The Interrogation Of Vintage Trouble Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Sunday, 06 July 2014 03:00

VTmiclead500

 

Let's get this straight right from the off: I am a big Vintage Trouble fan, I consider myself a TroubleMaker. I have seen them more times live than any other band now and, personally, I think they are currently the best live band out there. 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' is a great album and those songs will always have a special place in my heart, but their second album has the potential to be an absolute killer. I have heard the songs they have, but where is the follow up to an album that came out three years ago?

 

I have written a lot about VT in the past, maybe too much, but I am passionate about a band I love and I want to see succeed. For me, they always seem to be teetering on the edge of mainstream success, but what's it going to take to tip them over and when is it going to happen?

 

Sure, I get that they are on different career plans to other bands but it would help if they let us in on those plans.

 

VT have done a shit load of gigging, supporting the likes of The Who and Lenny Kravitz. They have played on basically all the TV shows that mean anything in the US (in several cases more than once), no one can question their work rate, yet they have just released a 5 track acoustic EP with 3 new songs and wait for it...2 re-worked from 'TBSS'. Yet they have all these unreleased songs kicking about. The elusive second album still seems nowhere near to being released and it frustrates the hell outta me! I am not the only one, but are we being too greedy, do we expect too much from a band that is still really in its infancy?

 

I read interviews with the band and they all seem to cover the same ground, very safe questions with standard answers. I want to challenge them, get edgy, dig deep and maybe get them to question themselves. I want to ask the questions other interviewers don't ask and maybe even get some answers. Shit, I don't want to piss them off though, they are such nice guys.

 

So let's set the scene, the band are over here for the beginning of this year's Summer Of Trouble. It officially starts in two days in Leeds, but tonight they play a private gig at the York Racecourse as part of the University Summer Ball. It's nearly 10pm as we enter the band's dressing room that overlooks the racecourse. As I sit down with Ty, Rick and Nalle I explain my intended questioning and the fact that they might not like some of the questions I ask, so with Vintage Trouble immediately on the defensive we go at it: pass me a drink this could go horribly wrong......

 

VT14gigheader

 

Okay guys, it's been 12 months since we saw you last in the UK. Since then you have been touring heavily, recording and have now signed to Blue Note Records. Has this changed your plans?

 

Rick Barrio Dill - It's a partnership, because what we are doing is we are teaming up with Blue Note Records and Vintage Trouble Records, so the ideal is still intact as far as wanting to do it our way. I think everybody will chime in but the interesting thing is with great power comes great responsibility, right? So I think for us to have that sort of muscle and machine behind us now in partnership, it makes sense to give them proper time to be able to, you know, fuel up the gun because they believe in us a lot which is incredibly humbling and for us it's exciting. So we want to make sure to do it in a way that is just and gives it it's proper opportunity.

 

Do they still give you free reign to do what you want?

 

RBD - All creative control, yeah.

 

Ty Taylor - Mostly.

 

Nalle Colt - You know, we just started so everything is just kinda tweaking. We've been a free band, we run our own label and everything. You know, a lot of labels came up and offered us deals but when Don Was and Blue Note showed up, I mean you know the history of Blue Note, right? We sat down with him and his vision on what to do with it, it was just so great and we have so much respect for him, it just felt good so we jumped on it. Of course we are used to just doing shit, you know we just do it but now there's a big label behind it so everything needs to be a little bit thought through before we put out stuff and we're not used to that, so they're working with us and we gotta work with them.

 

band BandW

 

So they are primarily a Jazz label, yeah?

 

NC - Yeah, they want to move things around now and we are kinda the first band in that kinda style for them.

 

How will they go about marketing you commercially then to a wider audience, because your fan base is basically our age and upwards, people in their '40s and '50s. How will they make you appeal to a younger audience?

 

NC - Well, we haven't really touched on that yet. Right now we are getting the material ready and the first thing now is the acoustic album 'The Swing House Acoustic Sessions', which is kinda a happy surprise for us. We never thought about doing anything like it, we started last year when we were touring here putting in an acoustic part to the show.

