Since the turn of the year, Derbyshire sextet Violet have been a very busy bunch. Having started the year with a UK and European tour with A Lot Like Birds, the band recently started working on their début full-length whilst the coming weeks will see them back out on the road, first on a co-headline run with Now, Voyager before supporting Dance Gavin Dance in May.
Although 2013 sees them set for big things, it follows a turbulent 2012 which saw a line-up change with vocalist Jordan Samuel replacing Jonny Nelson and keyboardist Tom Cotton also departing from the band. Nevertheless now with an album in the works and a wealth of UK shows scheduled, expect to see Violet on the rise in the coming months.
We caught up with guitarist Sam Bass for a quick chat to find out how the line-up changes have affected the band, how the album is coming along and their forthcoming tour dates.
Already Heard: Hi. Can you introduce yourself and your role in Violet?
Sam Bass: I’m Sam, I play guitar in Violet.
AH: You have had a few line up changes recently – do you feel you are now the band you want to be?
Sam: Yeah, we feel that we have definitely moved the band in the right direction. We are working towards the band we want to be, but there has never really been an aim, we just do our thing.
AH: How has the dynamics changed within the band; in terms of playing live and creating new songs?
Sam: Definitely for the better. We’ve really grown as a band recently and I think we’re writing the best music we’ve ever written.
AH: You started recording this week for your first album on Small Town Records, how has it been getting back in the studio?
Sam: It’s been amazing, We’ve been sitting on these songs for a while now, so its been awesome giving life to them. I can’t express enough how proud we are of these songs.
AH:You have been with Small Town for a while now and have had a lot of opportunities because of it – reflecting back, how would you describe the whole experience so far?
Sam: We feel that Small Town were the first people to really believe in us and we feel very lucky to be in the position we are in. The last year or so has been, on the whole, an amazing experience.
AH:How was your first European tour with A Lot Like Birds – are you looking forward to going back in April with Now, Voyager?
Sam: It definitely lived up to expectations. We all feel extremely lucky to have shared that experience with such a great bunch of guys. We’d hope to have the opportunity to play with them again in the future. Now, voyager seem like a great band, so we have high hopes for another awesome tour.
AH:Has your extensive touring affected your live shows in any way?
Sam: I honestly think we’ve got better as a live band. You ache during the day and wish you hadnt gone so hard the night before, but we wouldnt change a thing. We love playing live and just give it our all every time.
AH:I know Dance Gavin Dance are a big influence throughout the whole band – how does it feel to know you are touring with them in May?
Sam: We are so excited for this tour. We’ve listened to them for years and its a real honour to play with a band that we are all fans of.
AH: What should we expect to hear on the new record? Any changes of direction or surprises?
Sam: I think it sounds like Violet. Maybe just a progression of what we have done in the past. We’ve kinda incorporated an R&B element through Jordan (Samuel – vocals,) but it feels natural. They are the most honest songs that we’ve ever written and I think that comes across. We’re just really excited for everyone to hear this album, its killing us.
AH:You are also playing Takedown Festival this year, do you have any other plans to play any more festivals?
Sam: There’s a few being thrown around but we can’t make any promises yet. The focus at the minute is just to get the album moving forward and then we’ll go from there.
AH:How do festivals weigh up against playing smaller shows?
Sam: Its just good to see friends that you may not have seen for a while. The fact that you are normally around for a full day just makes it an awesome experience. Its better than being stuck in a van for 10 hours on the same motorway. Crowds are always really enthusiastic at festivals, we love it.
Violet begin their UK tour with Now, Voyager on 9th April.
9 Camden Barfly, London
10 Roadmender 3, Northampton
11 Met Lounge, Peterborough
12 The Cookie Jar, Leceister
13 The Vic Inn, Derby
15 Space Bar, Newcastle
Violet will also be on tour with Dance Gavin Dance, Closure In Moscow, and Affiance in May.
7 Sub 89, Reading
8 The Peel, Kingston
9 The Haunt, Brighton
10 White Rabbit, Plymouth
11 Takedown Festival, Southampton
12 Hobo’s, Bridgend
13 The Vault, Rugby
14 NQ Live, Manchester
16 The Classic Grand, Glasgow
17 Rock City, Nottingham
18 The Garage, London
19 The Westcoast Bar, Margate
Words by Sean Reid