When most parents encourage their kids to pursue their musical interests, they usually only get a pretty OK oboe recital back in return. (Fine, and pride because unconditional love is real.) The parents of The Vamps, however, probably had a lot to gloat about at their PTA meetings back in the day.
In their short time on the music scene, the four members of this British pop/rock outfit — from left to right, that’s guitarist James McVey, bassist Connor Ball, lead singer Bradley Simpson, and drummer Tristan Evans — have already done their fair share of topping charts and taking names, and they’ve only just begun. So take that, “My child is an honor roll student” bumper stickers of the world.
1.) Who they are:
How did The Vamps form? Long story short, because the Internet. Long story less short, James was looking to start a band, and found Bradley over YouTube. Tristan hit up James on Facebook after seeing his and Bradley’s cover videos, and Connor joined in not long after. “YouTube opened all of this for us,” James says in a release. “Without it, we wouldn’t be a band.”
The Vamps started small, posting covers of everyone from Hanson to The Arctic Monkeys on YouTube, and soon they signed with EMI. Their first album, Meet The Vamps, was released in the U.K. last spring, and their debut American release, the Somebody To You EP, is expected to drop on August 4. Just to reiterate, they can’t even rent a car yet.
2.) Why you need to listen to them:
Do you like catchy pop hooks? What about songs that basically rob you of your free will as they command you to get behind the wheel of the nearest car and drive down the highway with the roof down, blasting said jams as you go?
I’m just gonna go ahead and do the math for you. According to my calculations… You will not regret checking out The Vamps’ live MTV Artist To Watch performance of “Somebody To You.”
3.) What you need to listen to:
The band’s single releases have pretty much been back-to-back summer jam-status, so honestly any of them would be a great place to start.
Feeling the summer lovin’? Try “Somebody To You” featuring Demi Lovato. Majorly crushing on someone you barely know? Go with “Can We Dance.” Wanna get swept away with wanton abandon? Ummm, duh. Then listen to the road trip-ready “Wild Heart,” and watch the video embedded above.
4.) Why they’re about to take over:
First, let’s look at the numbers. The Vamps’ British album release went all the way to #2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, and each of the LP’s four singles (“Can We Dance,” “Wild Heart,” “Last Night,” and “Somebody To You”) landed in the Official U.K. Singles Chart’s top four. They even received MTV U.K.’s Brand New For 2014 honors, beating out the likes of BANKS and Sam Smith. Not to get all “Teen Witch,” but top that.
Qualitatively speaking, the pop/rock four-piece couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Like 5 Seconds Of Summer, The Vamps simultaneously appeal to the boy band crowd and the band-band set. (Before you hate-tweet me for using the other “B” word, James has said: “We want to be recognized as being a band. But if people want to see us as a boy band, then that’s cool, too.”) And, um, have you seen how well 5SOS is doing? Dudes’ first album is expected to top the Billboard 200 this week. It’s not hard to see how that kind of success could translate to The Vamps.
5.) Where you can catch them IRL:
Are you in America? The guys are currently supporting Austin Mahone Live On Tour, opening alongside Fifth Harmony and Shawn Mendes on select dates. Though this fall, they’ll switch from supporting to headlining when the Meet The Vamps Tour hits the U.K.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to either tour. Something tells me you’ll have many more opportunities to catch them live in the future.