Frontman Ty Taylor previews the latest UK visit from the Californian four-piece who were voted Best New Band at the Classic Rock Awards in 2011, and were once likened to “James Brown singing Led Zeppelin”.
You’re in Tokyo as we speak. How are things going?
The jet lag is a pain, but I’ve seen glorious sunrises every day. This morning as it rose I sat in a tea garden, beside a pond full of koi carp the size of my thigh. I sat singing songs and the koi jumped up and out of the water whenever I reached the chorus.
Six years ago, in your first Classic Rock interview you proclaimed: “I wanna hang out with philosophers, I wanna hang out with artists and I wanna see people paint when I play my music.”
I’m so glad you reminded me of that, because we recently played at the Bluesfest in Byron Bay [Australia]. Again, I woke up early and, I fucking kid you not, at the breakfast table to my right was [Grammy-winning jazz/blues singer] Gregory Porter and to my left was [blues-rock guitarist] Eric Gales. I’ve never had a better conversation about artistry, music and philosophy. It felt incredible to be considered a peer of those guys.
Vintage Trouble’s career path is somewhat unusual – few bands have shared stages with a list of artists as diverse as Brian May, The Who, AC/DC, the Stones, Bon Jovi and, er, Paloma Faith.
And also with Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran and Joss Stone. We luck out for having an amazing manager, Doc McGee, but also because besides the rock’n’roll influence, I’m a soul singer that comes from the church. The Who, the Stones and AC/DC all say their roots came from old black music. And because Paloma Faith wants to sleep with me, she took me under her wing and we learned how to play to a wider audience.
The UK’s fast-rising blues guitarist Laurence Jones will be the support act at your upcoming UK shows. Do you know much about him?
It’s certainly not random. Laurence is on this tour because he and I talked about it for a couple of years. He’s even been doing a song that I wrote for him. Laurence doesn’t want to be known simply as a blues guitarist, so we’ve had many conversations about pop songwriting. We’ve even gotten together for a threesome with Paloma Faith. She will kill me for saying that [laughs loudly].
A new Vintage Trouble single, Knock Me Out, will be out by the time of the tour, but how are plans proceeding for the band’s fourth album?
We have mounds of new material, and half of the set for these shows will be new songs. I can tell you exclusively that before coming to the UK the band goes to the Cayman Islands to record an EP. It’s about time.
The tour kicks off in Exeter on May 31 and the final date is in London on June 8.