Chapter II certainly echoes some of those past influences Vintage Trouble has long-mined -- notably "My Whole World Stopped Without You," a finger-snapping doo-wop ballad in the middle of the EP. But mostly the set draws from what Taylor calls "contemporary heroes," including the likes of Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Cardi B, Camila Cabello and Maroon 5.
"There's some music in the past that I considered to be frivolous," Taylor explains, "and I know a lot of music connoisseurs might consider a lot of pop music and hip-hop music and contemporary R&B music to not have substance. But really a lot of it digs deeper in a way. It allows people to shake their bodies and dance, and that's what we need right now. It's OK to listen to music to dance to it, socialize to it. It doesn't have to be so heavy-handed. Every song you do doesn't have to change the world."
Vintage Trouble does have its say about the state of things with Chapter II's closing track "The Battle's End," but for the most part Taylor says that "right now I want to be more of a cheerleader in lifting spiriting than in controlling minds." Meanwhile, he hopes that fans who have seen the group over the years, including high-profile opening slots with the Who and AC/DC, will be open-minded to the stylistic change.
"I remember when I was a kid and my parents would say the songs I listened to were shit, 'cause it wasn't Tina Turner and it wasn't Chuck Berry and it wasn't Carole King," Taylor says. "I remember how mad that made me feel. So as we went into this I was thinking to myself, 'Let's not be those same people.' There's so much music influencing the world right now -- why would it not influence us as well? Because we're being snobby about where we came from? No thank you."
That said, the acoustic "side" of Chapter II is designed as a bit of a nod to older school minds. "We're trying to reach a bigger audience, a broader audience," Taylor explains. "A lot of people don't like overly produced music, but that was our experiment with this record. So having acoustic versions of those five songs give them a chance to hear them in a different way. It's like a 10-song record, only with five songs.
"In the end I couldn't be more pleased with the results. We've been together for eight, nine years -- to be at this stage and have a new music life, that's big."