Kicking up a fuss with their dizzying live shows and unshakable melodies, The Vegan Leather have cemented themselves as one of the UK’s most exhilarating bands.
The Paisley art-pop quartet blend disco-punk and dance-rock to make effervescent LCD Soundsystem-like concoctions and their three dazzling singles to date have earned them slots at T in the Park, TRNSMT and The Great Escape Festival 2018 among others.
With The Vegan Leather set to bring vim and vigour to our final Hidden Herd Presents: SPTLGHT show at Green Door Store on Friday 26th April, we spoke to co-vocalist Marie Collins about their sonic inspirations and much more.
How would you describe The Vegan Leather to a stranger?
“The Vegan Leather are a pop band comprising of disco beats, old synthesisers, 7 string guitars and songs that examine the boundaries between love and falseness. We’re sort of a band of opposites. We like fun/poppy melodies that are driven by dark guitars and dirty synths. We have a lot of playful back and forth duets between Gianluca (guitar/vocals) and I, but executed with visceral words and abstruse meanings. The Vegan Leather is kind of like a big pink disco ball whose light shines onto a dance floor that has some hidden corners and unexpected dark places.”
Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?
“We’ve just completed a large amount of recording, and although all of the songs were written before going into the studio, we were influenced by a lot of artists in terms of sounds and styles. We always joke that we’re a mix between Fleetwood Mac and Kraftwerk, in that we love classic songwriting with catchy hooks, but also like to mix that with synthesisers, drum machines, vocoders and other interesting sounds. We listened to a lot of Bowie’s ‘Low’ for drum sounds, as well as Chaka Khan. To harken back to being a band of opposites, we’re influenced by the crossover of the indie-pop sentiments of bands like Arcade Fire and Franz Ferdinand combined with the electronic sonic tendencies of Soulwax, Metronomy and The B-52’s.”
What was the best gig you’ve played so far?
“A stand out gig is definitely supporting one of our favourite bands Phoenix at The Barrowlands in Glasgow! We are all huge fans, and Gian even has a Phoenix embroidered denim jacket so when we got the call we were totally ecstatic. I first heard Phoenix’s ‘Too Young’ in romantic comedy CLASSIC Shallow Hal and immediately sent it to Gian. We were around 14 at the time and our love grew for them ever since. We remember being in the dressing room as they were soundchecking and we heard the huge grumbling of the synths at the beginning of ‘1901’. We ran upstairs and stood in stunned silence watching one of our favourite bands who we were about to open for. The gig was incredible, and we got to hang out with them after the show. It was one of their birthdays so we were welcomed into the dressing room with champagne and party horns. It was so surreal!”
You’re based in Paisley – what’s your local music scene like?
“We’re all really passionate about Paisley and its enthusiasm for arts and culture. Paisley’s known for its weaving and textiles past and that heritage has translated into a really exciting arts scene today! We recently put on a gig at a local music venue, The Bungalow, where we invited Paisley artists, poets, musicians etc. to collaborate with each other! It was a huge success and the immense amount of talent was unbelievable. Paisley definitely has a really thriving arts community.”
Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?
“D R I F T – They’re a Paisley-based electronic pop-duo that merge folk influences with electronic stylings to create ambient-pop beats. Check out their debut single ‘Baby Maker’!
ST.MARTiiNS – A two piece band based in Dundee who mix jazzy-sounding guitars with electronic/pop.
Vistas – We’ve had the pleasure of gigging with Vistas a few times! They write the most incredible pop songs with huge choruses and with a real indie-electro twist.”
And finally, what does 2019 hold for The Vegan Leather?
“A lot of new music! We’ve been laying low for a while in the studio, and 2019 is the time to let that music come out into the world! So new music and a lot of sweaty shows!”