Mesmerising and energetic, LA-based Vintage Trouble will put the soul back into rock while they’re out here this month for Bluesfest 2016, as well as a couple of sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
With loose, lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry, sharp suits and some seriously hot stage moves, frontman Ty Taylor and band will be bringing a dose of their 60s/70s rock ‘n’ roll vibe to us all so soon and to celebrate we caught up with drummer Richard Danielson to talk the wonders of soul music and the power of nostalgia.
Music Feeds: So you guys started the band with the idea of recreating or paying homage to classic soul music, what was it about soul that drew you in?
Richard Danielson: Actually, we started the band not wanting to chase anything specific. We just wanted to play with no boundaries or expectations, other than to make music that fed us artistically. But it was early Soul, Rhythm and Blues and early Rock n Roll that seemed to be the through-line that threaded us together.
What it is about Soul music is that it’s a timeless art because it stems from the soul. It feels right on every level, and it’s that chase of soul itself, be it in music or any art, that is the true drug of it all. At least for us.
MF: Nostalgia has always been a powerful force in music, but as popular music get’s every more electronic, it seems demand for bands like your is also growing don’t you think?
RD: Absolutely. Some of it is backlash. Computers and quantized music can only take you so far. There is still, and will always be, a desire for music made on real instruments played in real time by musicians who have spent a lifetime mastering their craft. As for nostalgia, we don’t feel like a retro band with a throwback vibe at all. We feel we’ve stripped it even further back, to an even more primitive form.
We have no horns, no backing chorus of singers, etc… That would be more of the retro throwback vibe. And yet we also feel we are very much of today, naturally. In truth, we don’t think that much about it. Or certainly have not in the past. We just do what we do, wanting the music to speak for itself.
MF: How did you go about achieving the vintage sound?
RD: We all love vintage instruments. And not for the cool factor. The truth is, they just sound better. It’s hard to duplicate things like old tubes, drums that have old wood, etc.. etc.. It’s also about the way the instrument is not only played but recorded.
MF: You recorded The Bomb Shelter sessions as 12 complete takes, what made you want to do that?
RD: It’s not something we did on purpose per se. We were only three months into this project, we had little to no money, but we wanted to record the songs we had just to see where we were. We recorded live because it was the fastest and cheapest way to do it. That record was made in three days for about $1,200, including pizza and beer.
What we learned is that we loved recording that way. There is a purity to it. It’s how our heroes recorded from a time in music that is still the most exciting to us, even today.
MF: Do you still record like that now?
RD: Our last record, 1 Hopeful Rd, was recorded the same way. We did an acoustic EP between records, and it was also recorded live. On our next attempt we may try a different approach, we’ll see. But we’ve love recording this way. It allows room for magic to happen because you have to be fully engaged (as a band) in the moment.
MF: These days you can do a lot on a computer, but do you think the old ways of recording will ever disappear completely or will kids still be buying 8 tracks of eBay in the year 3000?
RD: Music today (like rock n roll, blues, etc..) is still so young if you really break it down. Some of the people who originated it are still alive. So anything from this early stage will surely be something to look back upon. Not so sure about 8 tracks though LOL.
MF: Speaking of technology, how do you guys tend to listen to music? Vinyl? iPod? Spotify?
RD: Spotify mostly. And vinyl. Ty has a portable vinyl player and brings it on tour, which we play in the bus sometime. But we’re not snobs by any means. We listen to all sorts of music on any devise that will bring it to us.
MF: Do you have a preferred medium for you fans to listen to your music on?
RD: We still think a well manufactured vinyl record through a good sound system sounds best. You just cannot get that kind of warmth off an MP3.
MF: Do you think the band shine better live or on record? Or will we just have to wait and see?
RD: We actually came about as a band, on stage, live in front of an audience, without much rehearsal, using the audience’s reaction and participation to gauge where we were with our music. And we’ve been on tour for the better part of 5 years, playing from the tiniest of rooms to the largest of stadiums. All of our records have been recorded basically live thus far. So you can call us a live band.
Vintage Trouble play Bluesfest 2016, as well as sideshows, details below!
Vintage Trouble Bluesfest Sideshows
Wednesday, 30th March 2016
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring
Thursday, 31st March 2016
The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring