluca: Peace sign constantly but we’re a band that promotes violence
Gianluca: I mean me personally I promote complete violence!
What made you want to pursue a career in music?
Gianluca: Uhm to be honest it’s the only thing that’s ever kind of come natural, when I played a guitar for the first time it was kinda the first time anything had felt natural.
Matt: I was shit at football so it seemed like the other cool thing to do
Duncan: I think it was at school where you had to pick two instruments and at the time I played the Violin so I went with the drums as well. So I ended up stuck with this guy (Gianluca) and what’s its now been like a decade! It just kind of went from there really…
Marie: I don’t know I think there is a lot of money to be made because I’m going to do like a Dolly Parton tribute act
Matt: Shut up!
Marie: No I’m joking! For me it’s just the love of it and the people you meet through it, like these guys are my best friends and it’s such a nice thing to be able to do and enjoy
How did The Vegan Leather come to be?
Gianluca: Well me and Duncan had met as we said about ten years ago and we were playing in bands and all that. We got into, like when DubStep was all the rage, we had this two piece DubStep sort of band. We did that for a couple of years and then we met Matthew who was playing in another DubStep band, that was all the rage, but they were great. Then we went on a Hit The Road Tour together, we gelled from there. We’d always known Marie, I’d met Marie at school years ago and she’d been in a band that me and Duncan had done and then in like 2013 or something when I was making music myself, I focused on really kind of dance music and pop music. Then I was in Propaganda one night *Laughter* and I was thinking, there was like one song that played and there was another song that played
Marie: That’s generally what happens at Propaganda!
Gianluca: There was one song that played and I thought I like this and then the other song that played it was dance music but played by a band and I thought that’s so much fucking cooler that the one before because that was just a normal sort of electric pop song. As it was Duncan was there with me and I was like “Duncan do you wanna start a band” and he was like “Yes were in a band” *Laughter* and then I asked Matthew and we did that sort of three piece for a year or so. Then Marie got involved, she sang vocals on one of our tracks and then we started to do it live and we were like Marie’s great, Marie’s amazing, let’s just have Marie all the time and then it’s just been that since 2014. So it’s been good times since then .
You had an amazing close to 2016/start to 2017 with your Edinburgh Hogmanay Show. How does it feel to be taking it to that next level?
Matt: Aye it was great! Crazy and surreal
Duncan: It came at a real surprise to us as well, it came out of nowhere. We hadn’t really done any shows anywhere near as big as that and all of a sudden we got thrown in the deep end. As an experience itself, it was just something else…
Gianluca: It was unbelievable, so good!
Marie: It was really surreal but it also felt really natural as well. Our sound seemed to really suit that bigger stage and stuff. Paolo Nutini bought us a bottle of whisky as well, none of us like whisky though…
Matt: I drank it. Yeah he bought us one of those bottles of vodka that’s in a crystal skull head as well. We tanned that within like two minutes!
Gianluca: He was good to us
Matt: Yeah he’s the loveliest guy ever!
Gianluca: Yeah it was good though, surreal and i still don’t think that it has really sunk in yet to be honest *Laughs*
For people who didn’t hear it on Vic Galloway’s radio show what can people anticipate from your new single ‘Shake It’?
Gianluca: Very dance focused, if anyone had heard ‘This House’ before, that was still very dancey and poppy and fast but I feel that this track is slightly darker. A slightly darker record and it’s a lot more I don’t want to say punchey but it’s kinda like aggressive whereas with ‘This House’ was kind of Phoenixy this is a lot more soul lax and a little bit heavier along the lines of Gossip and stuff like that. So a bit more like that!…
What was the writing process behind ‘Shake It’, where did the inspiration come from with it?
Matt: Oh that’s a good story!
Gianluca: Basically throwing back another eight years
Matt: The single is eight years in the making!
Gianluca: Me and Duncan in our old band, we had Shake It but in a completely different form. We took a sample from a MSTRKRFT song, like a vocal loop that was at the start of it and it was really cool. We just formed this instrumental around it, completely different from the actual song and that’s where the bassline came from
Matt: Yeah I like mangled it!
Gianluca: Then at the start of last year we were looking at old demos that we all had and we were thinking right what can we bring again into the form of proper songs. We found that so we decided to expand it from the small form that it was in. So Matt kind of expanded the bassline to where it is now and then we wrote the instrumental. Me and Marie then sat down and wrote most of the lyrics together one night. We all got together another couple of months done the line and sort of honed it in. We then recorded it all and it got sent off to get mixed!
