“Where in the world are The Vamps right now?” is a very real question I have asked myself aloud upon logging into to my social media in the morning.
Scrolling through Instagram, will I see the band posting straight-from-the-stage photos from Japan? Will we spot behind-the-scenes snaps posted as they record a collaboration with another one of our favorite artists, like Sabrina Carpenter, Maggie Lindemann, or Tini Stoessel? Or will the guys be home in the UK, enjoying some well-deserved Nando’s on the one day off that they must get a year?
Something truly special about the band is that the guys are always on the road, and that’s where the stories I have to share come into place.
I first met The Vamps back in 2014. Bradley Simpson, Connor Ball, James McVey, and Tristan Evans were all teenagers then, and they stopped by my local mall in New Jersey on one of the hottest imaginable days of the summer. While they had found fame and a sizeable following back home, they were relatively new on the US music scene, and I was excited for what I could tell was going to be ahead for the guys.
I interviewed the band over lunch in a small break room before they hit the stage. Before I properly met them, I giggled to myself out of irony because their crew was eating pasta, salad, and pasta salad. As I shook hands with the guys, I got the story behind the armfuls of bracelets and wristbands they wore back then: each one represented an international adventure, an important event, or a fan encounter, and that couldn’t be more perfect.
During our first interview, the guys and I chatted about their musical influences, their career goals, and even the guys’ favorite Disney princesses. But what stood out to me was the consensus shared among the guys that they wanted to be able to tour the world and share their sound with others.
Was there somewhere in the world they dreamed of going? Yes, anywhere they hadn’t been yet. Even to places they had been, they would dream of returning as many times as possible. Any giant arena, any speck on the map, any place listeners listened and musicians could make music.
At the time, I knew “boy band” wasn’t the appropriate term for the work The Vamps does, but full-fledged rock stars they were not yet. I remember thinking then that the band was in the middle of creating a whole new musical category of their own, a thought I still fully stand behind today.
Since that first meeting, I have seen the band perform an additional eight times. Yes, outside of a Macy’s store in New Jersey. Opening for other artists, and collaborating with them. But also at a few sold-out New York City venues, at their record label’s office, and in a magical Los Angeles space. Every single set has been full of excitement and surprises.
While I obviously love listening to the guys’ recorded music, there is something truly magical about hearing them perform live. At each and every one of their performances, I have sat, stood, or danced around completely transfixed by their onstage presence.
Which is why it is so important that the band focuses so much of their energy on touring. Every fan should have the opportunity to go out and hear The Vamps perform live at some point in their life. Even casual listeners should consider giving their live shows a chance, as I can practically guarantee they will quickly be converted into fully-dedicated superfans — even before Tristan hits his mesmerizing drum solo.
And the thing is, you can go out and see The Vamps somewhere near you. The fact that I have seen the guys nine times in three years should alone be an indicator that these guys are working hard to reach your eyes and ears. Now in their early 20s, they can’t possibly have any un-stamped pages left in their passports: if one of the band’s earliest goals was to reach every corner of the globe, they are well on their way to doing it and even circling back for an encore or two.
I have wondered so many times how they haven’t burnt out or gotten tired. And the thing is, it’s not that they won’t be physically exhausted after action-packed shows — I’m sure they are. But it’s the fact that these guys are out there doing not only what they love, but what they are meant to do that keeps me so impressed and inspired.
While they are performing for bigger audiences than ever, and their international reach and fan base grows, the guys are still doing store events, meet and greets, and fan hangouts. Because that is where they can meet us all most. You can see how hard The Vamps work, and how they have earned every bit of success and exposure through their own talents. I promise that you can’t say that about just anyone.