By MIKE CHAIKEN
If you saw a photo of a video of the band Vintage Trouble, you’d swear the band was manned by a bunch of Brits.
With their natty threads, and oh-so-cool throwback styling, they have all the earmarks of band ready made for the U.K. stage. And their sound, which distills the architects of rock and roll and spices it with British style bluesy boogie, is something that reeks of being an British isles kind of concoction.
And if you paid attention, Vintage Trouble has definitely had a lot of exposure overseas— appearing on television shows such as “Later with Jools Holland” and opening concerts across the pond for the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Bon Jovi.
Now they have their sights set on taking on America as they open for The Who, in a tour which brings them to the Mohegan Sun on Dec. 9.
But for all of their world traveling and worldly style, Vintage Trouble—which is Ty Taylor on vocals, Nalle Colt on guitar, Rick Barrio Dill on bass and Richard Danielson on drums— is a product of the good old U.S. of A. They got their start in Los Angeles— the Laurel Canyon to be precise.
In a conference call with the entire band, the members were flattered that they initially were mistaken for a bunch of nattily dressed Englishman.
“We spent a lot of time there (in the U.K.) and loved it,” said Rick.
The style of the band, explained Ty, is a throwback to when if you were a performer, you dressed the part. Ty said the band admires acts who knew that attending a performance was approached as a treat. The band also liked late 19th century, when audiences would dress up for an elegant night on the town when they traipsed out for a live performance.
Most of their approach to sartorial style, explained Ty, is drawn from the late 1950s and early 1960s, styles that have taken on a classic feel. They prefer that classic approach rather than pulling together something trendy and now.
“There’s something about dressing up with clean lines and suits that says you’re a man and you look the part,” said Ty.
As for the British leanings of their musical approach, Richard said most of the favorite music of the band has come from the U.K. But then, he explained, American music and British music has always had this great symbiotic relationship. For instance, American music always had the blues, and the U.K. turned it back to the states as rock and roll.
Opening for such a British rock legend as The Who, said Richard, “is a dream come true.”
Vintage Trouble has been building its audience up in Europe first and is trying to use that as a launching pad for success in the U.S. But Rick said the move wasn’t necessarily deliberate. When their manager Doc McGhee sat down with them about how to approach their career, Rick said the band said they thought the way to go was to hit it big elsewhere and then try to win America over. And McGhee agreed.
One reason behind the move, explained Nalle, was that the U.K. and Europe are more open to different kinds of music that might not fit the latest trends.
Although Vintage Trouble’s music harkens back to bands such as Humble Pie (“I Don’t Need No Doctor”), bluesy Hendrix or Robin Trower (“Bridge of Sighs”), it’s not really deliberate. Ty admitted he had never really heard of Trower, and he might have heard, at most, one track by Humble Pie .
Nalle, who is from Sweden, admitted to being influenced by some of the big names of British rock, including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.
However, mostly, the band explained their sound is a result of using some of the same ingredients that served as the foundations for those other bands.
For example, Nalle said, Vintage Trouble admires many of the architects of rock and rool, such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters, who helped shape many of the mid-1970s Brit-rockers. Vintage Trouble admires simple guitar-based music with drums and vocals.
The band is currently touring behind its first album “The Bomb Shelter Sessions,” which was released in 2011. They continue to breathe commercial life into it by adding tracks for deluxe editions.
But Nalle said Vintage Trouble does have a follow-up waiting in the wings that is all recorded and ready for release when the time is right.
And new material is always in the wings, said Ty. “When does a writer ever stop writing.”
While fans wait for the next album, Nalle said they can get a memento of the Vintage Trouble experience with a new DVD directed by an award winning director. When the band played in Europe in 2011, they hit up 80 gigs in 100 days. And the documentary about that feat will be available via Itunes and on DVD.
As for what fans can expect in their opening slot for the Who, the band says they are more than just a warm up band for the headliners. They said they are committed to transform the crowd into a bunch of Troublemakers, their pet name for the ardent followers of Vintage Trouble.
At the end of the day, said Ty, the band’s job is to connect to people. And when they leave the show, he said he wants listeners to feel good about themselves.
Vintage Trouble opens for The Who on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.
For more information, go to MoheganSun.com or VintageTrouble.com