 

Yeah, that was awesome, we saw that a few times, I think it was a great thing to do.

 

NC - Yeah and it started growing on us and, you know, when we sit backstage or when we're writing on the tour bus it's acoustic and suddenly we are like maybe we should record like that.

 

Is it all new material on the acoustic album?

 

NC - Three new songs and two old ones that we turned completely upside down, it's actually really exciting. That was fun, to take something old and consider it like a cover and be like "how can we make this Vintage Trouble?" By making it the complete opposite of what it is, that was a great challenge.

 

Ty Taylor - We have done so many things individually prior to becoming Vintage Trouble and our first thought was "Do we have anything to do with major companies?" We thought we had spent enough time falling and failing, listening to other people's ways of doing things. We decided to just take on the challenge ourselves and so we did things like not playing around the same places in LA and we created this machine that all of a sudden the world started listening to. It bought us here and allowed us to reach a lot of people but what really started becoming apparent to me is that, if we are a band you gotta treat yourself like a human being and no man is an island, you need help and it's about learning to reach the masses and we just don't know how to do that. We spent a lot of our time learning to write songs and how to play music and the thing is with Rhythm & Blues music and a lot of original rock 'n' roll music which we base our lives in, is that the people who relate to it are older than 30 years old, you know: they are the people that are going to draw to it automatically without having it shoved down their throats because they recognise it and it reminds them of a time in their lives when they used to be more carefree and have more life and it reminds them of what they were like when they met their husbands and wives and what it was like before they had to pay a lot of bills, so automatically they are going to be connected to it. But at the same time we lucked out because they started bringing their kids to shows, so our demographic is not more people that are over a certain age, that's just the ones that are on our Troublemakers Facebook page a lot, the ones you know about.

 

VT14palm500

 

The usual TroubleMakers, yeah sure.

 

TT - And that's only because the kids are busier on the internet with more things than just one band and so we don't hear from them a lot, but if you go to our shows and test the sales demographic, it's even. In America we have learned that it is more people under that age than above that age. We're relying on a machine that doesn't know how to reach these people and that was the main thing that excited us about getting together with something like a Blue Note/Capitol Records Universal distribution.

 

It's not enough for us to just make music for 10 people, it's not enough for us to make music for 100 people, it's not even enough for us to make music for 1 million people. Our ideal about who we can reach is bigger now, It's like when you're kid, a million dollars seems like so much money, but it's not when you get to be an adult. So for us, reaching thousands of people isn't enough, we have so many people we have to get to so we probably need help. One of the things I've learned is that you can't do anything on your own and we're lucky enough to have people like Doc McGee and now Don Was.

 

I mean when Rick was recently out for a couple of weeks for surgery we had Booker T and our good friend Jack McElroy stand in, but what a lot of people don't know is that Don Was offered to come on the road with us for a couple of weeks. So the fact that we have those kind of people around us that will help at the drop of a dime makes us feel like we've made the right decision having huge moguls be part of our team. We lucked out because these huge people, these people actually like us and they want to hang out and get drunk with us and they want us to call when something funny happens or see that Instagram picture. It lets you know that it's not just business, so hopefully we made the right decision and we're not going to find ourselves in the same place we were before we decided that we needed to be independent.

 

It allowed us to make a partnership with Blue Note Records because they can see that we can sell a million records world wide without them, so they take you on as a different kind of band, they don't take you on as a band that is someone who needs help, they take you on as someone that they also need and so we both have a need for each other.

 

We've all grown up listening to Blue Note records all our lives and we know the pedigree that is involved with it but we also know that they could use a jolt into the present day and we want people that are around today to know about Blue Note Records. We don't want only people our age and above to kind of bow down when they hear Blue Note records, so the fact that we can have Don Was say to us we want to take you on and have you be part of what could be the future and Blue Note reaching that demographic which you were talking about at the beginning how cool is that? Now it makes us need to step up even more because one of our heroes is counting on us to be their hero, so it makes you want to write bad ass songs and to not compromise, but at the same time think about what it would take in order to get those people. Like Amy Winehouse did, like Adele did, these people that took classic music and they reached the teenage homes. We do want to have that and I think the way to do it is to listen to people that know more than we do and to teach them what we know that they do not know. We are around people all the time and we see what makes people dance, we know what makes young people dance as opposed to older people, we're just keeping our finger crossed and doing all the work to make it happen.

