You may already be aware of Wakefield based band The Research, but if you’re not – you should be! They make pretty indie pop music, the kind of songs you want to listen to an a blazing hot summer’s day while you’re outside with friends. The Research are the soundtrack to my summer every summer. The upbeat and simple beautiful music puts a smile on my face everytime I hear it. But that’s not the only reason you should check them out – Sarah the drummer is vegan and I had the chance to talk to her about veganism, animals and being on tour!
When I arrive at Manchester’s Dry Bar, The Research are soundchecking. Sarah invites me to wait inside, and watching them soundcheck allows me a glimpse into the backstage lives of the band. This is a band who really do care about the music, and the fans. Instruments are changed, tools are used, coats are stuffed into the bass drum to get the best quality sound possible and while this is going on lead singer, Russel (THE DISASTER), is asking the sound guy to make sure they sound absolutely perfect because he wants the fans to have a good time.
Once the band are ready, Sarah and I find somewhere quiet to sit and she tells me about turning vegan, “I’d been vegetarian for nine years, when I found out I had a dairy intolerance so I started to research why I was affected by dairy products and realised it was quite unnatural for people to drink cows milk! Then I found out about the animal cruelty and the torture that goes on, and I thought ‘that’s it – vegan’. It’s easy to make the switch.
“And now I have more energy. People will always think to the contrary and assume you’re not eating much. I think that’s the misconception – people think you aren’t eating if you’re vegan because not everyone puts tofu and pumpkin seeds in their diet. You have to find out about new things. Eating meat and dairy slows you down as your body has to work twice as hard to digest it and since being vegan I feel energised.”
Sarah is the only vegan in the band, and describes Russel (THE DISASTER) and Georgia as “total carnivores” but says that “When it comes to animal cruelty then I really do raise my voice. If we’re in the tour bus and someone says they want to stop at KFC then I go off on my rant about don’t you know what they do to chickens, don’t you know what you’re consuming!”
I ask Sarah why she thinks the world should go vegan and she replies without a moment’s thought, “We don’t need to eat meat, there’s so much more out there that we can have. The big thing is animals, it’s a corrupt industry and I think there are just innumerable reasons to go vegetarian, to go vegan, anyone who starts to look into it will find a wealth of reasons to try it.
“Factory farming puts animals in horrible, horrible situations. They can’t stick up for themselves or fight, so it’s the duty of people to find out about these things and to step up and say something for the animals! I’m always surprised by the amount of people who are unaware of the animal cruelty, Viva! is really important because it makes people aware of what’s happening.”
Sarah talks passionately about saving animals, “People always assume they can’t make a difference because they are just one person, but one individual can make a difference. If everyone assumes they can’t make a difference then no-one will do anything and nothing will change. Individuals have the power to effect change, and we should use this power to help the abused animals.”
Finally, I ask Sarah to give some advice to any vegetarians reading this who are thinking about becoming vegan. “I’d say do it. There’s no harm in trying it. Most vegetarians have a care and concern for animal welfare and I think a lot are shocked when they find out that the kind of torture that animals suffer for meat also happens in dairy and egg farming. I went from vegetarian to vegan a year ago, I feel much healthier and I found it really easy. So, give it a try!”
As we finish the interview, Sarah realises that she has only got 10 minutes until she’s on stage and she dashes off to prepare.
The Research’s debut album Breaking Up is available in stores now, and the band have just finished recording their second album which will be on sale later this year.
To find out more about The Research, to look up gig dates or to listen to their music, please visit www.myspace.com/theresearch