Credit: Murry Deaves
Making their entrance last summer with debut single 'Silver', The Vedettes are a five-piece alt-indie rock group from York, who draw on influences from the likes of Circa Waves, Peace, and JAWS. Their new single, 'Better Than You' was released last Friday.
Who are you?
There's five of us in The Vedettes: frontman and singer Simon Hall, bassist James Butterworth, drummer Michele Pascale, rhythm guitarist Tim Erimhan, and myself, Alfie Gerzimbke, on lead guitar.
Tell us something about yourself and how you came to be where you are today.
The only reason we ever met was through bumping into each other on a night out. After drunkenly talking about music in the smoking area of some dingy club in York (where we are based), we agreed to meet in a practice studio and see if sparks flew. They did, and by the end of the night, we'd started writing our set.
Give us an idea of your musical style and influences.
It might be cliche, but our influences are pretty diverse. Personally, I think David Bowie was the best artist to walk the earth, and that human civilisation peaked when he recorded 'Heroes' in 1977, but the music we bonded over were current bands like JAWS, Circa Waves, DMAs, Wolf Alice - stuff like that. I think we take the energy of the post-punk revival in the 2000s, and the swagger of Britpop, and then mix it all up with a generous helping of massive choruses.
Explain the production and writing process behind your songs.
We're very collaborative when it comes to writing songs. Typically, most of our songs start off with a guitar idea from Tim or myself, and then we'll take it as a band and see where we can take it, but there's plenty of exceptions to this rule. At some point one of us will write a lyric, and the song begins to form. But we're constantly changing and improving parts of the song until we record it. I remember I came up with a good deal of my guitar part in 'Better Than You' the day before we went into the studio.
Tell us a little about your new single.
'Better Than You' is our second single, and we released it on 18th January to all major online platforms. We'd been playing it live beforehand, and the crowds always seemed to like it, so we decided it should be the one to kick start our 2019. It's a four-minute journey that starts with a slinky bass groove and smooth vocals, with a gradual build up of intensity, before it drops into a big instrumental climax at the end. Our singer Simon penned the lyrics about escaping the mental turmoil of a toxic relationship - it's about ‘finally having the self-belief to say, you know what? I’m better than you and I don’t need you.’ It's probably the heaviest song in our set - we didn't want to just recreate the style of our first single, but it's still very much our sound - just perhaps a different side of it.
Can we catch up with you at any forthcoming live shows?
We're lining up a few shows at the moment, but nothing's at the stage where we can publicly confirm yet. Our lips are sealed on the specifics, but there will be plenty of chances to hear the new single live over the next few months in and around York.
How's the year looking, plans-wise?
Big. 2019 will be the year of The Vedettes! We're heading back into the studio in a couple of weeks to record our next single; after that we're starting work on our debut EP, for which we're currently looking at a spring/summer release. Another thing we're really excited about is branching out. So far we've had the pleasure of playing with some big names in the York scene like Serotones and Violet Contours, but this year we're looking forward to playing in places like Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.
Where can we hear more of your music?
Right now you can hear both of our singles on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and most other main streaming platforms. When we finally get around to making a music video or two, you'll be able to catch our tunes on YouTube too. The music we're planning to release in the next couple of months will be on all these platforms - and as soon as we have any more details on it, they'll be on our social media.
What social media platforms can we find you on?
Facebook // Twitter // Instagram