|Happy 1st Anniversary To Vintage Trouble - Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Tazz Stander|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:00|
I've always had this theory that bands either create the perfect album the first time around and then fail to ever get near it again, or they take many years to create anything near a great album and then explode. Vintage Trouble don't fall into either of these categories - well they do fall partly into the former category I can assure you now this is a band that are destined to form their own category by producing one brilliant album after the other, something unheard of in this day and age.
The guys have already started this brilliance with the release in 2010 of 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions', which is music to make you happy when you've simply forgotten how to do so, and by its own humbleness it is almost an underestimation of what their soulful blues-rock is capable of. They've got songs to voice your anger at a world in distress, they've got songs to get you over a heartbreak, they've got songs to make you dance like the new James Brown, and they've got songs that put soul into rock, but most importantly they do all this like they were BORN TO DO IT. The sheer brilliance of a rhythm section that knows no end to shaking your money-maker, a guitarist that has been under the radar for so long that every A&R guy in the world should be ashamed of their ability at talent scouting, and a vocalist who brings this melting pot together with the most outstanding vocal duality I've heard in decades. Vintage Trouble (that's Ty Taylor on vocals, Nalle Colt on guitar, Rick Barrio Dill and Richard Danielson on bass and drums respectively) come all wrapped up in 3 piece suits and are ready to share their party with you.
I could compare Ty Taylor's vocals to any of the late and great soul legends and possibly some current vocalists too but I would rather give you my own take on it all. You see I could imagine a whole host of legendary bands covering Vintage Trouble's songs in their quest to stay young and hip, yet I couldn't quite imagine Ty and the boys covering any other bands music, because their own is just so incredibly unique whilst still drawing on all these legends as major influences.
The more I listen to it, (which has been pretty much non-stop since I got the album), the more I realise that on 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' the band have simply brought back the roots in our rock, an age old tried and trusted formula that the VT guys deliver with style, confidence and such class that it's hard not to fall in love with music all over again. I know this is literally just a bunch of guys having fun and doing what they love best, but a lot of attention had been drummed up in London after the band spent a week playing gig after gig after gig and grooving their way into the souls of all that got to see them. One of their new fans said to me after a riotous Saturday Night show in Camden that, "This is one of the few bands I've seen that has an awesome album out which actually sounds slightly disappointing after you've seen them live". Big statements are following these boys although, for me, the awesome album remains awesome whilst they're not in the UK giving me a "soulgasm!"
I seriously could go on forever about how great Vintage Trouble are - sometimes I even catch myself gushing over their brilliance - but for me, the essence lies in the guys themselves. Hailing from L.A. and being snapped up (and rightfully so) by the legends that are Doc McGhee and Snake Sabo, I really didn't anticipate the guys to be so down to earth, so nice and incredibly presentable. I don't actually know what I had been expecting but suffice it to say, these guys are real gentlemen, and the kind you take home and introduce to Mamma. During the time I spent with the guys we touched on Ty's vision of his father's unrealised poetic abilities and it struck me that he was totally unaware that he is a product of his parents very own poetry. Even though he claims that his Dad isn't poetic, he came into this world with enough poetry to create incredibly beautiful and soul inspiring, thought provoking, honest music and I think his natural ability in doing so far outweighs his own understanding of what his potential actually is.
It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to get to chat to all the boys in a rare (it's hard to pin down a whole band for an interview nowadays!) entire band interview: actually, what follows was more of a conversation than an interview - heaps of honesty, lots of laughing and I tried my best to keep some form of structure by asking questions. This is also one of the very rare interviews that has hardly been edited, it's from the heart, full of emotion and has buckets full of soul.
After a whirlwind few months, taking you back to the beginning when you formed in Venice Beach, talk me through finding each other and what all your past talents involved.
Rick: I was playing all around Los Angeles, doing what I do in LA being in 6 different bands, scattered, until I guess, you find the right thing. I had known the rest of the guys for a while and we had been talking about things, scheming about where we wanted to go but it was all about timing. For me personally, when the opportunity came up, I jumped on it and that's why for me, it came about so quickly.
