Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vintage Blue

Vintage Blue is a band that is a must listen.  Being a teenager in the late '90s, Vintage Blue brings me back to that time. FYI: I loved it! They have a style that is fantastic, mainly because it is not just one style. These guys can do just about anything and it sounds wonderful.  I wanted to know more about this band and what makes them tick, so here is an email interview that was conducted with one of the members, Ben.

Give me a short history/background of yourself? (where did you grow up, where you live now, how old you were when music first effected your life)

I (Ben Bassett) was born on the East Coast in Pittsfield, MA but moved to the West Coast whenI was very young. I grew up in Monterey, CA and Chico, CA. Monterey is a beautiful town onthe Monterey bay near Pebble Beach and the Carmel Valley. It is one of the most scenic areasI have ever been and someday I hope to live there again. Chico is a college town and is in theNorthern California valley. It is a great place to raise a family and a very comfortable communitywhere people very rarely leave. I left California when I went away for college in the Midwest. Ihave been there ever since, moving from college (in St. Louis), to Chicago to pursue an advanceddegree.Music has been a part of my life since I was very little. My step-father had a degree in musicand was a very talented musician in his own right. We always had a piano in the house and heoften filled the house with the sound of classic rock and soul/funk tunes that he and my momreally enjoyed. When I was old enough, my step-dad, step-brother and I would team up aroundthe piano and learn three-part harmonies to Beatles tunes and other great rock n’ roll classics.Those early lessons continue to guide me today.
      If you could describe your music, how would you?

We use the tagline “Contemporary. Classic. Rock.” We think that line best defines what weare. We all grew up on the classic rock of The Eagles, Queen, Tom Petty, The Doors, CCR andThe Boss, so when we started writing music together those influences naturally came through.But you cannot just emulate what has come before, you should build on it. So we tried toadd a more contemporary edge on some of the tunes with some synth, crunchy guitar andincorporated layered horns and harmonies.If you listen to our record you will see that our music covers a handful of sub-genres from ska, toblues, to folk. Because all these influences are felt on our record, there is something for everyfan of rock and roll. There is even a song with a string section!!
         Favorite song?, band?

I HATE THIS QUESTION!!! Ha ha ha. I have so many bands and songs that I love, it really
depends on the day, my disposition and the color of my mood ring. Some of my favorite artists
that have always been on my mix-tapes are Aerosmith, Nirvana, The Doors, Foo Fighters, Frank
Sinatra, Steely Dan and SRV. While many in my band think I am crazy, I also have a TON of pop
music. There is a reason that pop music will never die. Sometimes you just want something
light and fun! As far as favorite songs … ugh. A young lady I recently started investigating
has turned me on to the newer dubstep and indie artists and I have been repeatedly listening
to “One on One” by The Bird and the Bee. It is a re-make of the old Hall n’ Oates tune. Pretty
awesome and sensual.

        What do you do besides making music?

Why would I do anything besides make music? In all honesty, making music, when donecorrectly and with feeling and emotion generally takes a lot of time and consideration. You areconstantly analyzing everyday thoughts and extrapolating lyrics or ideas. But as a band we allhave our 9-5 jobs and do the whole “job” thing. We are all very grateful to have careers thatalso allow us to pursue our love of music. Outside of that, we do the usual things, hang out,go eat and drink at our favorite spots here in Chicago. We also spend a ton of time supportingother local bands that have supported us. We try to get out and hit the local music scene asmuch as we can.
        What are your hopes and/or plans for the feature with your music?

Personally, I cannot imagine my life without music as a key part of it. The process of making ourfirst record brought so much good fortune into our life. We met our producer Jamie Candiloro(REM, Ryan Adams), played shows with Sister Hazel, Vertical Horizon and Richard Marx, we haveplayed several shows at some of the most prestigious Chicago music venues, and we have hadour record passed to some of the most influential names in the music industry. I continue tosoak up the connections we have made and the success we have had with this first record havedriven us to already begin work on a follow-up record. Ultimately we have no idea where ourmusic will take us, but we all would love to keep our band growing and keep moving ahead,exposing our music to new fans and new people all over the world.
My favorite part of this interview is the answer, "Why would I do anything besides music?" What a perfect answer. Vintage Blue is based out of Chicago, and for most of my readers, that is not very far away. So my advice, check these guys out and if you dig them (which I am guaranteeing you will) go see them.  Below is the link to their website. Their music can also be found on iTunes. I cannot forget to mention that my favorite song on their album Strike the Mics is Unchained. It's the scream, it's definitely the scream!


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