Vintage Trouble's Overseas Strategy Pays Off With 'Bomb Shelter'
It's an exciting time in the life of the soul/rock band Vintage Trouble. Their new disc, "The Bomb Shelter Sessions," was released in the U.S. on April 24, and they are about to hit the road for tours with the Cranberries and Lenny Kravitz this summer to promote it.
"We got together in 2010," the band's Ty Taylor told Billboard. "It was one of those experiences where everything was lined up. We had all been friends, and had known each other before the band started up. We had known each other in different arenas. I had known Nalle Colt for about fourteen years, and we had tried to play with each other for so long. We were in one right before Vintage Trouble, and things just weren't working out. So, we left, and decided we wanted to do something a little more raw and down to earth."
Taylor said that the band's line-up, Colt, drummer Richard Danielson, bassist Rick Barrio Dill, and he all just seemed to gel together. "It just felt like we were in a family of people that were going to challenge us."
But, how -- and where the band "went for it" is part of their story. They actually took their music overseas first. That was the strategy conceived by legendary manager Doc McGhee. "If you look at the history of people like Amy Winehouse, Duffy, or James Blunt, they came over here first and didn't make it. Then, they went back over to England, and blew up. We just decided to go to Europe first, and when they were accepted here, we would have a story to share here. That's basically what happened."
McGhee wanted to get them in front of as many people as possible, and the strategy worked. "It was pretty simple. The concept was to get all the tastemakers together, and those people spread the word. We got Brian May to give us some dates, and also some stadium shows with Bon Jovi. It's just hard work by these guys. They just get up in the morning, and go conquer," he said.
Taylor said that playing the huge stadium shows last year with Bon Jovi was definitely a magical experience. "It's like living a childhood dream," he said. "From the time you start making music, you want to play in arenas. The first time we walked on stage, and did sound check, Richard hits the snare, and you could hear it around the whole arena. Then, our bus was parked outside right by where everyone was lined up to come in. Fortunately, they got our music right away. The coolest part was 60,000 people repeating our lyrics being sung back to us. Some people came who actually knew us," he said with a laugh.
The acts that Vintage Trouble are opening up for this summer are also huge for the band, as well. "The Cranberries are cool, too. Going back to the late 1990s / early 2000s when all of us were getting into the music business, they were one of the most popular groups. They were representing where they came from. They were so Irish, and so real. I would be on cloud 25 if they brought us on stage."
American fans are just beginning to get a feel for their talent, with their recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! being a huge moment. "There was a little bit of pressure behind us because our last big TV appearance made such a big splash for us. So, during the day, instead of getting so stressed about it, we just watched YouTube videos of some of our favorite acts from the 50s and 60s like Tina Turner or Otis Redding."
As it turned out, they shared the broadcast with one such musical legend. "Then, the week that we're on Kimmel, Gladys Knight gets kicked off of 'Dancing With The Stars,' so she's on the show. She's putting energy in the room before we went on the stage. We had such a great time."
Taylor also gave a nod to one of the main pieces of the Vintage Trouble puzzle -- the group's energetic fan base, the "Troublemakers." He said that "They have been one of the main things that have kept Vintage Trouble going. They're like part of our band, management, and press team. We definitely couldn't do it without them."