 

RBD - I think the TroubleMakers know too, the real TroubleMakers know. I mean, we got the opportunity to go out with The Who and that lead to everything that came after. We toured on 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' which was basically a demo we made and we got this amazing life out of it for this period of time and now people are aware of us.

 

Now to go from playing 300-400 seaters to play 51 dates with The Who across two continents, nobody on that tour, well say 97% of the room every night had never seen us. You know Don Was taking over is a huge deal and I like to think really that we had never thought about a label at all up to that point.

 

[At this point drummer Richard Danielson joins us in the room]

 

VTdrums14500

 

NC - You know what's cool too though? I was talking to some friends the other day and I know how every TroubleMaker is like "when's the new album coming out?" We've been on the road now for three and a half years, we played a year in LA, so basically touring for four and a half years on one album, ten songs... how cool is that?

 

We are still going to places around the world that have never heard us, never seen us, so sometimes it feels a little bit like this industry where artists are forced to have to make a new album. We were talking to publicists and they were saying "well, this album cycle is over, you can't do anything with it," and we are like "what are you talking about?" We can still go to all these places in the world where they haven't heard us. I mean we just went to Mexico they didn't even have the album, they just got it like three weeks ago.

 

Yeah, there's a lot of the world that haven't seen the album but there is also a lot of the world that have had the album for three years like us.

 

NC - Of course, there are songs that have been coming out. We've been playing new music for three years, we have songs that... well for instance we just released a video for 'Another Man's Words'. We had that song when we did the first photo shoot to the original artwork for the album.

 

Yeah, I remember watching a live version on YouTube a long time back.

 

NC - Yeah, we're sitting on so much material which is great.

 

ty screaming

 

RBD - The TroubleMakers, they know us as a live band and they've seen it. How does a band with one record put on a two hour plus show every night? As you guys know, you guys know the drill and I think what it is, is that some of these opportunities have given us an amazing chance to go places. We want to release the stuff too, we just haven't had the ability to put it out. I mean every new opportunity creates this whole new time set for us.

 

TT - Now that you mention it, this is what I mean by don't give somebody all the answers and I'll go right into it now. It's detrimental for people to push along the creative process, that's my main point. I mean, imagine you have kids and that kid is not doing good in Math and a parent sees another kid surpass that kid, they never say to that kid "get past it, look what you're brother's doing, he's released two albums by now." It hurts, you know? We continually put out new stuff and I think people need to realise sometimes that just like anyone else a band are people and I don't think people are careful enough about how they word things and say things because it literally can hurt.

 

I mean we come back every time, we play new music every time, there has never been a shortage of anything new coming from us. So for me, I don't understand the need, I don't get it, but I will give in and say it's coming out next week, I'll also give in again and say it's coming out towards Christmas, but I don't think it helps the process if there's a time limit to anything.

 

Even like Nalle was saying, we're told this is the new cycle, this has to happen now, then all of a sudden the old thing becomes number one on Amazon in America. So as a person you wanna say "it hurts" and as an artist you wanna say "we're working hard everybody, we'll get it out as soon as possible."

 

RBD - It truly isn't an excuse, but these are the reasons and I think the TroubleMakers know the reasons and they're good.

 

VT14tylandscape

 

I guess it's just that some of them are frustrated that you haven't had a new album out.

 

NC - I can see it from both sides, I can see it as a fan or a TroubleMaker.

 

It's just when you say you are sitting on so much material, songs we have been hearing live for three years, you know songs like 'You Save Me' and '24/7 Satisfaction Man'. We've known them for three years, many of us have bootlegs of these songs from YouTube or wherever and really want recorded versions of them and obviously it's out of your hands I guess.

