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Ty Taylor is Rolling Along with Vintage Trouble, and their new EP, Chapter II
I think the only way to affect our climate right now; with so much negativity and head thought, and not enough body and positivity, is to get them dancing a little bit. They don’t need one more person leaning into them, talking about what the world needs, yet, they do need more people saying, “Just shake it out, just dance, just sing along, you don’t have to think about how to sing along.” Ty Taylor
Ty Taylor, lead singer of the rhythm and blues/rock band, Vintage Trouble, has a lot to be excited about. In just months Vintage Trouble’s newest album EP Chapter II has had worldwide global appeal. It is streaming everywhere with hits like “Can’t Stop Rolling,” “Crystal Clarity,” “My Whole World Stopped,” “Do Me Right,” and “The Battle’s End.”
“Can’t Stop Rolling” hurls itself off of the towers of rock and blues and jumps right into a pop sound with abandon. “Do Me Right” features their signature retro sound, “Crystal Clarity” is a mash up of Latin, hip hop, danceable grooves. This album is an amalgam of various styles deliberately put on the EP in order to lift the spirit. It is deliberately served up as variety for variety’s sake.
For some fans it isn’t the rock grooves that they are used to from Vintage Soul, yet bands explore and are not always pegged into one genre. One thing does remain: Ty Taylor’s soulful vocals and the band’s overall chemistry. The band members are: Ty Taylor, Nalle Colt on guitar, Rick Barrio Dill on bass, and Richard Danielson on drums. They have been together since 2010 and are out of L.A. Their beginning was about jamming and seeing where it would lead, in the neighborhood of Laurel Canyon. After just two weeks, they were a team with a vision.
Vintage Trouble has toured with the Rolling Stones, The Who, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, The Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz and more. In 2011, while touring in England, their popularity blew up. Previous albums include: The Bomb Shelter Sessions (2011), "The Swing House Acoustic Sessions" (2014) and "1 Hopeful Rd." (2015). They have even achieved their dream of playing the Austin City Limits. Their music has been featured in many commercials.
Their newest EP, Chapter II, is indeed that. They dive into another way of recording and combining textures in order to capture the ear of the common listener. The everyday person out there, who remembers and enjoys the “hook” in a song. The album was produced by Jeeve (Bruno Mars, Carlos Santana).
Interestingly, this new EP is actually two renditions, an electric edition, and an acoustic edition, with the songs stripped down to their acoustic core. What is great about Chapter II is each song is unique and could stand alone as singles. It was important to Ty and the band that their singles could also be enjoyed acoustically.
Ty Taylor is enigmatic. He is a spirit in motion. His live shows feature a connection and play with the audience, catchy songs, and Ty’s soulful vocals. He is a performer. He is also engaging to speak with. Talkative, excited, energy in motion. We begin:
TRR: How are you doing?
TY: I’m great.
TRR: Congratulations on Chapter II.
TY: It’s so different right now with music and streaming and how it all works. It is odd to me that our band has an album out in a month,
that in all of our years, more people have heard in all of our music in eight years. It is an odd concept; shockingly great.
TRR: so how different is it now from when you first got started with Vintage Trouble.
TY: Well years ago Napster was a big deal, and someone was streaming music for free back then. The idea of how people have a lack of attention span, and I have ADD, I’m sure of it. I’m excited that the world caught up to my mind.
TRR: Can you explain more.
TY: The idea that people don’t stay on one thing for a long time. Our band, it took us a while. I mean now, staying with an album for a while, there is an art to it. Yet there is also an art to crafting songs to get to the point. In my mind, like old Motown songs, the first two seconds, I mean, I was more relaxed if I thought about how they used to craft. It is to entertain people. As a band we have learned about the Feng Shui of music. Being a precise artist, and it is less about pieces on the editing floor. The arrangement is precision and you get to the point, and fine tune your art. Even Duke Ellington from way back, they were so precise.
TRR: Yes, and to that point, they didn’t have the editing tools we have now. It had to be perfect live.
TY: Yes, and that is what we did for so long. Yet, we had trouble with radio. People loved us live, yet we had to meet in the middle.
TRR: Let’s now get into your metamorphosis with Chapter II. A lot of artist like to capture the authenticity of their live shows and bring that ambiance into the studio. Yet Vintage Trouble is now not recording it live as much. Can you explain how this is better for you now?
TY: In life you have to experiment to find your best thing. In the past there was merit and pride in recording live and facing each other and having those mics and bleed and that creative aspect of music, body, raw, “let it bleed,” it was so much fun, and it does inject an energy into your heart and spirit. Yet then you think about how the Beatles did it with George Martin as a science at times.
In the world of rock and music, there is a certain need for that fire in recording. Yet, sometimes precision allows the outside ear to fall in love with the song.
TRR: How interesting to talk about the typical person listening and to think about that.
TY: Yes, the typical person doesn’t care how many takes you do in a studio. Then there is the other element of, after doing the Science of it, how do you inject that same energy from nervousness and danger, so that it can come through? How does it then have the same amount of feel? That is the real art.
