Listening to Vinyl Thief takes me right back to O2ABC in Glasgow, Scotland where I joined a packed room to welcome Cold War Kids into town. Something in their sound, their audible presence allows you to escape to either places they want to take you or paths you decide to tread down on your own. They empower self exploration, acceptance of life’s difficulties, and the freedom to dance if you want to.
Since their 2010 release of the Control EP – followed by singles White Light (2011), Rebel Hill (2012) and latest Smooth (2013) – they have garnered much attention from Nashville and fans beyond. Grayson hasn’t found his favorite track on the album yet but he said he knows it will happen once they begin playing it live.
“I am really proud of the entire record though, front to back. There’s a lot of heart and soul laid out pretty clearly. It goes through loss, avoidance, and acceptance, in a lot of different forms. We’re trying to get it out as soon as possible.” – Grayson
So, with much anticipation we wait to bath in the pool where Vinyl Thief’s distinct sounds and creativity have collected. In the meantime, Lightning 100 has helped us to revel in older tracks, especially as they gave the featured artist of the week extra air time and made plenty of “Smooth” picks for local audiences.
“Lightning 100 is no doubt one of the biggest influences on Nashville’s music culture. If you look at how big the crowds were at Live on the Green this year, there’s no doubt about that. High five on that one Lightning!” – Grayson
There’s also no doubt that Nashville is loving these guys for what they’ve made together, but each member of the band brings a unique something that makes the whole thing work. To say the least, Vinyl Thief is one energetic, diverse compilation of kindred spirits.
Grayson – Singin’, dancin’, and synthesizin – “I grew up in Texas. I wasn’t country enough for Texas, so I moved to Nashvillle… smart thinking. My mom and I shared a love for anyone with a serious voice and a serious attitude: Steven Tyler, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, and the like. She had Toys In The Attic by Aerosmith on vinyl, but we didn’t have a record player because it was the 90′s and that wasn’t cool anymore/yet. But I had it in my room and would listen to the tape while looking at the record.”
Logan – guitars – “I grew up going to see KISS with my dad one month, and then seeing U2 the next. If that doesn’t make you want to be a musician, who knows what will. I would listen to records on repeat, while reading a book about the record I was listening to.”
Sam – Keys and other things - ”I began and remain in this band because the other four guys are my best friends. It’s the only way I get to see them! But seriously, it was just what we did growing up. I couldn’t be in a band with anyone else. I listened to anything with a good bass line and groove to it; a lot of soul and funk.”
Andrew – Drums and such - ”I used to listen to my mother’s collection of piano pop artists such as Elton John and Billy Joel, and my father always had Cool and the Gang on.”
AJ – Bass and the likes – “From Freemont, MI. I grew up listening to Harry Connick Jr., Michael Jackson, and the Doobie Brothers.
Growing up in Columbia together, attending the same schools and “dating each other’s sisters (well, one of us…)” tethered Grayson, Logan, Sam and Andrew to a banded brotherhood. AJ was pulled in later in the game, but he is making some equally powerful plays.
“I met the guys because they were recording their old single “White Light” at a studio in Franklin that I was living in. I then sold the lie that I was a bass player, and they let me join.” – AJ
As they sailed out together into the turbulent waters that can be a Kickstarter campaign – crowdsourced funding for their album – it was revealed to them just how expansive and loyal their new fan base had become. ”Fans let you make music for a career. They’re incredible,” Grayson proudly said.
“Once we launched it and the pledges started coming in, I was blown away. In an era where a lot of people don’t pay for music anymore, the fact that they were giving us money to make music was mind-blowing. It was an incredible motivator to go and stretch ourselves to our limits for these fans and friends who gave us so much.”
“Nashville is very supportive of us. I am excited to see how [everyone] responds to the new record. Who knows what will happen?”
“We played The House of Blues in Boston with The Joy Formidable back in June… But some of our favorite memories from shows are ones that have been here in Nashville, at Exit/In and Mercy Lounge, playing with some of our best friends. There’s no place like home.”
“There are so many talented musicians in Nashville, that if everyone was competing with each other, there couldn’t be any growth.”
By, Kaitlyn Crocker