 

TT - I hope no one gets mad if the album comes out and those songs aren't on it (laughs) because we just don't know what is going to happen. The hard part for us is that we consider our TroubleMakers to be like our family and it's hard because it's a business and again there are cousins in Spain and Japan that your brothers and sisters have to realise we are at a family reunion and we have to take care of everyone at this reunion. I think that should be easy to understand.

 

I don't know of any other band that are as close to their fans as we are, that's just me and I just want to make sure everyone is kept happy at the same time, but also everyone should understand that we have to spread out what we do and in order to do that, there has got to be places we go that prevent us from spending as much time making something new for the people we started with and it's not for lack of thought or trying to take care because there's nothing we would want to do more than take care of the, I guess, your 'oldest children', the ones that came first and kind of sparked everything.

 

It's hard, I guess we are at a stage now where I am starting to understand why people who do what we do start treating it like work because there's so many different directions you are being pulled in and all you want to do is keep everybody happy.

 

You can't keep everybody happy though can you?

 

TT - Well, you can try. We didn't understand this at the beginning either, we wanted to turn over another record right away, but then our management people told us, and it took us a long time to get this, imagine someone like Spain or Japan have to hop on now with three records right away to catch up and learn all of our material? So that's why we couldn't put out a new record when we wanted to back then because we were trying to get all the territories, that was the words they kept using, all the 'territories' to catch up with each other.

 

Richard Danielson - That's really all it comes down to, there is no other factor, it's all about territories.

 

TT - When we put the second record out, we wanted to have it land every place at the same time, but it's going to have to have the same tripping effect because it's taking too long. So there's no way we can bombard some of these people who are just finding out about 'TBSS' with the new record that's coming out soon. Even though they'll probably get this acoustic record. I don't know, we're gonna find out I guess.

 

RBD - This is actually an achievement for the TroubleMakers too. I think, because we actually got a deal, the type of partnership that we have with Universal/Blue Note is one that you just don't see nowadays, at least that's what we've been told within the industry, and I hope it's okay to be this forthcoming about it, but we broke off in December and we were trying to figure out what was going to happen with the contract part of it. Do we have to re-record some of the stuff that we had or were we going to take the existing material. It kinda sat in limbo while we worked out the kinks in this business relationship and we kinda lost a window there in order to gain something. The only casualty of that affair was that we lost that window in the first part of this year, which would have potentially put it up for a summer release but it actually puts us in a place where we learned a lot. We got this amazing partnership and it's created this acoustic EP that's just coming out and we got to focus on some merchandising things that we wanted to do, so there's lots of positive fallout from it.

 

NC - We don't want to stop touring either, you know people say you guys gotta stay home and make a record, well we wanna go out and play too.

 

VT14500alt

 

Well, you can make a record real quick can't you?

 

NC - Yeah, well the EP we made in two days.

 

RD - I don't know if we ever mentioned it, but we did record a second record and it took us three days and we just never put it out.

 

So what's happened to that?

 

NC - Well, it's out there: 'Run Like The River' and 'Pelvis Pusher', 'Strike A Light' is from there, you know we did 18 songs.

 

TT - I think it's something that has to be addressed, but what I think is really cool is that not a lot of people get to hear from bands in detail when we're in the stage that we are at right now and the thing that gets us most anxious is how to handle being in the stage we are at. You have so many people that want new stuff already and at the same time you're trying to learn how to open your mind to the fact that, guess what, you have a world in front of you, not just one slice of pie.

 

swinghouse500

 

I think you're in a unique position really because you're a new band in your forties and that's never been done successfully. Anyone our age in a band are 'supergroups', those who already have an established career.

