James Mcvey

James McVey

The Vamps


1 . What was your school like?

I went to an average mixed sex comprehensive school in dorset. It was nothing special, but some of the teachers were great.

2. What is your favourite memory from school?

I took triple english at school and I always remember loving the debates we would have in class about how one could interpret a piece of literature differently.

3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?

I think the biggest help from school with regards to music was school bands- I met other musicians in school and we would come together and jam out a few songs. I guess that's where I started to learn how to play guitar. 

4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?

I was overweight in my younger years, and that didn't help. Whilst my school taught me a great deal about the society I live in, and developed my social skills, it was a very large school. This meant there were a LOT of students. I remember vividly there was a group of guys a couple years older than me that would give me a hard time. One guy in particular- I think a few of my friends once played basketball with him and had a fallout, however somehow the result of that was constant bullying towards me in school. I would be punched in the stomach whenever I was seen in the corridors, and told that I would to be 'cut up and hidden under the floorboards'. I tried messaging him online but there was no reasoning at all. It was a happy day for me when he left school the following year. 

5. What was the lowest/worst part of the bullying?

I think for me, the worst part was the fear before school, and also walking through the corridors; there's nothing worse than living in constant fear in a place you're meant to feel safe.

6. What was your favourite school subject?

I loved history and english literature.

7. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?

I always looked forward to new classes and new people. I think the best piece of advice I could give would be to start school after the summer as a fresh; any grudges you may have had with people before the summer will have hopefully blown over throughout the six weeks off, and you have a real opportunity to gel with new people as well.

8. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?

I was always nervous about he unknown- new classes put me out of my depth. The best way to address this was to literally throw myself at new challenges and learn along the way. 

9. What was your favourite school meal?

I didn't have cooked school meals, so I tended to eat pizza from the school tuck shop when I had spare change haha!

10. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?

I would just put myself forward for more things. I would've been part of the sports team, done more school shows and generally made more of an effort with people and activities. I wish I had put myself out there a little bit more than I did. 

11. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?

I think it's important to know that after school ends, you never need to see the bullies again; the likelihood is they will not achieve academically, and probably pick on others for this reason. 

It's important to really hit the nail on the head with the bullying- I didn't, and I regret it majorly. Speak to teachers. I know that's not easy, but they're the people who can REALLY make arrangements at school that can end it. Good luck, you're not alone 

12. What difference would an Anti-Bullying Ambassador have made?

I think having someone who would actively aid me in my struggle would've been a massive help; I honestly had no idea what to do or even who to speak to. I was embarrassed speaking to my friends or family about it at the time, so having somebody neutral would've been a great aid.