The 2010s have quickly become defined by this notion of "what's old is new." EDM is 90s techno with heavier bass. Roots music titans like Mumford or Hozier are drawing from 70s Americana tradition -- despite those two being English. And grunge is back and bigger than it has been since the early 90s. We had a chance to talk with Vinyette
about how the 90s influenced their neo-grunge/garage sound and what it was like recording at the legendary Magic Shop studio. Be sure to check out the interview and two of their singles, "Just to Get Away," and "Charlie."
There's very much an influence of 90s alternative rock with a touch of modern garage rock revivalism (particularly bands like Cage the Elephant) on your sound. Were grunge/heavier 90s rock acts particularly influential on your early musical life?
Nathan - Definitely quite a lot...just the essentials like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse and Sonic Youth. Really found a lot of emotion and connection in these bands and their peers and influences.
Danny- 90s grunge is the reason why I started playing guitar. I remember listening to the Dirt
album by Alice in Chains, and being blown away at what Jerry Cantrell was doing. It just sounded so dark and evil to me. But I liked it. Aside from all the bands mentioned up top, Blind Melon was also a huge factor for me. I think for a while we strayed away from the 90s feel, but right now, we are coming back around to it, and its starting to pay off for us.
Marc- As far as the bands the sounds, yeah Dmo and Nate said it. For me, one of the coolest things about music then was being a kid and going into the record store, sifting through tapes and CDs, checking out album covers and just taking a chance on something. I mean thats how I found bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., even Snoop Dogg. The artwork the liner notes, it was all immersive, more than just a track to download or stream. The whole thing just made me wanna pick up a guitar, draw, paint, write. I think that's the energy of garage rock and grunge...just make art and express yourself, without waiting on validation.
"Just to Get Away" and "Charlie" are almost night & day in terms of the heaviness of the sound. Can we expect that sort of contrast throughout the rest of your music or is one song more indicative of your particular style?
Nathan- Definitely, I mean, when we write and perform, we like to explore the whole color spectrum, so to speak. We like to explore variations of vibe and style. A relatable example might be what cover songs we play in a set, when touring we might throw in a couple. For instance, we play Otis Redding's 'That's How Strong My Love Is' and later 'Hollywood Babylon' by the Misfits.
Our writing follows suit. A freshly written and unreleased song of ours titled 'Clowns', is a sweet waltz tempo ballad about childhood dreams and light. In contrast, we seriously flash our inner punk, in our new, unreleased song 'Crossing Streets.' It's about self absorption and deceit.
Danny- I would say that we may be a little more consistent in terms of vibe. But that spontaneous sound will always be us. I think that's how the each of us live our lives. A song can reflect more than a mood; its a state of being for us. We enjoy the melodic avenues, but we do love the filthy alleyways as well.
Marc- When your influences range from classic rock icons like Pink Floyd and Neil Young, to 90s grunge and hip hop, some very different kinds of things are gonna come out when youre jamming and writing. I think were definitely inspired by bands like Ween who are really able to play any genre they want and it absolutely kills. It makes you want to try things you might not otherwise. That said I think the newest batch of songs were working on really marries the raw and unfettered of 'Charlie with the melodic and pop lightness of 'Just to Get Away.
What was your experience recording in a studio as legendary as Magic Shop? Was being enmeshed in that much music history inspiring?
Nathan - It was extremely energizing just being at the Magic Shop. I felt like I had really done something right, to feel this lucky. I was extremely thankful to be doing this with these guys. Just floored listening to what everybody was doing in this great space. We were all flying because of this sound. Our Producer, Jimi Zhivago, with his mixing and engineering team, were masterful in their element.
I personally had worked in SoHo for a while, when I first moved to NY. It felt very special, to instead be on the inside of those doors. The whole experience at the Magic Shop was next level dream stuff.
Danny- As soon as I saw that Neve Console in there, I felt like I was about to join the 2001: A Space Odyssey
set. So while it was inspiring to be amongst such legendary and musically rich history, the gear alone had me bouncing off the walls. But there is also a really calming, and almost Church like energy in there as well. So that kept us focused and determined to record, 'Just to get away, in the few hours that we had. Jimi also really took us into a creative on the fly mode too, and it pushed us just enough to get what we really wanted to give to the world.