"Let's face it, getting somewhere in this business has become so difficult": Vega on the perils of being in a band, losing key members, and the love of the road

Vega group shot
(Image credit: Frontiers Music)

With a colourful sound that manages to fuse AOR, modern rock and pop, accompanied by an unapologetic irreverent wit, West Midlands-based rockers Vega have recorded and toured regularly since forming back in 2009. 

Below, lead singer Nick Workman talks to Classic Rock about the birth of their eighth album, Battlelines, and starting over after a significant line-up change.


The Martin twins – bassist Tom and keyboard player James – both left the group last year. As co-founders and key elements of Vega’s writing team, that seems like a massive loss

The real world got in the way. That’s literally all it was. But people seem to forget that I co-wrote every Vega song that’s been released. People told me: “Oh mate, you should quit now.” Why? I wrote those songs as well, and as far as I’m concerned we have made a brilliant album. 

Your comment about the real world underlines a statement from Tom Martin, who said working with Vega was inhibiting his day job. Being in a band has never been more difficult, has it? 

Mate, it’s fucking horrendous. And what happens when all of the Jurassic Park-style bands keel over and die when people haven’t supported those on the way up? There will be nobody left to fill arenas. That’s what one of the songs on the album, 33s And 45s, is about. Streaming is killing it all. I don’t make a single penny from Spotify, and that’s where most of the action happens.

The new album offers plenty of variety, yet it retains the DNA of Vega’s identity. 

Without the twins it was never going to sound completely like [old] Vega. This time, Pete [Newdeck, drummer] came up with a lot of music. But like I said, I’ve written the melody lines to all of the Vega songs, so that classic element of our sound was always going to be present. 

The song God Save The King seems to rail against the exorbitant cost of maintaining a royal family. 

Actually, it’s not about the monarchy at all. That song was inspired by delusional narcissists in everyday life. I think everybody knows one. It’s a trait of a lot of lead singers! I’m not pro- or against the royal family. They have – in the past – had a lot to do with why this country has been great.

Vega’s fourteen-date British headline tour is your biggest to date. 

Each of us is really looking forward to that. Let’s face it, getting somewhere in this business has become so difficult, we only do this now because we still love going out on the road. I really love doing it. 

What would you say to a Vega virgin who was contemplating going to one of the shows? 

Regardless of the weather, expect to get hot and sweaty. This is five blokes having a great fucking time by playing songs with massive choruses. You’ll probably lose your voice singing along. 

And do you have a message for those who predicted the end of Vega? 

[Grinning and thumbing his nose] “Ner, ner, ner, nerrr, ner.” 

Battlelines is out on now via Frontiers Music. Vega's UK tour is underway - for remaining dates and tickets, visit their website

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.