The Record Company have been touring nearly nonstop since releasing their debut album Give It Back to You with Concord Records in February. That included an April 30 date at The Birchmere and includes two upcoming shows in the region – a show at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Monday, June 6, which is sold out, and another at Baltimore Soundstage on Saturday, July 30.
The album is a collection of songs showcasing the group’s love for the first decade of rock n’ roll, Blues, punk and even, if you listen closely, hip-hop. While all music and art is derivative of what came before it to some degree, The Record Company seems to have hopped in a time machine and traveled to the 30s and 40s for the boogie-woogie blues, then to the 50s and 60s for the origins of rock n’ roll and came back to share what they’ve gleaned from some of their favorite artists.
“Just on a gut level we enjoy [those] eras,” said Chris Vos, the group’s lead singer. “There’s just a rawness and a beauty and an honesty and an authenticity implicit in all the music of those times, be it the beginning of the electric blues and electric music, spanning all the way back to the late 40s…that’s all amazing.”
Admiration seems to be the only reason Vos could give for why he and his bandmates, Alex Stiff and Marc Cazorla, make the sounds that they do. “It’s just what called out to us,” Vos said. “Early punk rock, I mean like Stooges, and, we love great songs. The [Rolling] Stones, their entire catalog…we love all of The Stones records. I don’t know why. It’s what we loved when the three of us would get into a room, that’s what we would listen to.
“But we also love modern music. It might not sound like it, but we’re all heavily influenced by like the Beastie Boys in some weird ways because their music was so brave and they’re three guys, we’re three guys. Obviously we’re not emcees, but they could also play every instrument.” The members of The Record Company all have overlap in terms of what instruments they are listed as playing in the group. They all do vocals, Stiff and Cazorla are listed as piano players and Vos and Stiff are listed as guitars, so the Beastie Boys comparison is apt in that respect.
Give It Back to You has a lot of what Vos said the group admires in artists of the past – honesty, rawness, beauty and authenticity, the last of which is hard to pull off given how noticeably influenced they are by music of the past. Perhaps that’s because the group created their debut album in a living room in Los Angeles, where they all live. Vos said that when Concord Records heard the album, they only wanted to have it properly mastered, but changed little else about the record.
Vos said that one of the things that’s characteristic of most of the music they are influenced by is that it always came out of the beginnings of that genre.
“That’s why you listen to any piece of music that pops out of a piece of time that you can say that was the beginning of something is always fantastic,” Vos said. “Because it had to be born, it had to exist. A group of people got together who were inspired and collectively and individually made it exist. That’s why if you listen to anything at beginning of [a genre]…I don’t care what it is. At the beginning, even if it’s not your cup of tea, it’s amazing….That’s why we tap into those eras and anyone of those eras is an influence on all musicians, but it’s something we as a band spend a lot of time getting educated on.”
• For more information about The Record Company, visit therecordcompany.net.