Local indie band VICTORS are the most talked about band in the indie scene right now. The 1975-inspired lads from Leeds, sat down with me to talk about new music, making it in the industry and how their Yorkshire roots are the reason they’re a hit in the States!
So, what inspired you to start VICTORS in the first place?
Harry: We all pretty much grew up together. Same primary school, same high school, even the same area of Leeds, and it helped that we enjoyed the same type of music together. I remember one day we were in our music class playing the guitar to Champagne Supernova by Oasis and our teacher pulled us to one side and told us how brilliant we all sounded together. That was the day VICTORS truly started, I think.
Since releasing your first EP last year, how does it feel to be compared to such influential bands like The 1975?
Simon: To me, The 1975 are one of the best indie bands out there at the moment. They’ve been that one band that I’ve always had a love for. I’ve seen them every time they’ve toured and even got to meet the frontman himself Mat Healy. A lot of our sound is definitely inspired by their work.
Harry: I was never a huge fan of The 1975 to begin with. He [Simon] got me into them much more when we were jamming in the studio and after a while, I realised how brilliant they are both musically and lyrically.
How did you guys react when you saw you had 24,000 streams on Spotify?
Simon: I cried for most of the day. It’s such a surreal feeling knowing all your hard work and dedication has worked out for the best. What was more exciting for me was that we were getting love from all over the world, not just the UK.
Dominic: For me it was the fact that this tiny little band from Guiseley, Leeds, managed to get recognition from so many people in such a short time. Leeds has produced brilliant bands like the Kaiser Chiefs and ALT-J, and to be in same wavelength as them is heart-warming and rewarding.
Can we expect new music coming from you guys any time soon?
Harry: Production for our first album has officially started. The pressure is most definitely on as we really want this album to stand out, so we’re in the studio 99% of the time, perfecting and creating different types of sound to impress our fans and to hopefully gain new ones.
Simon: Since our last EP came out, we have done some little tour support here and there and with also losing a member of the band recently, we’re trying our best to release an album that is going to make people laugh, cry, dance and sing. I want to see our fans screaming our songs are the top of their lungs.
I know you lads love a good cover, what’s your favourite song to cover at gigs?
Harry: Hotline Bling by Drake. The genre is completely different to what we would normally perform but I love putting my own spin on it (and it seems to be a crowd favourite!)
Simon: I’m probably repeating myself but anything by The 1975. Harry’s vocals clearly aren’t as beautiful at Matt Healy’s but it is fun watching our fans appreciate our favourite band as much as we do.
Dominic: It changes every time for me. I probably have to agree with Harry on this one, maybe it’s because I bloody love Drake.
How would you say you’re handling the fame at the minute?
Harry: I feel like when we’re in Leeds, we don’t get recognised as much – which is great! However, I absolutely love and hate it when we go to America as we’re always getting mobbed by fans.
Simon: Yeah, Leeds and actually England in general is pretty calm when it comes to our fans. I enjoy seeing fans when they meet us but sometimes the pressure to be perfect at all times is daunting.
Is there anybody you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Simon: For me it would be Matt Healy. As you can tell, I’m just a huge 1975 fan girl. But on a real though, I think he’s an incredibly talented artist and writer and it would be an absolute pleasure to collaborate with him on something.
Harry: This is a tough one. I’d have to say someone legendary, like Paul McCartney or Morrissey. To work with them would be an absolute honour.
Dominic: I would have to say someone like Zedd or The Chainsmokers. They would be able to add their own beats and spin to our tracks and I think it would be so cool and different to the sound we would usually make.
Are there any up-and-coming tours you have lined up for us?
Harry: We’re currently trying to arrange a North American tour, not sure if it’s set in stone but I really hope we can travel to the States again.
Simon: We have a few mini tours around the South of England where we’ll be supporting other indie bands but as Harry said, we’re looking into an American tour which I hope will happen.
And finally lads, what words of advice would you give to aspiring bands out there?
Harry: Make sure you are 100% committed and passionate. I think that was the reason Lindsay (our manager) saw potential in us and since then she has been able to push us in the right directions.
Simon: Be authentic. A lot of bands sometimes sound similar nowadays and I feel like people need to hear new, better, different sound.
Be sure to check out VICTORS on streaming services like Spotify and iTunes, and don’t forget to check out their latest track, ‘I Think About You Every Night’ which is available now!