Known for a fiery fusion of rock, blues, and soul, Vintage Trouble continues its mission to harness bigger and more swaggering grooves. But Chapter II- EP1, the new EP from the Hollywood, California-based group, highlights their ventures into more diverse sounds, including more acoustic material and disco, and a greater focus on more multilayered, polished studio material.
The band has branched out in other ways, too — such as a performance of the single “Knock Me Out” showing up in a John Varvatos ad. for one.
This has helped expand the band’s scope and repertoire and propel them forward. Enjoy a new Q&A with guitarist Nalle Colt below.
Rock Cellar: The title of your new EP suggests that the group is moving in new directions. How did you approach the album differently, and how does the EP accomplish that?
Nalle Colt: Well, the EP is a new chapter for us, with whole new songs. On our previous albums, we would record everything live — we’d do essentially one take of each song. For this record, we wanted to try a more modern sound, and take a chance. We used a young French producer for the record, who was more pop-oriented.
We wanted to try to make greater use of modern production techniques with the new EP, and record a real studio album. We thought we’d explore sounds from the modern pop world, and see what comes out. We wanted to offer a different view of our music. As part of that effort, we went to the Cayman Islands to record, and had great fun recording these new sounds.
Rock Cellar: “Can’t Stop Rollin” seems like quite a departure for the band in its incorporation of such sounds as disco. What sparked this musical mélange?
Nalle Colt: Yes, the song has more of a dance or disco sound. You have to remember, there are many different sides to the band musically. For example, I tend to lean more on rock and blues music, and Ty comes from more of a dance music perspective. With the new album, we’re trying to incorporate a more modern beat in our sound.
Rock Cellar: You recorded acoustic versions of five of your songs on the new EP. What was the motivation to do that?
Nalle Colt: We recorded many tracks originally for the new album. Then the record company suggested we break up the material, and present a smaller number of songs on the current EP. We decided to lay down acoustic takes of 5 songs on the record to create what comes across as very different sounds and essentially brand new songs. The parts were changed for everyone in the band except for Ty. Again, we wanted to take more chances with the material.
Rock Cellar: The band’s performance of “Knock Me Out” was featured last year in a John Varvatos ad. How did you connect with him, and how does the band’s image and music fit in with his clothing brand?
Nalle Colt: We were always big fans of his and his rock and roll approach to clothing, and especially liked his emphasis on suits and leather. We first met him when we opened for the Who, and started discussing with him ways of possibly working together. He helped line up appearances for us on the David Letterman Show and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
He asked us if we wanted to perform a song in one of his ads last year, and we did “Knock Me Out” in a NY shoot for the ad. He has the right vibe, and I hope we can work with him again. I particularly like what he’s done with his store at the former CBGB’s location.
Rock Cellar: You performed in October on the KISS VII Kruise. What are the special attractions and advantages of performing on such a cruise?
Nalle Colt: Well, we’ve actually performed on a number of cruises, including a blues cruise with Joe Bonamassa. One of the great aspects about performing on a music cruise is that you get a chance to play for and meet serious music fans. They’re extremely dedicated music lovers, and are paying a lot of money to take these cruises. We’ve made many friends on the cruises. You also get a cool vacation when you perform on these cruises.
When we performed on the KISS VI Cruise, I could tell the KISS fans on the ship grew more interested in our music.
Rock Cellar: You were a professional skateboarder when you were very young, and then switched to rock music. What similarities do you see between skateboarding and rock music?
Nalle Colt: When I grew up in Sweden, skateboarding was considered a rebellious and dangerous sport. Old people hated it. I was also very much into punk music like the Sex Pistols. I got attached to skateboarding, and was dedicated to it. But I had a serious accident, and had to stop with it.
I think rock music is similar to skateboarding, in that it’s also rebellious and dangerous.