ASCENSION 2019 - MEET VELLA!
A band that are certainly no strangers to The Patriot and, indeed, to us at Down The Front Media, having covered VELLA live and recently playing their fantastic new single ‘Unpopular’ on Episode #114 of Down The Front podcast (https://downthefront.podbean.com/e/episode-114-down-the-front-podcast/) we are delighted to have this teenage four-piece playing ASCENSION.
VELLA are a fairly new band, and took a while to solidify their line-up, as frontman Chris Williams explains “Me and our drummer Dylan formed the band about a year ago, from there we tried loads and loads of people out to play bass. I’d say it took about 6 months to find Ross and we are incredibly lucky to have him.” Why did it take so long to find a bass player? “It’s just crazy that kids don’t want to play the bass, so it was really challenging to find a good one. After we found Ross, Liam, our lead guitarist, joined the ranks and we were ready to rock”
And ready to rock they certainly are, but with a short amount of time together we wondered how VELLA have evolved their music from both a writing and live perspective. “I had previously written a couple of songs to get us going before the band was properly formed, so the lads learnt them and we gigged them for a little while as we were writing new stuff.” says Williams, and it looks like as the band played and wrote more as a collective everything started to click into place. Chris agrees, “Once we started gigging the material that we had created between us, it was like a switch had been flicked on. When we did our first live performance it sounded really good, I was so impressed with the boys but the only thing that was missing was a bit of movement on stage. Ross, now, gets off the stage most gigs and starts playing in the crowd, Liam absolutely shreds his guitar in the centre of the stage during his solos and Dylan, every time I look behind me while really going for it, the facial expressions he pulls are just awesome. He gets so lost in the music it’s just epic.”
We can certainly attest to their live shows, having caught them a couple of times in the past and we wanted to know who, if anyone, their live influences are. “Highly Suspect is a big one for me and Ross, you just have to love the way that Johnny (front man) puts all of his heart and soul into his live performances, the way he moves about the place is incredible while playing that beautiful yellow Fender Strat. Liam loves Black Stone Cherry an awful lot, he could well have a shrine to them in his bedroom and Dylan loves a bit of Alter Bridge, especially drummer Scott Phillips playing style”
Chris describes VELLA’s sound as “the lovechild of Kings of Leon, Boston Manor & Stereophonics” and says that the best thing about playing live is “seeing people dance, move and really enjoying your music. There’s no better feeling than a room full of people singing back the words to a song you’ve written. Also, we just love the feedback from people at the end of gigs, massive love to everyone who tries to help us on our journey”
Somewhat ironically their recently released single ‘Unpopular’, produced by Romesh Dodangoda, is proving to be quite popular with music fans since its release on May 6th with the video racking up 20k views which Chris cites as one of the bands proudest moments so far.
VELLA play ASCENSION on opening night, Friday June 7th, taking to the stage at 22:15 pm and Chris tells us why he’s looking forward to playing this particular event, “It’s a very local gig for us and we just can’t wait to see all of our fans that we’ve acquired in a short space of time. Vella T-Shirts seem to becoming a lot more popular than we ever imagined *laughs*” and what can we expect from VELLA? “A good fuckin’ party”
We’ll drink to that.