Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 Jan-Feb Contents LOOKS LIKE
ONE OF THE
MOST FIERCE LIVE
By Stuart Coupe
Vintage Trouble’s singer Ty Taylor
is excited. Man, he’s excited. He’s
jumping out of his skin excited.
Get it? Really, really excited.
“It’s hard to believe this – I’m on
top of this amazing hotel in Japan
looking at this unbelievable view,”
he almost yells. “It’s a beautiful
day and I’m talking to the press in
Australia. I’m so giddy, I’m like a
This is a long way from the
humble beginnings of Vintage
Trouble back in 2010 when they
started playing residencies at
clubs such as Harvelle’s where
they managed to build a sizeable
following for doing what they
continue till this day – be one of
the most incendiary live acts on
the planet. Like seriously. You
have a hard time getting people
to talk about Vintage Trouble’s
records (great as they are)
because it’s as the live show that
leaves an audience going “What
the fuck was that?” What the
fuck is simple – an extraordinarly
explosive live show.
Never seen them? Well one
reviewer said, “Imagine James
Brown singing lead for Led
Zeppelin and you’ll get an idea of
Vintage Trouble.” That live show
has led to the band opening for
The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park
in London, and touring North
America and Europe with The
Who – along with hundreds and
hundreds of club dates.
Something that was
hard to imagine five
years ago? “No,”
laughs Tayor. “I’ve
this since I was five.
What took so long?
But seriously, it’s
really nice. There’s
so many things
that can go wrong.
But we’ve been to
Australia and we’re
coming again and we’ve played with The Rolling Stones and so many
beautiful artists have taken us under their wing.
“It’s been really nice and that’s what’s been so unexpected. That this soon
people, some who I had only ever dreamt of touching a bit of what they
had, are actually my friends. Imagine me and Angus Young just standing
under an umbrella in the rain with no security, just talking about regular
stuff. I mean, Pete Townshend would hang around with us backstage to the
point where I’d say, ‘Pete, you have another hour and I half but we have to
go on now – we need to get ready’.”
And the impact of this star proximity and observing arists of this caliber up
close and personal, both on and off stage?
“It’s made us play better, and want things more,” says Taylor. “I want this
to be reality for the rest of time, and then to be able to chill out and write
better songs. We want to get to a place where we’re not climbing all the
time and see what that feels like.”
Part of that is honing their skills in the recording studio. Vintage Trouble’s
records are pretty great – it’s just that no one ever talks about them. Their
reputation for live shows is such that the records are considered – at best –
a poor companion to the gig experience.
That problem has partly been alleviated by Vintage Trouble working with
famed producer Don Was on their most recent album, 1 Hopeful Road.
“I feel it’s an honour when people talk about our live show,” Taylor says.
“These days it’s rare for a band to be better live than on record. I go to so
many shows where I wish they were better than their records. There is so
much about record making that we as a band are just learning about.
“We do 250 shows a year and it’s hard to get that off your body and
concentrate on records. I’d like to get to the point where people talked
equally about our records and live shows – but I’d hate to get to the point
where people loved our records and then said, ‘Did you see their live
show? They sucked’.”
With Don Was producing they found a figure recognised for being a
master craftsman and also encouraging artists to experiment in the studio.
“Those two things are right – but you forgot one other,” Taylor laughs. “He’s
also the CEO of our record company so he’s a king with three hats.”
And 250 shows a year – every year? I’d have guessed maybe 150 but
Taylor is adamant that his figure is correct.
“When we are doing The Who or Bon Jovi or one of these sorts of tours,
when we have off nights we’ll play a gig and often when we’re opening for
a big act we’ll do our set, then leave and be onstage doing a club show
later that night.”
Ty Taylor is having the time of his life. Playing live more nights than not,
travelling the world, meeting his heroes – and hanging out on the top of a
hotel in Japan talking to some guy in Australia. What’s not to like?
Vintage Trouble play Bluesfest on Sunday March 27 and Monday March
28. Also The Corner Hotel on Wednesday March 30 and The Factory
Theatre on Thursday March 31.
1 HOPEFUL RD
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