Vultures: “We all have a bit of a resting bitch face”
Our live show tends to build and build, like the calm before the storm that ends in this crazy mess.
It’s at a lovely boozer just around the corner from Exposed HQ where Vultures are circling today. Over a pint outside The Riverside, we get to know a bit more about the band ahead of their upcoming In Session performance.
Peddling a hazy, cosmic sound, the quintet are influenced by the likes of The Velvet Underground, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Horrors. They are currently spreading their wings with the help of new management company Scruff of the Neck, and vocalist Luke Thompson and bass/synths wiz Dillon Willis sat down to talk us through how things were shaping up.
Time to pick the bones.
‘Eh up Luke and Dillon! Tell us a bit about how Vultures came together?
Luke: Me and Nathan were in a band together [The Rusbies] that went on a bit too long. We wanted to try something new, with new musicians. We trialled one drummer – Conor O’Reilly – and Dillon was Conor’s mate. We only became a five-piece when we found out John McCullogh, who was friends with Nathan, wasn’t in a band and asked him to come down for a jam.
So you used to be in a punk-band – how is Vultures’ sound different to that?
Luke: This is more like 80s psychedelia. There are bits of Goth music thrown in there too. We’re inspired by bands like Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Joy Division and The Cure – what we’re writing sounds a bit like early Cure, I suppose. But that said, there are five of us in the band and we all have different tastes.
Dillon: I’m influenced by stuff like The Doors, so we all like different stuff. But it all comes together naturally. When you all like different things that’s how it is.
So for the uninitiated, what do they need to know about you guys?
Luke: We’re not shit! [laughs]
Dillon: We bring something different to the table.
Luke: Sheffield’s got a load of really good bands at the minute but like Dillon says we are something a bit different. Nobody sounds like us, and that’s what we take pride in. We wanna be the best at our genre.
So you just want to be the best then? Not bothered about the money, the number ones and all that?
Luke: Getting paid to gig and be in a band is a bit like being a Sunday League player and expecting to get paid: you have to put money in to get money out! But we can’t be expecting to make loads of money now… we just have to hope it’ll come back one day! But if it doesn’t, you do it because you love the music.
It must be hard trying to be in a band these days with the lack of money about though?
Luke: I’m an engineer by trade so I already have one! One of the other lads is a social media manager.
Dillon: And I haven’t got a job, but my dad knows we’re onto a winner so is pretty supportive of me putting everything into it. That’s how it is for all of us really.
You look pretty broody and mysterious in most of your press shots, so it’s nice to get some sunny shots of you hanging around Kelham.
Dillon: I know! Normally photographers tell us we aren’t allowed to smile. Some of us are a bit miserable, granted, but most of the time we’re made to conform to that stereotype!
Luke: But we all have a bit of a resting bitch face, which doesn’t help at all! It’s been nice to smile for a change.
Your new tune, ‘Murder Ballad’, dropped on the 23rd of June. It’s a bit different to your previous efforts, a real stomper.
Luke: Yeah! We wrote it back in October. It’s a lot heavier than what we’ve done before but you’ll find that with us… We’re trying to make everything we write different and keep things interesting.
Dillon: But at the same time we want it all to link together.
Luke: We write to perform it live – it’s one we’ve really enjoyed playing live – and we like having that mix of harder songs and softer ones.
You’ve built up a strong rep already as a band, largely due to live performances. How important is that to you guys?
Dillon: Yeah, we really want to be a live band more than anything; become known for putting on a good show, start building it that way.
Luke: Being in a band is all about the live shows. You can’t stand there and do nothing. We all were a bit daunted at first and kinda stood there, but the better the shows went, the more we’ve moved about! Our live show tends to build and build, like the calm before the storm that ends in this crazy mess.
Dillon: We give 100% and it builds to this real climax. We promise it’s not boring!
Where can people catch you live this year?
Luke: We’re supporting The Strypes at Plug on June 30th, then we’re back at Plug for Tramlines on Saturday July 22nd at 5pm.
Dillon: And we’ll be playing the Queens Social on October 7 – that’ll be our biggest gig yet. There’ll be one more new song released this year around the same time as that: ‘Underneath The Rain’.
Finally, and the most important question of all, you’ve all got this lovely hair in the band. Pray tell, what’s your secret?!
Luke: Don’t cut it! This took two years to grow, so I don’t plan on cutting it any time soon.
Dillon: I do cut mine occasionally – not myself, someone else does it! Although that might be my next move…
Luke: John swears by sea salt… sprinkles it all over and his hair comes out looking like an afro! So there’s a tip for you.
You heard it here first.