 

RD - In all fairness, and I don't know if you guys covered this, but to Nalle's point name a band that has toured four years on a single record? To add to that, we have two albums plus worth of material out there if people really look for it. A ton of stuff that was not on 'TBSS' that was added as an extension and if you look there is a least half a record there with that. We've also recorded with Booker T and some other little projects, so we've still been prolific as far as recording when we can, but the truth is, man, we're so busy on the road. We've been on tour for three years, so we have recorded even on our days off. I think we've recorded as much as a band at our level, we just haven't released it for various reasons that we discussed.

 

TT - There could have been some steps along the way that might have made it come out sooner but we are artists not business people. So we are excited that we have these people around us now who can help move things at the right pace and we'll have to push against them sometimes. I'm with the school of thought that everything happens the way it was supposed to happen and we released 'TBSS' two years into touring with it and it became number 4 or 6 when it came out in Japan. It's doing exactly what it's supposed to do, you just have to believe that.

 

RD - The world is bigger than the UK! [we all laugh]

 

NC - It's like pouring something other than water into water, you gotta blend it up and right now we kinda joined the record business with Universal and we just gotta shake it up so they know our world and we know their world.

 

TT - Maybe we're wrong in assuming, but I assumed our relationship with the UK is like those friends you have that you don't need to call all the time and when you call or speak you pick up right where you left off.

 

Yeah I think that's exactly what it is like.

 

TT - So, I have to say just trust that we know what were doing and you know what you're doing and let's just keep dancing together and having fun together.

 

Which we will, I mean you have already sold out most of these dates, the TroubleMakers are always going to be there for you.

 

TT - The key is to obviously only do a record every four years [more laughter], we'll put out our second record and people will stop coming to the shows!

 

NC - The TroubleMakers have been the main providers of all this push, an amazing force. I mean what a surprise, we hadn't really planned any of that, it just suddenly organically started and now it's in Germany and Japan, Australia and Scandinavia...it's so cool.

 

VTUK14440

 

At the beginning there was a definite path you guys were moving on and it picked up momentum and do you think, when you took the Who tour, obviously you couldn't turn down an opportunity like that, but do you think it set your plans back in any way at all. By that I mean reaching a younger, maybe wider audience? What doors did the Who tour open for you?

 

TT - Actually, something Rick said earlier I forgot to come back to and this is kinda bringing me back to it. As far as bringing us back to the demographic, we lucked out because what I'm saying now is about how many young people are coming to the shows. What we could have never guessed would happen is that now at a lot of the shows there's so many young people that are like "My dad dragged me to see The Who, I saw you guys and that's why I'm here today." So that we didn't plan on, I mean literally, the girls whose tits we're signing now with the tight skin are the ones whose dads bought them to The Who concert.

 

NC - I don't see what's wrong with middle-aged fans, we have a great fanbase.

 

Yeah you do, I'm not questioning that.

 

NC - We will reach younger people if we can, we did with Lenny Kravitz, they were all younger women. I totally understand why that generation really follows us now, I think we are filling a void that was there. I mean even for The Who fans, yeah, they are going to see The Who and they wanna hear all the old songs but the most we heard from The Who fans was "now we have a new band who do new music."

 

RBD - And how many kids did we see at those shows? Kids like Ty was talking about, we're talking about 12 year old kids, 13 year old kids. We were talking about this briefly on the bus in Santa Cruz, there was a generational skip there where the bands inspired other bands, then when the machines took over and I mean that in the broadest sense, producers led the way right, so there was a whole generation of children that were born into a musical generation that has been led by producers, right? Now, the kids at The Who shows that Ty was referring to are wearing Jimi Hendrix shirts, they are wearing Led Zeppelin shirts and it's not just because it's trendy and because they got it in some popular store. These kids have been exposed to My Chemical Romance or whatever the modern equivalent of a rock band is and their dad all of a sudden shows them Hendrix or The Who and this is all brand new to them. My Chemical Romance might as well be Jimi Hendrix and it's a rediscovery and that's the cool thing that we're looking forward to as the challenge now. We were just talking about it before you guys came in, just focusing on that because The Who gave us this unexpected youth market. They're hungry for that shit, they're on YouTube looking for Led Zep tracks all the time, so those are the kids that we want to go after.