Rich: I met Ty a number of years ago jamming with friends in dark rooms, late at night, sweating and just letting it all hang out. This is really the forte of Ty and I - improvising and being in the moment, having fun. We always looked at each other and I think we were probably thinking the same thing. Sure enough, Ty did call me when the time was right and here we are.
Rick: London Baby (laughing) Ty'ming, we should trade mark that!
Rich: These guys were going into the studio to record a song, just off the cuff and they called me to come down and record it. I went down and we played the song in the studio and Nalle said, "Hey, what are you doing next week, let's go play a show".
Rick: (Laughing) What are you doing for the rest of your life?
Rich: We went a played a show literally 7 days later, at Harvelles and that was the beginning really.
Nalle: February 25th, we actually have a 1-year anniversary.
Ty: That's our paper anniversary (laughing) Dollars.
Nalle: I'm from Sweden and I went to LA to get into real music. I played around with a lot of bands and had some ups and downs but you find your way and you just go on. I ran into VT and it was just perfect - to get the chance to really do what I feel inside and seeing people enjoying it.
(Looking at Ty) You've had so many changes, from taking part in Rockstar INXS with a mohawk and big guns to touring with the likes of Eric Clapton and Tina Turner and now you're a new age James Brown.
Ty: Wow. I had the mohawk for about 7 years and I think it was one of those things that I loved in the beginning and when everyone else got one, it wasn't fun anymore. Underneath it all, I think I've always been the same person, I just think that what's happened recently is that enough walls have been taken down which made me realise that music really comes from deep down, it's not about the external. So for me, I'm all about stripping down everything that was external and had nothing to do with what came from inside me. A lot of the time, we dress ourselves up for entertainment; I think I just stripped myself down for it.
Congratulations are due on your outstanding showcase on Tuesday night. Typically, showcases are pretty hostile with us journalist standing with our arms folded just watching but you had us singing along with you for goodness sake!
Rick: We're going to quote you on that (everyone laughs)
Ty, you started to say something on stage about what it means to play in the UK but stopped short of a full explanation. What did that show mean to Vintage Trouble?
Ty: The reason I stopped short is because it's kind of emotional for all of us and to try and speak about it when your nerves are on edge and you're so excited. You grow up and so many of our favourite bands are from England and it's also something about the acceptance that England has in its diversity for music. I've always thought about Jimi Hendrix and Tracey Chapman, African Americans that are doing different things, which it's hard to accept in America but when they go to Europe, they accept it as music. The idea of being here and making music with Vintage Trouble is a little bit ... it's not a little bit, it's a lot of bit of a dream come true. That is what you always think about. Get a band together and go overseas. We had only been together for 6 months and we were driving to a meeting with someone who was selling us a lot of bullshit about what we had to do and the process and we said we wanted to go to England. They were like, "Yeah, stay in town, get a following for a year and a half and then we'll go there". When we got on the plane, we were all looking at each other saying, "Remember that car ride?" To be in England, there is something very raw about it but there is also something very fashionable - just the whole style of England. We are also representing our Country in a new place. Everyone in America is already American, it's nice to go somewhere and be part of 'an away game' and you want to test out and see if your skills work off your home field. To be in a room full or journalists or a room full of people that don't know you, it makes you step up your magic. This one woman said to me after a show at Harvelles, "It must feel powerful to cause dance".
Ain't that cool? That's kind of our superhero power. When you start a show, it's more exciting for me to have people start with their arms folded; we then have to work harder to get them in to you. To watch the transformation happening in the room is delicious. For us to not know anyone in town, acting like a snowball, every show that we do, we're gathering people with us, going from venue to venue, it feels like our powers are working. It makes you strengthen your game. Life is about challenge right? The more challenges you get, the stronger you become. I think we have really hopped over a lot of challenges very early on which has made us become stronger and closer because we've been knocking down walls at a pace that only superhero's can do!
It certainly appears that it's been 'back of the net' for you guys over here and what you're doing is totally infectious. I know I've been infected. You're totally breathing new life into age-old music.
Ty: What is soul music?
It's music that makes me happy when I've forgotten how to make myself happy.
Rick: Yeah alright, that is great.
