New York City band, Vinyette, were performing at the legendary Jersey Shore music venue, The Stone Pony, when they came to the attention of a European band who happened to be performing there as well and caught their act. Lord Bishop Rocks is a trio from Germany that has been touring the world for 15 years and happen to have nineteen albums to their credit. The amazing fact about Lord Bishop Rocks is how few facts are actually available about them presently, aside from the pretty epic talent on display in their live shows, videos and recordings. Vinyette, a band that has been together for six years, is comprised of lead vocalist Nathan Frye, drummer (and synth) Jonathan Crowley, guitarist Danny Monico and bass player Marc Ligenza. Lord Bishop Rocks was so blown away by what they heard when Vinyette was onstage that they asked the group to join them as the supporting band for their 2014 European Summer Tour. That tour kicked off last month, on May 29th, in Reinbach, Germany. Vinyette will perform 26 shows in 32 days with Lord Bishop Rocks, hitting the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and the Netherlands in addition to Germany.
Before boarding the plane for Germany a couple of days before their first European show, the band was in NYC for a few days to pack and perform a raucous set at Mercury Lounge on East Houston Street. They had just rolled back into town from Montauk, where they performed at The Point as part of the Montauk Music Festival. That performance was right on the heels of their weeks long Spring tour of the Midwest and West Coast, with a month long stay in California.
Vinyette describes their sound on their Facebook page as "a high energy sound, with a reverential core. Sonic versatility for the active mind and body, in a vast catalog ranging from uninhibited rock to endearing ballads. The deep rhythms of the songs dance and fuse with bright guitar licks and silver tongued, honey lunged vocals that give the imagination a ride." Vinyette released their album, "Every Little Mouse Run" in May 2013, in "true rock tradition, in analogue", recorded at One East Recording in New York City. One East Recording boasts an impressive pedigree, with artists like the Beastie Boys, David Lee Roth and Sheryl Crow recording in their studios. The album was engineered by Yohei Goto, whose credits include Keith Richards, Lee Scratch Perry and Jason Bonham. The album was produced by Ronin Guitars founder, John Reed. Vinyette released three videos from the album, including "Meatball Love Tone", "Twenty Dollar Doctor" and "Tattoo Crazy".
Lead vocalist Frye and drummer Crowley took time out from packing, a couple days before their departure, to have a brew in an Irish pub on West 14th Street with this writer and chat about Vinyette's past, present and future. Both artists spoke with gratitude about the opportunity they were about to embark upon sharing the bill with Lord Bishop Rocks on the European tour, and the chance to rock a foreign audience with their distinctive sound and energy. The musical brotherhood the two share is palpable, as they both talked about the same themes in their music and inspiration. Crowley continuously referred to music as a "community", and made the point that the act of listening to music live is akin to being in church. It is not meant to be experienced alone. He went on to say that the goal is to "build up the people around you" and stated that "music is a selfless act, not a competition." Frye was equally eloquent, stating that "you create luck with effort" in reference to the break the band had gotten with the European tour.
Both Crowley and Frye have deep roots in rock and roll, citing Pink Floyd as a huge inspiration, as well as Jim Morrison, Nirvana and Jane's Addiction. Onstage, Frye's frontman persona is fierce, strenuous and loud, but in person he is soft spoken, thoughtful and articulate. Crowley has an almost monastic reverence for music, and his passion for what he does as an artist is obvious. He calls himself an "abstract storyteller", who feels the song writing process in the band is pretty egalitarian, with all four members contributing to the lyrics and music.
Vinyette is looking forward to another tour of the US when they are back stateside, sometime before Summer officially ends, and in the meantime they are enjoying the momentum their music is gaining overseas. Incredibly, they have managed to find the time to release a brand new single, exclusively here in this column. You can check out "Glisten" here: www.vinyette.com/music.