Marie, Tom, and Gian from Paisley based art-synth quartet The Vegan Leather chat to The Glasgow Guardian about creating new music during lockdown, going back to their music roots and the awaited release of their new single Gloaming.
The current global events have changed the face of the music industry as we know it. There have been many obstacles to overcome, and The Vegan Leather’s new, slightly haunting track Gloaming encapsulates just that.
“It’s definitely a return to our older sound”, lead singer Marie explains, “Our album focused on social anxiety. Gloaming has darker themes about battling your inner demons.”
Although the song was written before the first lockdown was announced in the UK, it’s eerie tones (inspired by the novel Wuthering Heights) is something that we can all identify with as lockdown restrictions continue to tighten.
For a band that likes to write “in the moment”, the abrupt change to life as we know it due to a nationwide lockdown presented new ways to collate ideas. Paradoxically, the lockdown restrictions made the writing process a productive and dynamic experience for the dance-pop band.
“We had plans to go back into the studio and record, but the lockdown hit. That forced us to go back to bedroom recording. That’s how we used to record our music, more grassroots DIY, and we think [Gloaming] really lends itself to that. Although it was limiting in a way, it forced us to be more creative”, Marie explains.
With in-person meetings being subject to stricter rules, the way music is produced is arguably becoming more digital than ever before. The Vegan Leather’s bassist Tom explains what it meant to record music, and what the future of music might be: “We’ve been trying to meet up on Zoom fairly regularly. It’s harder to get a real time connection through lockdown, but you try to find ways to get around it. It does help to have fresh ears look over it. We’re quite a tech savvy band.”
When asked how the first lockdown impacted their music, talk swiftly turned to the current social climate. In June, the band decided to donate the proceeds of a track they remixed via Bandcamp. They raised £500 for the Black Lives Matter movement, in solidarity with those who have and still are being oppressed. The quartet have taken inspiration from the celebration of different cultures, and plan to “cement appreciation” for cultures that created the foundations and roots of rock and roll, dance and blues music to name but a few. Their appreciation, exploration and dedication to all aspects of music have really shown and is something fans can hope to see in the future.
As well as producing new music and remixing tracks, the band have been busy in other areas of music. From supporting the Tenement TV Crowdfunder to featuring on the TELT: Scottish Music Podcast, the musicians go from strength to strength in rooting themselves in the industry.
With guidelines changing constantly, it’s hard to say where the future of music lies. Gian describes the impact on live music and gatherings have had on the band’s plans for the new year: “Obviously, gigs aren’t coming back anytime soon, it’s such a massive tragedy for everybody, people’s lives who depend on it. For us, any notion of playing live has been put to the back of our heads. But we’ve become a weird reclusive band that will probably end up putting out seven albums next year! They’ll be more music, Insta memes, Twitter bants, and wholesome stuff! We’ll really get to spend time on our medium.”
Stream ‘Gloaming’ on all major platforms here. Keep up to date with the band on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @TheVeganLeatherBand.