One of the hottest new signings to the Warner Bros. subsidiary Fueled By Ramen; Vinyl Theatre is a band whose fame grew exponentially over the last few months and almost in many ways overnight.
A popular artist in the music community SoundCloud, Vinyl Theatre came to the attention of their current label after their music trended on the website, gathering up over one million streams since the band’s initial uploads to the service over a year ago. With a record label signing, sudden fame, and a tour with Twentyonepilots all within the last three months it’s impossible to know where the band will go from here, but the boys in Vinyl Theatre wouldn’t have it any other way.
Check out our interview with guitarist Josh Pothier below and learn why this hot new band may very well be on the level of their very famous label brethren Paramore and Fall Out Boy in the near future.
AltWire [Derek Oswald]: You just released your debut record Electrogram on Fueled By Ramen. What’s it like being signed to the same label that Paramore is currently on and that Fall Out Boy once called their home?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: It’s amazing and it’s a dream come true for all of us. I think every one of us in the band grew up with so many of these bands like Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! At The Disco (and even some of the alumni like Jimmy Eat World) that there are just so many bands that we all love and to be on that same label is just unbelievable.
AW: SoundCloud played a huge role in your early success as a band. However; some artists still have not completely jumped on board with streaming music sites and have even openly criticized them in the past. What are your thoughts on streaming music services? Do you feel they’re a crucial tool for new bands to get noticed?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: I think streaming music is kind of the way of the future in terms of online music listening. For us, like you said SoundCloud was huge because it was a place for us to put our music up and people could listen to it for free, but then they also have a social media networking aspect integrated into it so people could make their own profiles and comment and etcetera. I think it’s great! So many people download and torrent music that if they could just pull up a website and pull up a song and listen to it for free then I’d rather have them do that personally. So I’m all for it!
AW: In the course of three months you’ve hit over a million streams on SoundCloud, announced a label signing, released a big single, went on tour with Twentyonepilots, and are now going on your own headline tour. Is it crazy to be growing at such a rapid rate? Has any of it really sunk in yet?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: Yeah it’s been a wild ride. I think being off the tour and getting back to writing now that it’s starting to sink in that we have established ourselves decently well in the music scene. We still have a long ways to go because we’ve set our sights so high for ourselves and we have some pretty lofty goals, but to have already gained this amount of recognition is pretty amazing.
AW: I saw your band has been posting some amazing pre-show acoustic performances and covers. Although you just released your debut record, are there any plans to do an acoustic EP or even a covers EP down the line?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: There’s nothing set in stone, but we love playing covers and having a daily upload of cover videos or where we just get together and jam to play songs that we all dig. With acoustic, I think even in the next shows we play and the next tour we go on – we’re doing a small kind of more Midwest-based tour here starting out at the end of the month – we’ll be playing some acoustic songs during that set. We love acoustic stuff!
AW: How does the inspiration behind the sound of Vinyl Theatre come about? What fuels the band creatively?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: Well we all have each of our own individual musical preferences that are a little bit different from everybody else’s so I think that kind of helps bring variety into the writing style. We try not to emulate any bands but we do take inspiration from obviously a lot of indie-rock elements, and obviously a lot of electronic stuff with the synths. I don’t know it’s really just very organic. We just get together the four of us with our instruments in hand and just kind of throw stuff out there. It’s organic and raw how we write.
“We still have a long ways to go because we’ve set our sights so high for ourselves and we have some pretty lofty goals but to have already gained this amount of recognition is pretty amazing.”
AW: According to your bio, ‘Breaking Up My Bones’ was written about how inspired your band is by recording music. Although the band has previously said that they want to give these songs a good long life and not rush into writing another record, do you find yourself consistently coming up with new ideas while on the road for future songs?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: Absolutely! And that’s why it’s crazy because for us there are always new ideas coming out. When we were on the road and touring with Twentyonepilots and Misterwives we had at least three to five songs that we wrote on the road and pretty much had ready to go. Now that we’ve been home we’ve fleshed them out and made them more ‘full band’ but yeah it’s crazy. Every practice, we have we dedicate at least a little time (an hour maybe two hours) to writing and coming up with new ideas we want to work on. We want to give Electrogram a long life, but at the same time we love writing and we can’t help it.
AW: Were there any songs in particular on this record that might have been more difficult or challenging to write than others?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: There definitely was, hmm, I’m trying to think of which songs were tougher than others. It’s hard because each song is so different. I would say ‘Gold’. With ‘Gold’ we had a bit of a challenge trying to figure out that chorus. There were a few different ideas and ways that wanted to approach it and we had the rest of the structure (the verse and the pre-chorus) done a while before the chorus. With ‘Breaking Up My Bones’ we had a few different bridges for it as well.
AW: Do you have a song from the album that is your personal favorite?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: For me, it’s ‘Gold’ and that’s really always been my favorite. ‘Gold’ is one of those songs we’ve had written for a while I’d say two years or maybe even two and a half years and thankfully we got to bring it with us on to Electrogram. That song just means a lot to me personally and lyrically.
AW: Word of your music has begun to spread outside of the United States and to other places around the globe, is there any plans in the works to take your music across the pond in different countries and continents?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: Yeah we would love to! We have fan pages in Malaysia and Mexico and all over the world. It’s really just a matter of being able to go there and have it be a financially viable decision. We have limited funds and it’s tough to even tour in the US and do the tour we did with Twentyonepilots. Hopefully, this next year if things go well then absolutely, but as of right now there are no plans set in stone just yet.
AW: Although it’s impossible to imagine your schedule becoming any busier than it already has been, what are some of the major plans your band has for the year ahead? Anything big you can reveal?
Josh Pothier [Vinyl Theatre]: Oh man. There are some big things in the works that I can’t really talk about (I wish I could talk about them) [laughs]! We’re really just trying to focus on this Midwest tour that we’re doing as well as the snow show here in Milwaukee with Fall Out Boy and Walk The Moon in December and I think we’ll be looking for another big national tour to hop on as an opening act in February. But yeah that’s pretty much it for what we’ve got planned!