'Run Outta You' is that song for me (laughing) it's the song that gets me naked dancing in the morning - what a horrible thought that's left you with now huh?
Ty: That's a slow, deep 3, 6, 8 dance in a way (everyone laughs)
Rich: I would like to think that the reason we can move people in a room, especially a room full of journalists, it's because of soul. It's making them move at that level. For us, it's not come watch the band - you watch and we'll play. Our thing is come and experience what is going on in that entire room, not just on stage. It's all of us together having a moment that is the beauty of soul music.
I totally defy anyone to stand still at one of your gigs. Even my friend with the crutch was grooving to your set. Shaking the stick of soul (Everyone laughing)
Rich: There was this guy at Harvelle's once, he had a cane and he blurted out to us, "You made me dance on my bad leg" (everyone laughs).
Rick: The greatest part of that was Ty's comeback. He said, "That's the good leg bro, that's the leg that challenges you" (everyone laughs).
Vintage Trouble seems to have whipped up the perfect formula in terms of creating a band in under 12 months. Releasing an album, being signed to one of the biggest managers in the world, scoring a Honda TV Commercial and now on route to conquering both the UK and the States alike. Why do you think success has knocked so loudly for you yet other bands have tried for so many years and not got anywhere?
Nalle: When we started out, instead of thinking about how we can fit in and the commercial perks of getting signed, we did the opposite, we did music that we wanted to do. That payback has been so great. We've met a lot of musicians that have ended up saying, "Why didn't I think of that". Like we said earlier, we weren't think about music, we just did music that we love, it's in our heart.
So they shouldn't try so hard?
Ty: That's a difficult thing to say.
Nalle: We've tried really hard too, we work really hard and we love playing music. We wanted to stay in LA and it was a case of how we could do it without spending too much money but play a lot. We set up these residencies, which we still do when we're at home. The payback has just been amazing along with the joy that the Trouble Makers bring by keeping on coming to the shows.
It's pretty amazing watching your Youtube videos and hearing your fans singing right along with you, that is pretty priceless.
Rich: I like that saying - Lightening in a bottle. I think the magic of this project lies in the chemistry of the players and when you put us in a room together, this is what happens. For me it's that clichéd word of chemistry in these four players: we're all bringing certain elements to it, it's gelling with other things and even if it's clashing, it's clashing in a really magical way. It's like Rick and I for example...
Rick: Bass and Drums - it's great, we look at each other and go, "that's great how we clash" because it's getting back to what Nalle just said - it's natural. Something that I fall back on a lot, aside from the chemistry, which you can't overstate. Each of us have had a certain level of lower level success - well, Ty, on a much higher level - independently but once you put it together, to me, you can't use the word chemistry enough. When you truly truly have it, then everything else just seems to be easy.
Visually, I wouldn't have chosen the four of you to be in the same band but at the same token, I couldn't imagine any of you being replaced by someone else. Does that make any sense at all?
Rick: It makes complete sense. The other beauty is, even if it's in a creative process or a song writing process, to extend the chemistry further, there are great checks and balances between us that kind of keep us all honest. You'll go too far, all of us have our guard down and the others will just say something and you'll stand back and go, "really, did I fuck that up?" It's just great, it's fantastic.
Rich: When we first started this project, Ty had said that he wanted this band to be THE band that we all felt we could do whatever we felt we could never do before in all of the bands we had been in before. There are no rules, there are no limits: Bring everything that you have and we all did that and it just happened to be the right ingredients.
Ty: I think one of the differences too is somewhere halfway through our process we learnt it was more important to effect people than to do what the standard music business would consider in succeeding. So it wasn't about trying to get record deals and things like that it was more about really working with the people that are in front of you while you are performing to them. Allowing people to leave feeling like they are part of the band. There is so much music entertainment but there aren't a lot of things that people participate in. People won't go and see four bands in a week but they will go to four parties in a week so if you make it feel more like a party then people will come all the time. When success turns away from the pot of dollars and into how people feel then it all leads to whatever you want it to lead to. Once you know there are people feeling what you're doing it's going to lead to the dollars, it's going to lead to the happiness, it's going to lead to your family being proud about you. It's not just trying to reach a superficial goal, actually what you're doing is you're changing the world. Like you were saying, you listen to 'Run Outta You' in the morning and it's your mantra to get you started and to make you feel amazing, then really, we're kind of already doing it with little seeds - starting the movement. Like we were talking about the 50's and 60's in music, it was a hard time in history but the music was amazing. There were so many movements involved: people came together and did things together and that is where a lot of the strength came from. The bigger our army, the more Vintage Trouble can succeed.
