Showcase Spotlight: The Vegan Leather

We chatted with Marie from The Vegan Leather about the strangest gig they've ever played, what we can expect from their upcoming live show at Wide Days and what's next for the band... 

Who are The Vegan Leather?

The Vegan Leather an art-pop quartet, consisting of Matt, Duncan, Gianluca, and myself, Marie!

We always get asked what we mean by "art-pop", and I think all we really mean is our appropriation of art into pop music. We want to take the traditional 'pop' style and merge it with  formal values of music, art, and even poetry. I think we have quite an 'arty' ethos when it comes to making music. It pertains to the 20th century, where the boundaries between art and pop music became quite blurred. I think in making our 'pop' music, we're thinking a lot about culture, and different theories pertaining to art, and I think this comes across in our music, lyrics and even the way we visually present ourselves. A lot of our influences seem to do this too - Talking Heads, Kate Bush, Christine & the Queens, Sparks, Bjork, to name a few! But yeah, 'art-pop quartet' is a lot easier to say, haha!

You guys have earned yourselves the reputation as being one of Glasgow’s most danceable and innovative live acts, what can we expect from your live show?

The live shows are definitely notorious for getting the crowd moving! Our aim is to create an electric atmosphere as naturally as possible. We want to have a huge live band presence, but blend it with a more produced sound. It's definitely music for both feet and mind!

What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever played?

We played in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which was incredible, but really strange! I mean strange in the best possible way. There were dinosaur skeletons, trapeze artists, and a  12-foot long South Pacific  feast bowl, which we all thought was a canoe . The space was huge, and it was a total honour playing there. Our dressing room even had a suit of armour in it too. Disclaimer: we didn't touch it. Gian's head did not get stuck.

Who would you like to speak at an event like Wide Days and why?

This is such a difficult question! From previous years, Wide Days has had such an amazing cross-section of people in the industry. There are so many people and subjects we would love to learn more about. From a songwriting/musician aspect, I'd love to hear Anna Meredith talk about her music after winning the SAY award with 'Varmints.' We all really love that album, and are interested in how she mixes 'pop' with 'classical'. Although we don't play classical, we're always trying to mix things together, and it'd be great to hear her process. I think we'd all love to hear more about different labels, and festivals too. And radio as well. Oh, and music journalism. And music law. Maybe about publishing too. There's far too many things to list. But we're extremely excited.

Lastly, what have you got planned for the coming months?

We have a lot coming up! I feel like we have been planning for months, making sure we have the sound we want. We're playing a lot of festivals, and just plan on getting out there, with more singles and as many live dates as we can around the country, and beyond!

Ailsa Harper