 

TT - When you get a surprise, I think those are the moments you remember the most, not the concerts that you were intending on going to and couldn't wait to get there because you knew exactly what was going to happen to you. I mean take the Sonisphere festival, a Heavy Metal/Hard Rock festival, we get so much from people that we didn't expect and we leave with so many people that found something new through our music, so it would be sacrilege to say anything about The Who taking us a step backwards in any direction, because it is our honour and it humbles us. So to say anything about it being a step back would be disrespectful for us, at the end of the day if our path was meant to go from number 1 to number 2 and The Who said "stop and go in another direction" we would go in another direction because it is The Who. We got more from it than we could have ever hoped for.

 

Okay, cool, fair enough.

 

RD - In all fairness we were doing our own simultaneous tour at the same time and you know how hard we work, so we were doing that on our days off.

 

Yeah, we saw you play Northumbria Uni late show after The Who gig.

 

RD - Yeah and that's a great point that Ty makes and I kind of want to reiterate that point. Everywhere we go, whether it's interviews or a TV show, it's "this band just got off a tour with The Who," it's huge bragging rights and it's opened up all kinds of ears and eyes to us.

 

Another thing about touring with The Who, Lenny Kravitz and people like that is that they gave you a great opportunity to support them: when you play, you have DJs playing Soul tracks before your shows. Now personally, several people have talked to me about this, guys in bands or promoters and they say "why aren't they giving us the opportunity?" What do you have to say about that?

 

TT - For me, no one asked The Rolling Stones or anyone like that why they have a comedian open for them, like sometimes there are just different things that happen. For us, we just want people to know where we come from and the things that inspire us and unfortunately we weren't quite old enough to get to one of those concerts by a lot of those people that inspire our music, so by having that before us it lets people see what inspires our music. With The Who, we got to show their audience the kind of music that inspired them to make their music, it's really about a whole story and a whole evening. Maybe there is some great Rhythm & Blues bands out there that could open for us, but they haven't come to us.

 

RD - You know, first of all when we first started playing we were playing 2 hour plus sets okay, that's a lot of music for people's ears, now do we want some loud rock band playing for an hour before that? No, people were there to see Vintage Trouble, we're still trying to break this band. It's a tough business so we can't have bands coming in trying to break bands on our bill. It hasn't worked for us because people are there to experience a Vintage Trouble show and so having a DJ before gets people in their bodies a little bit. We're a very social band and we have this community with the TroubleMakers and people haven't quite caught on but what were trying to get to is that you can come to a VT show, you can hang out with your friends, you can start to feel sexy and get in your body, you can still have a conversation, the party's started with incredible DJ music that we embraced, it's from our heroes so there's that whole experience that you can get into before a VT show. You know if I was a VT fan I would appreciate that because I can go to a show, I can converse with my friends, I can hear myself think, I can feel sexy, listen to great music and I haven't even seen the band yet. Then the band's going to go on and play a blistering 2 hour set, that's plenty of live music for one evening. So the VT experience is about an experience, not about us breaking bands, again, it's hard enough just trying to break ourselves.

 

NC - We've not really been playing in venues where it's felt like the proper way to do it, not until now. This is basically the first tour where we've really moved up to decent venues where we potentially could have opening acts. I think... I'm all for it. When you started the question I was feeling it, yeah we've been riding with a lot of bands, Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, big bands way ahead in their career and I'm no stranger to putting on support bands, I want to. Through our TroubleMakers we get sent links to amazing bands, amazing artists and we're always talking about is there a way to put them on and make it happen. There's a Blues girl we met in Austin Texas, Caroline Wonder, stunning, so good. We were even talking about bringing her over to do something. I mean we want to it's just with the venues we've been at we tried for a while and it kind of crash landed.

 

Well, I have seen you with a support band in the past and I completely understand, on that occasion it didn't really work with the bands you have had.