(Looking over at Snake - VT's Co-manager and guitarist in Skid Row) Could you just sit there and every 2 minutes shout, "Run Outta You"? (All laugh)
Rich: By the way Tazz, on a personal level, thank you so much for shouting that out to us at the gig, it instantly made us feel at home.
(Laughing) I just couldn't wait to hear it! Ty's comment after I shouted for it was the quickest response I had ever heard.
Ty: (Laughing) I've never heard it in that accent.
I'm suitably proud of the fact that you guys backed me up with all my talk to everyone about how great Vintage Trouble are.
Ty: You're suitable proud? I love that.
Keeping with the theme of success, you started off in the UK with a showcase and 2 shows. At 2pm on Friday, you announced another show for Friday night. The Brits have obviously go the Trouble Making bug and it's not gone unnoticed that you're achieving things that some of London's bigger bands can't achieve. What are you doing differently?
Nalle: We've got good management (laughing)
Ty: "Run Outta You" (all laughing)
Nalle: We want to play. We had the opportunities and we found some great connections here to help us out and my God, we're in the UK, we should be playing 3 times a night.
Rick: Snake said it yesterday, "we could wind you up and put you in front of anywhere and you will play". So for us, we just want to play. In addition to being a fan of anything in old soul, Prince was legendary whereby he would play a show, you could buy a ticket to that show but the shit that you really heard about was that he then went and set up and played for 2 or 3 hours until the sun came up in some seedy place and that was the one that you didn't really know about, you had to seek that one out - that was the end of the branch where the fruit really was. Whether it was with fans or with friends that is where you get to stretch out and try new stuff. Combining that with technology, putting something out on Twitter or Facebook ... we only have a little following now but hopefully what we did last night makes it a little bigger today.
Before introducing 'Nancy Lee' to the audience on Tuesday night, Ty, you boldly told an anecdote about your Mum and Dad and related the song to your imagination of your Dad's poetry to your Mum, if he were a poet. Amazingly, in your video you've got Carmit Bachar from the Pussy Cat Dolls making an appearance. I'm hoping it's because you don't relate to her as a mum?
Ty: (Laughing) Yeah, exactly. First of all, she's a friend of ours so it wasn't us trying to see what hot girl we could get to do the video although it's nice that people don't know that as it seems like we have more clout (laughing). It's very interesting because my Mom also said that, "how come I'm red headed". I need to feel like my Dad would have felt and if she had looked too much like my Mom, I couldn't have looked at her romantically. On top of that, my Mom emotes to something that is so open, forward and honestly beautiful which I think Carmit also has so it was more important to get someone that put that energy out there than it was that they were black.
Why does the world need Vintage Trouble now?
Ty: Because the music makes a turn around.
Damn he's fast. Have you thought about that?
Ty: We have a song called 'World's Gonna Have To Take A Turn Around" and it's on the new album, just recorded [Ty stops and just stares at me and no one is saying a word - all I can say is ...]
Ty: (Laughing) Yeah.
[At this point, all of us spoke at once so the conversation is completely lost for a few seconds]
Ty: You've seen a lot of the songs live.
Rich: I know why America needs Vintage Trouble but I don't know about the world. Everything I listen to when I turn on the radio is so slick and over produced and processed - it's just all crap, at least for me. I think one of the reasons people are grabbing on to Vintage Trouble is that it emits on an unconscious cellular level is because of the way it grooves and swings and makes you feel. There are no frills and hype with it. Its soul music, it's in your soul. I think the world as a whole, needs more soul and hopefully we can deliver some of that through our music.
Awesome. I've always had this opinion that your soul is your belly button. You guys make mine vibrate!
