THE Vamps’ bass guitarist and vocalist Connor Ball on the four-piece boy band heading back to Sunderland for the second North East Live:
Q: You played last year’s sell out event at the Stadium of Light, so what does it mean to you to be returning to Sunderland?
A: We’re all super excited. There was a brilliant atmosphere last year and we’re really looking forward to coming back. Sharing the stage with Jessie J will be great and we really like Neon Jungle and Jason Derulo.
Q: The Stadium of Light is one of the North East’s biggest venues – how does it feel playing in front of thousands of screaming fans?
A: It’s very scary. It’s nuts that we’re playing to so many people and we do get really nervous but once we’re on stage the atmosphere and the adrenaline kick in and it’s brilliant.
Q: Will you have anyone special in the crowd at the Stadium of the Light?
A: I don’t know – I might do. Our families often drive up to see us in shows and we may get some friends deciding to come up as well but it’s actually even more nerve wracking when you’ve got friends and family in the crowd, so we’ll have to see.
Q: With such an all-star line-up, what will the atmosphere be like back stage?
A: It’s always really good fun. During the summer there are so many festivals and concerts that you often find yourselves sharing the bill with performers you’ve worked with before, so you all get to know each other quite well. That’s how we’ve become friends with Lawson, for example.
Q: So, what are your plans while you’re up here?
A: Unfortunately, because of our schedule, it’s going to be a short visit, which is a shame, because we’d really love to explore the area a bit. With any luck we will be able to stay for the whole show, though, and see all the other acts.
Q: You’re clearly really busy at the moment – so what’s next for The Vamps?
A: We’re going to Australia on a publicity tour this summer, which we’re really excited about – I think it’s mainly Sydney and Brisbane – and then in July and August we’re touring the US with American singer songwriter Austin Mahone, which’ll be amazing.
Q: Any plans to play the North East again soon?
A: Absolutely. Our UK tour starts in September, through to October and we’ll definitely be back in the North East for that.
Q: You and the rest of the band recently made a cameo appearance in Hollyoaks – does this mean we could see you swap singing for acting?
A: (laughing) I don’t think so, no. We were filmed having our picture taken with Peri Lomax (Ruby O’Donnell) and Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) after they’d been to one of our concerts – it was really weird watching it being filmed. I was awful – it’s been screened already but I didn’t watch it. So, no, I don’t think an acting career’s on the cards, but you should never say never.
Q: It sounds as though you’re all living the dream – is it everything you thought it would be?
A: It’s been life-changing. We have such an amazing team behind us – it’s just been incredible. Obviously, we miss our families when we’re away all the time but we can’t complain because we are just so, so fortunate.
Q: Do you think success if often down to luck – to being in the right place at the right time?
A: No, not really. We’ve worked constantly to make this happen and if you do that, if you are totally focused on your career, then it’s not a question of luck: you should be in the right place at the right time.
•The Vamps will be joined by a host of stars for blinkbox music North East Live at the Stadium of Light on June 22, including Rizzle Kicks, The Saturdays, Jason Derulo, Katy B, Union J, Austin Mahone, Neon Jungle, Rixton and headliner Jessie J.
Words courtesy of SAFC and North East Live 2014
We’ve teamed up with North East Live to give away a pair of tickets to the show.
To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: where is North East Live held?
A) Stadium of Light
B) St James’ Park
C) The Riverside
Email your answer to Katy.Wheeler@jpress.co.uk.