 

NC - Yeah and talking about the UK specifically it's been so cool for us to watch the last couple of weeks before coming here seeing you guys really getting together and you guys haven't seen each other. So for us it's kinda cool having a DJ playing music, not too loud and all you guys can hang out, have drinks and meet up, so by the time we start playing it's ready to go, everyone is hanging out already. But I do understand it and I don't ever want to feel like specific UK bands or artists are sitting there saying "what the fuck, they're supporting other bands why can't we support them?"

 

RD - There's a different level of market, those bands in big stadiums are expected to have an opening band, it's just the way it goes.

 

Unless you're Prince, he doesn't have a support band.

 

RD - Of course, he plays for four hours in a night.

 

TT - We have three people in our crew that ride on the bus with us, they can't handle the changeover that it takes from a full band to our band in between. If anything and I guarantee this is what you will see first before anything else, is some amazing soulful woman or a soulful guy that has one guitar and they can stand right where my mic was, our set can already be set up and we can still be promoting another artist, but it wouldn't have to be as loud, but I don't want to insult a big sounding band by having them play quieter so our TroubleMakers can talk. It's much more important to us that our fans get to do the social thing than to have another band out there. What we're promoting unlike a lot of other bands is Community, we're not promoting only music and so for that to happen and because of curfews when we are done playing, the only time it can happen is before our shows. I hope and pray that when people step back and really think about it they don't get offended by the fact that we're doing it and understand that our mission might be a little different to there's and, yes, a lot of people do that, but those people aren't us and for some of those people it might not be as important to them that their fans and their family of music is in love with each other like it is with ours.

 

RD - It's a great question and I'm glad you asked it because we don't really flesh this out with the TroubleMaker community much and try to let them know but, hey, for example we just had a soul DJ that we took on the road with us for two tours around America named Papa Ray from St Louis and he's the most bad ass DJ that we've ever come across and we loved him so much that we took him on the road as part of this travelling circus that is Vintage Trouble and he was our support act.

 

TT - Again, this is not some hip 17 year old guy, but he brought those 17/18 year olds, because he talks on the radio, people know his voice. So he brought some people to us and at the same time during his set he's talking about the TroubleMakers out there, so it just adds to the whole evening.

 

RBD - Papa Ray gets it and you get it.

 

Yeah sure, but there are some great little bands that could work really well with you guys out there. There's a great young band called The 45s that we saw at Fibbers not long ago, they are all like 17 and actually fans of you guys, so good live as well.

 

TT - So many people say to me this band or that band would be great opening for you and they send me the link and I'm like ...mmm maybe not.

 

RD - That's actually most of the time.  

 

swingcover440

 

Okay, moving on - why did you do so many videos for 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions'?

 

NC - We want to do a video for every song on 'TBSS'. For us, it's our first record, it's the rock that we're standing, on the reason for everything and why we're here.

 

Does that help with promotion or sales these days? I just want to understand why?

 

NC - We love it, we want to do it, we are actually working on the last two right now and we just finished one for 'Still and Always Will' actually.

 

TT - Music is visual as well, so it's not just a question of a promotional marketing thing. I mean some people will find music but don't get the music because they see the visual first. I mean, how many times have you seen some video that you love and you then just hear the song by itself and realise you don't like it? So sometimes there's a visual that will bring people into a band that just the sound would not and they just go hand in hand. I know for all of us, when we're writing music, we see things in our head and we even talk about pictures, so if we can make that visual happen in front of people then it's adding to it. Then like Nalle was saying, it's our first fucking record and at the end of the day I can guarantee you, but do not write this date down coz then people will get mad if it doesn't come out on that date, but I can guarantee you that at the end of this process there's going to be a DVD that's going to have (a video of) every single song from 'TBSS' on it and in time hopefully if something really great happens to us like we think it's going to, imagine having that entire first record and there being a visual for it, imagine if you could look back at your favourite band's first record and there was a video for every single song on that record that you've been in love with all your life, imagine how cool that would be for you? So we're thinking ahead and also for our fans.

 

NC - 'The Bomb Shelter Sessions' cost $1200 to make.

 

TT - That was including catering!

