How did you guys become a band?
Chris and I started playing music together around 10 years ago in High School. He went to a somewhat rival school and we met at a cross country meet. Nick and Chris went to the same high school and had music theory together and would jam in between periods I believe. They’ve been doing music together for around 10 year then as well when I think about it. But we started playing together in college more seriously. Having long Skype sessions writing our first record and trying to mix songs by emailing files back and forth. lt was a mess but it was our little mess. We were really proud of the music we were making so I moved home from college and we started a couple bands before finally deciding on the name “Vinyl Theatre” as our permanent incarnation.
How did you guys come up with the band name Vinyl Theatre?
We wanted to pick something that spoke to our influences but in a way meant nothing. We wanted Vinyl Theatre to define itself in peoples minds through the music. Just like when you hear the name U2 you probably conjure up some imagery and the melody to “It’s a beautiful day” or whichever song you’re most fond of. We’re into Vinyl records but that was a tough one to get around when the first 3 years of being a band we couldn’t afford to press any.
What do you guys like about being part of a band?
The best part has to be creating something unique with people who are essentially your family. It’s taken a really long time to get where we are writing wise but everyone contributes a lot to the writing process now. I think that’s why the songs are starting to sound more timeless. Of course that’s my own opinion but hey if you can’t love your own songs what’s the point? We’re really excited for what we’ve cooked up.
Can you tell us a little bit about each of you?
I’m Keegan and I used to be a bit of a runner in college. Spent most of my time focusing on that rather than schooling and when I wasn’t running I was playing guitar and writing. I sort of gave school the back burner when I could just to focus on music.
I’lll do my best to talk about Nick and Chris but I’m not sure a few paragraphs will ever do justice to who they are.
Chris is probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Killer musician and he’s been killing the writing game for us lately. A lot of the new music he’s been bringing to the table when we have little writing sessions. He’s like this unstoppable machine. I’ve been friends with him for 10 years, it feels a little crazy to think. He also used to be a phenomenal wrestler and MMA fighter but you’d never guess. He’s very unassuming.
Nick is the master behind anything that makes Vinyl Theatre work on top of being the absolute best musician in the band. He’s actually the one who has taken our graphic design and t-shirts, and website, and youtube, and you name it to the next level. As artists we like to have as much say in the art direction as we can and that sort of goes for all things pertaining to our music. Nick makes that all happen. He’s also a producer on a lot of our new songs and anything we’ve recorded he’s been the wizard behind finding unique sounds with Chris to set our songs apart. One fun fact is he still plays the first drum set he’s ever owned all these years later. I’ve always thought that was a cooler fact than others have, ha.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’d say it’s ever evolving. We definitely pull from our influences like The Killers, Supertramp, Rush, etc. But we’re always trying to just be ourselves and make songs that we would listen to even if they weren’t our own.
What artists do you look up to right now?
I’m in love with Sir Sly right now. Chris turned me onto them. From what I was told the last record was something of a breakup record. A lot of emotion in it and extremely genuine. There’s a song on the record about his mother who passed away. Chris showed me the song while we were driving to a show. We both teared up pretty bad. Honestly they’re an amazing band. I haven’t had a song move me like that in a very long time.
What’s the process of writing one of your songs?
It’s all over the place. Sometimes we bring an essentially finished product to the table and other times we just struggle through writing it piece by piece. Well, sometimes it’s a struggle and other times it just flows. Those are the best kind of days. When you just fly through a song and the ideas, melodies,progressions, all come to you like you had met them in a dream already.
How did your new single “Feel It All” come about?
Feel it All is the most important song we’ve ever put out. At least to our bond as a band. Emotionally it’s real. It happened. Without going to far into personal details we had a big decision to make as a band that could spell the end for us. The song is triumphant because on that day so were we. We wrote it in a day. It was one of those moments you can never recreate.
You guys also have a new ep in the works, can you guys tell us anything about the new project?
It’s still in the works so it’s still working on defining itself properly. From what we have right now I’d say it’s an EP that just isn’t narrow. There isn’t a song on there that sounds like its from the same playbook. We took a lot of risks on this one and we’re reinventing how we see/write/play music.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
We are working on releasing a Music video and we have some reimagined versions of our songs coming. We’re really excited about letting those see the light of day.
You guys also are heading out on tour to promote your new single. What are you guys most looking forward to on this tour?
Being on the road always has it’s upside. Traveling with your friends is hard to beat. We just finished up 3 shows at SXSW and that was refreshing. We spent some time enjoying the city as well which we rarely can do. Other than that we’re excited to hit the rest of the tour dates and see everyone!
Whats your guys favorite song to perform live?
Right now I think New Machines for me? I can’t speak for Nick and Chris but Feel it All really is exciting to play live as well.
What does it feel like to perform your own music live in front of your fans?
Sometimes the room is absolutely electric! I think that’s the main reason we make music, we love to perform it live for people who have an affinity for it.
Whats been your favorite show so far in your career?
Chicago 2015 on the “Ones to Watch Tour” with Finish Ticket. The crowd lost their minds and put on the best show I’ve ever seen. I felt like they put on for us like we put on for them and it kept escalating all the way to the encore. I jumped into the crowd, the walls shook. It was the perfect show, I’ll always cherish that one and remember it as the one to beat.
Does your fanbase have a name?
They’ve given themselves some funny ones before but I think “vinyls” has started to stick.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We meet fans after every show we possibly can. We want to be able to do that for a long time. We’ve been doing this for quite a while, it’s crazy to see some fans grow up and graduate college. I get really happy for them. It’s amazing seeing them come back all these years.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
We’ve been followed to our hotel before. But don’t worry when they realized we weren’t twenty one pilots they left haha.
What social media platform do you guys use most to stay connected to your fans?
I think Instagram and Twitter have the easiest platform to interact.
What goals have you guys set out for the band?
We want to put this new EP out and tour like crazy on it. We have some big goals. We believe in the songs and want as many people to hear them as possible. We’re very proud of these.
Do you guys have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Come to a show and see us again or for the first time! If you love the songs we really want to show you how they are live.
Answered by Keegan Calmes.