Marie: i think it’s sort of a really pivotal song for us because it’s the first song that all four of us collaborated on. It was really nice because before Gian was sort of the main song writer. I feel like that’s a good point to go forward from
Gianluca: Yeah the work now is much more of a collaborative effort. It’s just a much nicer feeling. I feel like the more diversity that goes into it, the more sort of regimented it is. We’ve all got a typecast to write to now but we’ve got all these ideas so it doesn’t feel like you’d have the same ideas from different genres. We can kind of hone in on one genre and have loads of different ideas from that
Matt: I feel that you just sort of feel a bit more passionate about it cause it’s all four of us. it’s as if like your friend you care about their child but you care about your own child more
Gianluca: Yeah it’s like you don’t have to play other peoples music all the time
Matt: Yeah all four of us have that one thing and were all very passionate about it and love it a lot
What’s been a standout moment from 2016 for you guys as a band?
Gianluca: One of them was definitely Tenement Trail!
Yeah it was insane!
Matt: Sweat was actually dripping off the ceiling, like disgusting but it was great
Gianluca: It was so good cause we had never had the chance to play Priory before, just the way things worked out, like we’d all went to all the Club Sabbath nights and all the gigs that went on,so the likes of The Lapelles, The Van T’s and Declan Welsh all playing there and it was so cool and we couldn’t wait till we got to do it. Finally getting a chance to do it, it’s special enough being audience to a gig in that venue but actually playing it is something else. It’s really great!
Yeah there was like a queue of people outside waiting to get into your show. It was insane!
Duncan: I was sat in another room playing drums
Gianluca: Yeah you were sitting in the kind of back bar bit, it was great!
What can people anticipate from you guys in the next six months?
Gianluca: ‘Shake It’!
Matt: Lots of big banging new songs!
Gianluca: Yeah maybe one or two new songs over the next six months! There will be at least one, were deciding just now but you would have heard them tonight!
Whens the disco one coming out?
Gianluca: It’s already out
Is it!? Is your music back on Spotify yet?
Gianluca: Na ah ah No sir!
Is it on Soundcloud?
Gianluca: Na Ah! Nowhere! It’s in my heart and in my head
Gianluca: I’ll send you bootlegs
Duncan: There’s still some stuff on Youtube
Marie: yeah Day’s go by and The Knife
Duncan: And Bottom of the Ocean
Gianluca: Ah yeah but it’s a Daft Punk version. It’s like aw man I love this song but I also love Daft Punk so I’ve just chopped up the song and took a bunch of the Daft Punk songs and just laid them over. It’s not very good!
Gianluca: Oh wait can I put on Get Innocuous by LCD Soundsystem. Have you ever seen Konbini fast and curious
Gianluca: Well they play this…
This is when we wish this was filmed
Marie: Yeah how are they going to transcribe this
*Get Innocuous by LCD Soundsystem plays in the background*
The first gig you ever went to?
Gianluca: Slipknot at the SECC in 2008
Marie: Avril Lavigne
Matt: Busted – Newcastle – 2003. The last gig before they broke up, then they came back and they were shite
Duncan: Ah it was Papa Roach!
If you could have written any song ever which one would it be?
Matt: Careless Whisper by George Michael/Wham
Duncan: The whole of Daft Punks Discovery album
Gianluca: That’s not a song Duncan! Mine is She’s So Lovely by Scouting For Girls…
Marie: Sound of the Underground by Girls Aloud..
Describe The Vegan Leather in three words?
Gianluca: Full of beans!
Marie: Pink, Loud and Eccentric
Matt: Really good bassist
Duncan: Big dance party
Favourite Festival/gig experience when attending?
Gianluca: Kraftwerk at T in the Park
I remember going into that when I was really drunk
Duncan: Yeah they gave you the 3D glasses
Yeah I was sick!
Gianluca: Here it’s fine, I passed out twice and Duncan had to look after me
Marie: I’m a big fan of Edward Sharpe and I went down the front at his gig and just stood there and cried
Matt: Death Grips at SWG3. That was mad, the first song hit and I was like I’m out of here, it was so fucking violent. He (Duncan) stayed in the middle of the crowd for the whole thing. I don’t know how you managed it!
Dream support slot?
Gianluca: LCD Soundsystem
Marie: Arcade Fire
Duncan: Ah I was going to say that
Gianluca: You can’t say the same thing twice it’s not how this fucking works!
Duncan: Well I’m going with Metronomy anyway
Well Thanks Guys!
Disclaimer – If we’ve misheard the name of the fast and curious show then we apologise!