TRR: With Do Me Right and Don’t Stop Rolling in Chapter II, these are danceable songs that have a hook. Were you thinking about the hook when you wrote that? It was all day, all hook, all the time. I was driving to a session and some old dance songs came on. Songs you’d listen to at a BBQ, like “Freak Out” or something like that. Our new songs are groove based.
TY: I think the only way to affect our climate right now; with so much negativity and head thought, and not enough body and positivity, is to get them dancing a little bit. They don’t need one more person leaning into them talking about what the world needs, yet they do need more people saying, “Just shake it out, just dance, just sing along, you don’t have to think about how to sing along.”
This is confusing to people because they don’t understand that we’ve been doing dance from the beginning. I come from a soul background.
TRR: What did you listen to in your house or growing up? I hear the variety, your soul, your range. I saw that you sang in church, Gospel music, you like Otis Redding.
TY: Ike and Tina Turner. Then I listened to Michael Jackson, or George Michael, real singers with variety in their voices. That’s probably why I have variety in my voice. The records had variety in each song. Somewhere along the line, people have gotten rid of variety and have gotten into one major characteristic, yet it narrows the ability down. It is exciting to me that we, Vintage Trouble, are now diving into variety. Even the Stones, or Led Zeppelin, they have mixed it up. Even think about Queen.
TRR: Well now, they are my favorite.
TY: Who Wants to Live Forever and then Fat Bottom Girls. Variety. My Whole World Stops Without You is our hit. It has been added to so many playlists as a love song. That is variety, too. Then you go to Crystal Clarity which is like a Marley type thing.
TRR: What about Battles End? What are the social injustices you see or what hits home for you guys when you wrote that song?
TY: We played a gig in Mississippi. Before a lot of political storms were going on, my main issue is the fact that people were not getting how each person can be responsible, roll their sleeves up and stop it. We have the power to say no, and whatever the cause is, we can do that. We wrote that song to empower people to have the strength as a person to fight against anything they are passionate about.
TRR: Lauryn Hill can get a bit categorical at times. She has a great message, great voice.
TY: I am a huge Lauryn Hill fan, I don’t always agree with everything she says or does. I am not a categorizing type of guy.
TRR: Well, we all speak about not labeling people, so I would hope she with all of her talent wouldn’t do that either. I’m glad you hear the positive energy you and Vintage Trouble put out as a band.
TY: I would like to say that Lauryn Hill, none of us knows her history. Artists are supposed to speak our mind. Whatever has happened to her, she should release that.
TRR: Yes, it seems like an affected place and I’m sure she has seen a lot and I’m not in her shoes. If I were her friends, I would tell her to use the positive voice as much as she can.
TY: Yes, I need to say that sound of silence is no more important than “Fuck the police.” I am on the sound of silence, yet I do see the value of the other way, too. Sometimes people need to know how mad someone is, and sometimes when we push someone too much, I understand that, too.
TRR: Yes, this is true. I do like how the Marley family has done it peacefully. The sons, grandsons. I think there is a time for everything as you are saying. How was it to work with JEEVE?
TY: Funny, this is the line of thought right now. I met Jeeve because I wrote Battle’s End with him. What a segue way, huh? We had such a great relationship, so I introduced him to the band and we all fell in love right away. WE had a block of time to go to the Cayman Islands and he said, “I can, and I will!” That was that.
TRR: It’s great to click with a producer that way. How did your band meet years ago in L.A? You were doing a lot then, right?
TY: I’m always doing a lot of things. I met Nalle first from playing music around L.A. in 1998. When he became available, Richard and I jammed with him, (Ty is now walking to a backstage area so I’m waiting for his thoughts), so I met Richard doing jams in Lowell Canyon with friends of mine. And he said to me how he wanted to make music with me around the world so then Nalle and I asked Richard …. It was easy, and we formed quickly, right away. We just played and then recorded within the first 3 mos. The record was done in 3 days. The Bomb Shelter sessions.
TY: Bomb Shelter was songs we had ahead of time, then Nalle and I wrote more and had many demos and then after the 3 days we walked away with the album.
TRR: I like how you guys have chemistry.
TY: we had to be tight or it was not going to work.
TRR: What is ahead, say in the next 2 years?
TY: We have an EP of the songs, yet the ACOUSTIC EP now is the melody lines taken out, we reimagined the arrangement, constructed them completely differently. You wouldn’t recognize them now because some are Latin, it will be released through Label Logic, marketing, they are helping us out and In Groove distribution house, millions of people have already heard the songs, Japan/Tower records, we will tour on this album, it is already on film, too.
TRR: So, it sounds like an entirely new acoustic album?
TY: Yes. It is raw, it is almost like you hear the voice more in the arrangement, there is a full string ensemble on the tango.
TRR: Thank you so much, Ty, I’m psyched to go hear the acoustic album! You have the best attitude and thank you.
TY: Thank you and let me know once you hear the acoustic album.
What a genuine, great guy. So talented and very personable. NOTE: I did go hear some of the acoustic tracks and loved them. Both albums, a variety of arrangements, and both are EP’s that are crisp, light, soulful and enjoyable to listen to.
Abbe Davis, Music Journalist
Tru Rock Revival Magazine
Abbe has written for Fortune 500 companies. She is
the lead singer/songwriter for her own band, Sordid Fable.
Abbe’s goal is to support original music and Rock and Roll.