Radar met with Vansleep members, Kyle and Bryn in Inverurie for breakfast, coffee and a Q&A about their band.
To begin with, who are the members of the band and what instruments do you play?
Kyle: Well my name’s Kyle (MacRitchie), I play rhythm guitar, I’m lead vocalist and I write the majority of the songs and lyrics.
Bryn: I’m Bryn (McLernon), I play bass and do some backing vocals. Our drummer is Ross (Henderson) and lead guitarist is Keir (Smith).
So what sort of music do you play, how would you describe the style?
Bryn: I think this is also something we have trouble pinning it like we had these 5 songs we released on SoundCloud that were pretty indie-rock. But we’ve been really moving away from that a bit.
Kyle: Yeah it was indie-rock but we’ve been focussing on being more rhythmic, more into drums and the guitar and bass have been a bit more funky almost. We’ve delved into heavier stuff as well… I guess we’re just more kind of alternative than anything else. What was Tilly called it again?
Bryn: …Sad boi rock! (laughs)
Kyle: Oh yeah, “cocky declarations of love” (laughs)
Who would you say have been your inspiration for the music?
Bryn: I guess in the beginning it would have been like the big bands of the last few years, like most of the other bands out there it would have been things like Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, but since we’ve had a hard time pinning the genre, it’s also kind of hard pinning certain influences maybe. Every song is a little different I think, in some songs like you might hear some influence from the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, or in another…Catfish and the Bottlemen in some things. But we all just pull influence from lots of different bands.
Kyle: Yeah, like I find when you’re writing a song it tends to be what you’re into right now, like when you’re listening to and reading it back, you can hear what I’m into at the time sometimes. There’s a lot of old influences in there as well, along with new stuff, trying to diversify.
Bryn: I think also with writing our own parts, like with my bass and (his) voice, all taking something from something different, when it collates together it’s just all different.
How do you find the sort of playing field for getting gigs, considering your ages and a bit below 18, the major place for gigging being in bars?
Kyle: Yeah we have had problems with that… it’s more the age like we were just school kids playing in a band a year ago and we struggled at first.
Bryn: I wouldn’t say we’ve struggled recently, we’ve played Tunnels, Krakatoa, that’s not been a problem recently. The thing with getting a gig is just who you know if a band likes your music, often they’ll ask you to play.
Kyle: I think the fact we’re slightly younger than a lot of bands, is kind of surprising to a lot of people, they kind of step back and notice when we do a good show and notice more because we’re a bit younger. Quite often people come to us, leave a message on the band page or something, just about being friends with all these bands and people.
So how do you get the word out there, how do people find out about your music and shows?
Bryn: We’ve got a facebook page, and you can get an idea of how many people are looking at your posts if we have a gig we usually post it up there, use that as the marketing tool that it is I suppose.
Kyle: The live shows have always been quite a big thing, the energy of that, often word of mouth is a pretty big thing, the old-fashioned way.
Bryn: I think at the beginning it’s like you just have to bring as many people as you can to that and build a sort of loyal fanbase that’ll want to come to gigs and they might bring their friends and it should just go from there. As opposed to just trying to throw out to a general audience, if you know you can get a lot of people that are actually interested and that.
Kyle: Having something out there is helpful like we’ve got the SoundCloud EP, and it makes a difference rather than just hearing them once live and it’s onto the next one, but having something out there means they can listen to them back and that.
Where do you practice and that?
Kyle: When we first started we went to Musical Vision and that for a bit, but we’ve sort of gone back to Captain Tom’s, I feel like there’s more going on in our area there, there’s like more opportunity for gigs there, we got the chance to support his band through being known there.
Bryn: Yeah we’ve been using Captain Tom’s for a while, we won a battle of the bands recently and got some recording vouchers there, so we’ve been using that as a recording studio for our songs. We’ve been quite lucky with winning a couple competitions for these recording vouchers, which has really been a step in the right direction to getting some work out there.
Vansleep will be supporting Lorelie at their ‘Festive Frenzy!’ night in Exodus on Schoolhill, 23rd December 2017, run in partnership with Captain Tom’s make sure you check out this FREE event!