We’ve been following Ty Taylor and co. from the start and as the band kick off their latest run of UK shows in Leeds tonight it’s time for a long overdue catch up with the uber cool Californians.
RUSHONROCK editor Simon Rushworth chatted to Taylor, Nalle Colt and Richard Danielson with a huge show at Glastonbury on the horizon.
RUSHONROCK: You’ve got a big summer ahead – including a return trip to Glastonbury…
VINTAGE TROUBLE: We’re very, very excited about coming back to Glastonbury. It’s one of the great live music festivals in the world. To play their once was a thrill and to play there for a second time is incredible. There are so many great bands on the bill again. We were on the bill for the first time last year and it was great. We were told about the view when you look down from the hill and see the crowds for the first time but it was still an amazing sight. It’s like Glastonbury becomes its own city. It’s unbelievable what an energy it has and for any band it’s a very special musical moment playing there.
RUSHONROCK: You’re sharing a bill with Metallica – can you understand the controversy surrounding the decision to include such a ‘heavy’ band on the Glastonbury bill?
VT: We didn’t realise there was any controversy? We don’t have a lot in common with that kind of music but I know they have a massive number of fans worldwide and in a way I kind of like the fact that the Glastonbury organisers have invited them along. Festivals are supposed to embrace all genres and there’s no doubt that Metallica have had a huge impact on the rock world. We played with them – and the other three members of the Big Four – at Sonisphere and that’s like turning the Glastonbury situation on its head. People probably raised their eyebrows when they saw Vintage Trouble had been added to that bill but that’s what we love about British audiences. They’re prepared to give anybody a chance. They’re prepared to let us play at the same festival as Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth and even support us!
RUSHONROCK: You’re a band that’s proved it’s still possible to build a fan base from the bottom up – how have you grown your share of the UK audience?
VT: We’ve always been very well connected to our fans. They’re known as the Troublemakers and they’re a community that deserves a lot of credit. A lot of them will travel to a number of shows one tour but, more importantly, they’ll bring a friend or introduce someone new to Vintage Trouble. They make friends at our shows and keep in touch with fellow Troublemakers. It’s wonderful to see. We love welcoming people into the community – it’s become such a beautiful thing. Troublemakers have even been married to our songs! They tell us what they like and what they want to hear and we respond to the feedback. By doing that and relying on ‘word of mouth’ we’ve been able to grow our fanbase in the UK every year.
RUSHONROCK: What is it about Vintage Trouble that really appeals to UK fans?
VT: Maybe we’re the band a lot of people in the UK had been waiting for. They’ve been waiting for an old school R&B band and we just hoped we’d be that band. It’s what people were looking for and they’ve found us. When more and more people find us it’s so exciting. We have the UK to thank for a lot. We know that and we’re very appreciative.
RUSHONROCK: How much progress are you making back home in the USA?
VT: It’s cool. We’ve been working very hard at home too. We’ve been touring a lot, getting our faces known and visiting as many places as possible. It’s cool when you work so hard and you can see that hard work paying off. We did three dates in Texas earlier this month – in Dallas, Austin and Houston. It’s so exciting to play those places but that’s just one state. America is a big old country and it’s hard to cover it all. But we know we’re making progress. In New Orleans we were stopped about eight times on the short walk from the hotel to the restaurant and it’s only at that point when we realise how cool it is that we’re reaching so many people in the US. It was a marker for how far we’d come. We have to bow down to the people of the US and thank them from the bottom of our hearts. It happened quicker in the UK and Japan but of course it’s important for us to make our mark in America.
RUSHONROCK: It’s a familiar question but when can we expect some new Vintage Trouble music in the shape of a follow-up to 2011’s Bomb Shelter Sessions?
VT: It’s a familiar question and the same answer as last year…there’s nothing! Only joking. We’re actually arriving in England armed with a new EP. It’s called the Swing House Sessions and it’s an acoustic record. Plus we’ve just signed with the Blue Note label so we’re super excited about that and no doubt they’ll be after a new album soon! There should be a full album coming out at the end of this year. But we knew the UK Troublemakers wouldn’t let us come back without something new this time. Most of the time when we write songs we’re on the tour bus and they start off as acoustic songs so we approached the new EP from that angle. We’ve managed to write some really great new songs – honestly! But a lot of people don’t realise that there’s a lot more material out there already. It’s not just The Bomb Shelter Sessions. There’s probably half an album’s worth of other music out there if you look hard enough.
RUSHONROCK: Signing to Blue Note is quite a coup – how excited are you to be joining the home of Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock et al?
VT: It’s super cool. We’ve been running our own record label which has been fine and we’ve been managing ok on our own. We’d been approached before to sign to different labels but when Blue Note came calling we just knew it was the right move for Vintage Trouble. It’s a legendary label.
RUSHONROCK: Can we expect more vinyl from the band?
VT: It goes without saying. Almost everything we do is available – or going to be available on vinyl. We love the format. It complements everything that we do. Our new EP will be available on vinyl. We wouldn’t make music without it.
RUSHONROCK: And are you hoping to see more Troublemakers than ever out on tour this month?
VT: We want to bill this tour as the ‘bring a friend’ tour. We’re close to selling out the shows everywhere but we’d just ask that everyone who’s already coming to see us brings someone new. It would make our dreams come true.