Interview Vessels: ‘We’re Moving Towards A Different Sound’

We catch up with Vessels ahead of their ‘hometown’ performance at this year’s Constellations.

We catch up Vessels ahead of their ‘hometown’ performance at this year’s Constellations festival, to talk about the Leeds-based band’s next move.

You’ve not played yet today but are you looking forward to your performance this evening?
Lee: Definitely. It’s good to be home.
Tim: I haven’t really been into the venue [Leeds University] to check it out but I think they’ve only recently started putting bands on there. It didn’t use to be a venue years ago but it’s quite a cool set up that they’ve got stuff going on in every room at the Student Union, it seems.

You’re kind of mid-tour too, aren’t you?
Lee: Kind of. We’re quite near the end. We’ve got a couple of dates in Europe in a couple of weeks. We’ve got Leeds tonight and Glasgow tomorrow.
Tim: It was supposed to be a longer tour but it’s ended up just being a week in the UK and a few dates in Belgium.
Lee: We’re doing a festival out there.
Tim: Yeah, quite a good festival. Autumn Falls, I think it’s called. Some awesome bands like Pinback and Low are playing so I’m definitely looking forward to missing those bands while we load out of the venue. We played in Liverpool last night. It was the end of Liverpool Music Week there were a few really interesting bands, I don’t know if they were any good because we didn’t relay see them. There was about 60 bands on, we had to load in to the fourth floor, play, and then load out so that pretty much takes up the entire time.
Lee: There was only one lift working and there was only one staircase and they were right next to each other so there was just this one focal point that was chaos. People were opening doors and smacking people in the faces that were coming out of the lift, it was literally that close to each other.
Tim: And then in that space where bands were trying to load out, this Balkan band started up playing with a snare drum. They were awesome and they just started up like a massive party of the night. It’s all about playing in non-designated spaces to get people excited.

Is there anyone you’re going to definitely try to catch tonight, in that case?
Lee: We’ve got to see Three Trapped Tigers. I really want to see Stephen Malkmus.
Tim: Who you’re not going to see because he’s on at the same time as us. I really want to see The Antlers. Fortunately, we’re playing just before them so we might actually get to see them. I wanted to see Dutch Uncles too.
Lee: And Hookworms but they were on about four hours ago.

What’s the plan for after the European dates? Are you working on any new material?
Lee: We’re working really heavily on new material. I’m going to shoot myself in the foot but ‘Helioscope’ came at quite a funny time so it’s been quite difficult to back it up. So we’ve regrouped, had a think about where it is we want to go musically, and we’ve been planning out the year.
Tim: Just being a bit more strategic about it rather than just writing songs and thinking we need to do an album so that takes a year and then oh, we’ve got an album so now we’ve got to tour rather than taking time out and being able to decide what we actually want to do.
Lee: We’ve got our own recording studio now that we share with Matt from Hookworms and it’s really sweet, it’s a really good deal. We nick his mics because ours are shit. And we’ve started to carve out some really nice ideas and it doesn’t feel like the clock’s ticking because we’ve got this space and we’re getting some good results. We’re probably going to record the next album ourselves. Or at least track it. We might get someone else to produce it but we’ll just see how we get on and see what kind of results we get. But there’s definitely a move towards a different sound. It’s been a long time coming, I think. I don’t want to give the game away too much but there’s going to be a positive move in a new direction.

So will there be an album next year, in that case?
Lee: Touch wood!

What’s the plan for festivals next year?
Tim: Well that’s all part and parcel of recording and releasing new material. You kind of need to have new material or something to promote to get on to a lot of festivals. You become trapped in a cycle of promotion and touring and so we’re trying to step back from that a little bit and yeah, we’d love to get some festivals booked if we can but that’ll be whatever we get offered we’ll do them but if we don’t, it’s not the end of the world because the next year will come and we’ll have more material to promote. Glastonbury this year was awesome. It was really nice to be asked to play.
Lee: We were pretty knackered though. We were last on on the Sunday. We got there on the Thursday.
Tim: I was trying to be good all weekend so we could actually stand up and play. When we played actually was the nicest evening of the festival. Everything had dried up on the site. Anyone that was playing on the Friday or the Saturday, I think got a bit of a raw deal, I think it would have been more hard work than fun, which I think is what happens quite often with Glastonbury. If you get good weather, it’s amazing. The only other festival we played this year in the UK was 2000 Trees, which was better as a gig because at Glastonbury you’re competing with hundreds of other acts that are on at the same time. 2000 Trees had lots of smalled, lesser known bands but more people there to see your music.

You just released an interactive video. What was the idea behind that?
Tim: Neither of us are really in the best place to answer that just because it’s a project of a friend of ours who really wanted to get involved with the band. He’s quite a talented artist and working with different types of media and computer, he’s brilliant. He had this idea to make an interactive video to go with the album and it took a very long time to do so it’s ended up being launched incomplete nine months after the album. So as a promotional device to go with the album, it hasn’t really worked. But he did put a lot of time into it and as a concept it’s brilliant, just using music in this way and to give it a visual representation that you can also interact with in a video game fashion. You can check it out on our website just to get an idea of what it’s about. I don’t think it’s something that a lot of bands have done.

Tags: Vessels, Features

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