 

RD - I think it was $800, it almost cost as much to eat as it did to make.

 

NC - So we're trying to do that with the videos too. You know, we kind of look at it like talking to directors that we meet, it's not about making cheap videos just because they are cheap, it feels like we can do a simple view of it and make it good. It's not like when you hear about old bands and they're spending 1.2 million dollars on making a video - that's not what we are doing.

 

Yeah, I mean you made Nancy Lee with four iPhones didn't you?

 

NC - Yeah, I mean we meet so many great artistic people on the road and at home people who have visions and have something different that they want to do with it and we have a lot of thoughts about where we want to take it and it's just fun.

 

RD - So if there's anyone out there that's a bad ass director that wants to shoot a Vintage Trouble video for cheap c'mon! Ha Ha! Send the links to www.vintagetrouble.com!

 

I thought 'Gracefully' was a great video.

 

NC - Thank you, that was great, that guy has such a vision and he just wanted to do it you know.

 

RBD - That was free.

 

Really?

 

NC - Yeah and Robert Vargas the painter, we got to see someone do something live right there in front of the camera, it was really cool.

 

RBD - 'Still and Always Will' has some real cool cameos that we can't really say yet.

 

TT - That'll be coming out soon and is directed by the same woman that directed the 'Nobody Told Me' video.

 

Cool, now you recorded a show on New Year's Eve that was to be released on vinyl and the videoing of The Sage gig a couple of years ago also, what happened to those? Will they be coming out?

 

NC - It was a major tragedy, we recorded so much stuff. We recorded basically the whole last year that we did here and I know we went out on that New Year's Eve and we were really excited about it, but we came back and we thought it had worked really well but the Pro Tools...you know we are relying on digital bullshit that we shouldn't do and it just didn't record right.

 

RBD - I think one day there might be pieces of that but we had visions of that night coming out in its entirety, but there were songs that were cut off in the middle and there's really nothing you can do when the technology fails you like that, but there are pieces of that night that I think will probably see the light of day some day.

 

TT - My guess is that nobody really cares as much about New Year's Eve as much as they care about having a live album and we basically almost have that together and I'm sure in some gap of time between the acoustic record and whenever that new record is released we will have a live vinyl record that we will put out.

 

Okay, cool.

 

RBD - It will be called 'Live At Leeds' because we will be original [all laugh]

 

Okay guys and on a last note, Glastonbury, you are playing a bigger stage this year, a better time slot maybe, any thoughts?

 

TT - Well after playing at many festivals around the world there is no festival that people talk about more than Glastonbury, so we are extremely honoured to play and we're going to try and get our way to Prince who is becoming a fan of ours and we'll say "remember you're a big fan of ours." We had the honour of playing with Beverley Knight last year and it's just a reminder one more time that when you go to these big festivals you can skip management, you can skip agents and artists are there and you can find each other and it's nice that we found each other. I found Skrillex the other night at Bonaroo and now we are going to do something. It's just a great idea for artists, people should find each other and play in the middle of the night at Glastonbury and play in little tents, do the things that people don't expect, see how many times you can do it without business people getting in the way of artistry and you get to just hang out and have an acoustic guitar and just hit a table, jam and fall in love with people, these musicians who you might never get to do it with.

 

I mean we talk so much about about the man and the machine and commercialism and capitalism blah blah blah...fuck that, find each other in the middle of the night somewhere while you're smoking and drinking alcohol and make music together, that's the only way we can collaborate and really feel how powerful we can be as an army of musicians.

 

You're on at a great time too I think.

 

TT - Oh yeah, great! Last time we were opposite The Rolling Stones! [all laugh]

 

We had to wrap things up there as the band were due on stage shortly. The interview lasted 50 minutes, I feel it could have gone on for longer, I still had some unanswered questions. Those will have to wait for another time, the Summer Of Trouble is just beginning but for me after tonight's gig it will be over: until we meet again it's onwards and hopefully upwards for Vintage Trouble.

 

 
[Photos by Matt Seddon]

 

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