Vintage Trouble Interview

Interview With Ty Taylor from Vintage Trouble

Where are you calling from?

I’m about to walk into the RCA Studio at Nashville, Tennessee. It’s such a legendary place. It’s where Elvis recorded some of his best songs. We’re just taking a little tour around the studios. It’s an amazing and very historic place.

You seem to be permanently on the road. Do you ever get much time off?

We don’t get time off. We’ve just toured with AC/DC all summer and we toured with The Who and Paloma Faith before that as well as playing our own headlining shows and recording our new record so we don’t tend to get much time off at all.

You’re a real hard working band on stage. Do you have a fitness regime to keep you in shape on the road?

I jump and I dance and have a really amazing time when I’m on stage. It’s essential to stay healthy. When I get on stage I want to sweat so I know that I’ve been working hard. I don’t feel like I’ve done a real show unless I’ve been sweating. It’s hard work so I do try to eat a healthy diet, get some exercise each day and get a decent night’s sleep so that I am in good shape for the show.

You have 26 dates in a 6 week period. You’ll look back on this tour in a few years’ time and wonder how you ever managed it?

Yeah, it’s going to be hard work but it’ll be a lot of fun.

What sort of set list have you worked out for this tour?

We’ll probably do 50:50 between The Bomb Shelter Sessions and 1 Hopeful Road and on top of that we’ll do some covers. It’s going to be a little more Soulful than previously. What we’re trying to do with the new record is highlight the more Rhythm and Blues Soul side of us. We’ve toured with some of the biggest Rock bands in the world but sometimes people forget what’s in our hearts is connected with Soul. People have told us that they’ve got married to our songs like Gracefully or a song like Nobody Told Me has saved them from driving off a cliff so it’s always great to hear that our music has connected with people in some way. To me that’s more important than people coming just wanting to have a party. The connection is most important to us and this show will make people’s souls want to show love and burst with emotion.

You’ve also toured with AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Paloma Faith, The Who, not to mention the Rolling Stones? What did you learn about life on the road from these artists?

We learned something different from each one. Roger Daltrey said to me that if he wasn’t in The Who then he’d like to follow my band on the road. That was such a huge compliment to me. He said that I was on fire but might find strength in being still. I tried to stand still more and see if that would heighten the emotion that I felt and he was absolutely right. Pete Townsend said that if you don’t immerse yourself in every song and just go into automatic pilot then the music will leave your body. He encouraged us to never, ever just go through the motions. Lenny Kravitz told us that we reminded him of Monterey 1967. He told us that the music we were doing was so rich to not ever move out from that into something more commercial. He said it was our responsibility to keep the music and style and feel of the music of our ancestors to bring that back in its purity today while walking around like current day men. It is a modern thing but we shouldn’t move away from what it was. Paloma Faith taught me about posing and Mick Jagger releasing the body and moving and carefreeness. Brian May, besides asking me to sing at a tribute to mark Freddie Mercury’s birthday, said that there was a connection in the band that was really sincere and not to let any outside forces get in the way of our connection. He said anytime someone whispers in your ear that you are the best, you let that connection go, so that’s what I got from him. There’s just so much that we have learned on the road from these great artists and we also learn from the audiences, the people we play for. He has been honoured to have been all around the world. We cannot just do the same show wherever we play so the audience has told us to be who we are and where we are.

Your latest album, 1 Hopeful Road has been out for a few weeks in the UK. Are you pleased with the reaction so far?

The reaction has been incredible. The fans really seem to love it and that’s great to know after all of the hard work we’ve put into writing and recording the record. We love it and our fans seem to love it too.

You only spent 3 days recording your debut album, Did you spend a little longer on this one?

That took us much longer.;….it was 2 weeks this time. That’s not bad at all. We record live and record the songs a few times and use the best takes. Recording like that doesn’t take as long as doing things bit by bit. We had rehearsed hard beforehand and went into the studio and recorded 26 songs. We just played the songs, recorded them and used the best takes. It was as simple as that. We are generally all in the same room at the same time, without any baffling. We just let it bleed, as The Stones would say. I just think we record as a band so much better that way and it works well for us.

You brought in producer Don Was to work with you. He’s worked in the past with artists as diverse as Neil Diamond, the B52’s, Iggy Pop and The Rolling Stones. Was it his diverse experience that made you want to work with him?

He’s played with just about everyone and he’s so tuned in to how things used to be but he also has an eye where they are leading to. He is past, present and future and that’s so rare for someone to have all of those attributes under his belt. He just lets everything flow and lets the music go where it should go. He lets us know if certain parts weren’t working so we had that ear from the outside. He was a master of recorded music and song structure and musicianship so it was easy to release ourselves and trust him.

You got a big break on the Later With Jools Holland show on UK TV. Your profile went through the roof after that. How did you get onto that show bearing in mind you hadn’t even released an album at that point?

Jools Holland has always loved Rhythm and Blues music and we have Doc McGhee as our manager and he manages KISS and also managed Bon Jovi and Motley Crue so he has connections and I’m sure that had something to do with it. We were so raw with such an analogue feeling and we were kind of dangerous. Jools Holland did us a favour putting us on the show with K.D Lang and the Fleet Foxes and other slow, romantic sounding acts and we came on like firecrackers. We left the studio and when we were driving back we were told we were the 6th most Tweeted thing in the world. More people were talking about us than most other things so it was the first time we got a real handle on the concept that our music was universal and that was after only a year together as a band. Rather than intimidate us it made us feel necessary and feeling like we had something that people needed. That mission has never stopped and that’s why the touring never slows down. As long as we are breathing we’re playing shows.

You’re primarily a live band. Have you got any plans to release a live album in the near future?

Oh yes, I’m sure there’ll be a live record between this record and the next one. I have absolutely no doubt about that. I want to be able to include tracks from everywhere we’ve played so people can understand that they are just as much a part of the band as we are and every territory is important to us so it’d nice for people to see that on the tracks we use. We want as many people to feel that they are on that recording as possible. It will be the culmination of our time on the road and hopefully will capture the spirit and energy of our live shows. So yes, we will definitely be doing a live album.

Once the UK tour is over where do you head next?

We head over to Europe next then we’ll be back in The States for the holidays. Next year we’re all over South America, The Middle East and Australia. We’ve blocked out most of June and July for the big festivals too. It’s just non-stop.

Vintage Trouble’s UK Tours starts at The Sage, Gateshead on 7th November and runs through to The Forum, London on 17th November.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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