Rick: That's great, I've never heard that but I love the thought.
If you think about it, any kind of emotion is felt there right?
Rick: Sure, if you think about it being your tie to your creator.
I got that from when I was really young and I pierced my belly button and an old hippy mate walked past me and said, "Oh my God, you've just pierced your soul".
Nalle: The simplicity of music, for me personally, I miss it. When you go and see bands, they make everything so difficult. Especially in pop music now, they mix in so much, stage scenarios - it's cool and all but I miss being a kid and just going to see bands: that feeling of pure, straight up wow.
Rick: We're just stripped down. No keyboards, no background singers, no nothing.
It is pretty amazing. I've always said the ultimate rock 'n roll show is fundamentally being able to take your own energy, giving it to the audience and taking it back again and I think that's where a lot of it is lost in these massive over produced shows. It's just a headfuck and you can't follow anything.
Chatting to Doc McGhee the other night, he threw around a few band names that he thought you would do great on tour with. Who would you guys say your ultimate tour would be with?
Rick: Somebody who won't kick us off (everyone laughs)
Rich: There are some acts here, I don't know if they're ultimate, God that's a tough one. Adele, love her.
Ty: Amy Winehouse. Historically, because I think we're all so into classic music, we would like to open for Led Zeppelin if they were to get back together. To be on a legendary tour, to be on the road with The Stones - to be on one of those tours that would really validate us as far as being with someone that you know has enthused what you're doing and the fact that you could play before them and then sit and be the kid afterwards in the wing, checking out, in person, every night, all the things that have inspired you. Any legend that would have us, I would like to be on the road with.
Bon Jovi? (Everyone laughs) They'll be back in June!
Rick: We've been talking about that, it would be great.
What's next on the cards for Vintage Trouble, after shocking me with confessions of a new album?
Rick: Well the 2nd record is basically in the can and we've been working on a lot of videos - real guerrilla style and playing a lot after getting back from here, as soon as possible.
Can we expect you back when the new album comes out for a full UK tour?
Ty: To me, what's happening next for us and it's hard for us because we like to create so much, is we're marketing 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions', we've got to tour it around. As many people that can feel like you about the music, we want to reach them so we will do as much of our writing and stuff in busses and in hotel rooms for a little while because the idea is to have everyone know 'Run Outta You', have everyone know 'Blues Hand Me Down', have everyone know 'It's Not Alright By Me'. Like I said, our mission is to change and we don't want to overload. We want to use 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions', the record you know, we want everyone to know about this while creating what's happening next, as we travel.
'Blues Hand Me Down' is an amazing gym song. I've literally got to stop myself fisting the air (everyone laughs at my visual of fist pumping, gym movements).
Finally, if you could give me one sentence that sums up Vintage Trouble, what would it be?
Rich: Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth'd pelvis-pushin' juke music
That's been done already on your Facebook.
Rich: Can I get a refund please? (Everyone laughs)
Ty: One sentence would be - Just come see it - Forget the explanations, what are my words going to mean? There are no words I can put together that are really going to sum up what it's about. If I could say one thing that would convince people, it would just be: Come to it, come!
Could we just say: Come to it ... and bring your bad leg (everyone laughs)
Rich: On our record flyer we tried to come up with something like that, to sum us up and we came up with, "Join in" which kind of sums us up too because again, to see Vintage Trouble is more to experience Vintage Trouble than to come and watch. We would rather you come and sweat.
Rick: And join in
Guys, thank you so much. I'll make sure everyone who reads Uber Rock checks out your website, so they know just how great your music really is, and also so they can get hold of copies of 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' CD, as it's not that easy for us to get right now in the UK..... (The website people, is http://www.vintagetrouble.com/)
As an aside I just wanted to thank Vintage Trouble for such an awesome interview, and such a brilliant album in 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions'. This is a band that have reawakened my soul, driving my passion forward and bringing colour into an often-grey world. This is a band poetically understanding and capturing the essence of what seemed to be lacking in the NOW. So have a look at the video below for 'Nobody Told Me' and brothers and sisters.....ENJOY YOURSELVES!