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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Vinyl Station

Vinyl Station, Bandcamp

Vinyl Station is a local duo comprised of Matthew Thorton and Brendon Cottrell. The band is one of the busiest in the scene, playing every Wednesday at Vintage 95 in Chandler, every Thursday at Isabella’s Kitchen in Scottsdale, back at Vintage 95 on Fridays, every Saturday at  Culinary Dropout The Yard in Phoenix, Sunday brunch at Hotel Palomar and Sunday evenings at the Postino WineCafè in Gilbert.

Vinyl Station released its debut The Evening Sin in February. The 11-track album can be streamed or purchased for $10 on Bandcamp.

The duo took time out of their busy schedule to talk with The Spec about inspiration, upcoming plans and how their name relates to U2, read what they had to say below…

How long have you been making music?
BC: We’ve both been playing for quite a while, but we have been a band together for about two-and-a-half years.

Who/what are your influences?
MT: Justin Currie and Peter Gabriel are guys I grew up with and have influenced me a lot. As a band, Brendon and I have really connected on our mutual appreciation for U2, The National and Ryan Adams.

How did the two of you meet and form the band?
BC: We were double booked for the same show as solo performers. We ended up playing most of the show together. After two years of Matthew begging, I finally joined the band.

How did you come up with your name?
MT: I wanted to name it Zoo Station because it’s one of my favorite songs and it seemed like a cool name, but it sounded too much like a U2 tribute band name, so we changed it to Vinyl because we think the sound of vinyl records is better than anything on earth.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
MT: Our next album is mostly written, we would like to start recording that soon, but first we are going to record a live DVD of songs from The Evening Sin. All the while playing tons of shows…

What inspires your music?
BC: The art of the craft. I really strive to continually improve and create a unique experience that the audience will hopefully connect with and enjoy.

MT: For me it’s a bodily function. Every once in a while music comes out. I try not to get in the way, but sometimes I will fix a phrase or two of the lyrics. Usually it just happens, and I always record when I sit down with a guitar so I don’t lose any ideas. By now I have too many ideas that are unfinished. Someday, I will have the time to go through them all and find the good ones and finish them.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
MT: I look up to bands who aren’t afraid to bore a festival crowd. There’s always so much pressure to try and give the most energy and do the most upbeat set ever. The Tallest Man On Earth gets up with just a guitar and kills it. Paolo Nutini closed his set with a classical guitar with a song even his most loyal fans hadn’t heard. I love the courage to let the song hold up on it’s own, especially to strangers who might not have heard the songs, and might not know who the hell you are.

BC: I appreciate bands that focus on the details: the intricate nuances that help create an experience. That diligence is really inspiring to me. Great examples would be The Cure, The Smiths and The National.

Why do you make music?
BC: I believe it is what I was designed to do. To not make music would be against my nature.

MT: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” One of the few lessons I learned from Heath Ledger‘s The Joker. I also love the connection you can make with people with such a strange thing as melody and lyrics. I love that there’s no explanation of how it works… Also I don’t want to have to get a normal job.

Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Our first full-length album The Evening Sin is out now. You can download it on iTunes or pick it up at one of our shows. To see our calendar and other fun stuff, visit our website.

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