For The Record Company Bluesfest Byron Bay has been their first experience with Australia and their lead singer Chris Vos was genuinely excited to be here when we sat down with him.
Discussing their set list for their Bluesfest shows Chris says, “We go on instinct, we’ve never played to Australia before, so we’re just going to give it the old tomahawk chop and get in there and be lively. We just want to put on a good show.”
Heading straight back to the States after their first time in Australia, the band will be playing the Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans. The trio is a busy band, having only recently supported John Mayer on tour and they are headed out on their headlining tour once they return to America. Speaking of touring with John, Chris says, “It was awesome! We got to play venues that were holding eighteen thousand people, like Madison Square Garden, which is a lot more people than we’re used to.”
The band has accompanied many a musician on tour including the likes of B.B. King and Buddy Guy and are very mindful not to take the experiences for granted.
“Every time is just one less time in your life you get to play,” Chris says. “You have to take it all in, give it all out and allow all the new places to enrich your perspective of the world. That’s one of the great gifts of being able to play music for a living and tour, you get to see the corners of the world.”
Experiencing new cultures and they way they do things influences the bands music. Chris explains.
“You gather material on tour and then you bring it all back together when you get home. I’m scribbling on notepads and singing into my phone and when you stop for a second you go through it all and you have like two hundred and eighty two ideas.”
He appreciates the volume of ideas though, even if he has to go through and cull a few voice notes before he hits on something he likes.
“You have to write a lot of bad stuff before you write something good,” Chris says. “That is something I truly believe, no one just sits down and pours out the sounds that will eventually be on the next record.”
The band have been compared to other acts like The Black Keys and spoken on their influences including The Rolling Stones, but one of Chris’ most memorable moments involves legend Mavis Staples.
“We opened for her and she invited me down to watch her and the band warm up,” he says. “They were doing acapella warm ups and it was so genuine and amazing; you learn a lot from those moments. At the end when they were done, I was standing in the doorway and she goes ‘Chris, let’s take a picture’; she was so genuine and warm and I won’t forget that.”
The band has found the musical community has been incredibly welcoming, describing John Mayer as very warm and inviting, saying that they have been very lucky with their experiences.
The rock and roll band has received praise for their 2016 debut album Give It Back To You and Chris believes that part of what makes them the band they are is their honesty.
“As long as you aren’t trying to hide and you live your life in the open,” Chris says, “if you’re being a true and real person everything works out. If you’re thinking about what people are saying you probably aren’t thinking about creating and that’s what we want to do – create.”
That’s what the band has done, create an album and a live show that is truly engaging.
Photo credit: Gina Martin