Bringing the grit and energy: Talking with Vaudeville EtiquetteMay 16, 2017
If a Vaudeville Etiquette show could be summed up in one word, what would that be?
It’s the immediate response from the alt-Americana quintet’s lead singers Tayler Lynn and Bradley Laina. And it’s not a surprising one. Fresh off a month long European tour, riding the high of a successful second album, the duo seems bubbling with excitement and intensity.
“We’re an evolved version of our band right now,” Tayler says. “Our sound is much more driven by grit and rock and rhythm and noise.”
Sitting in the sun-soaked outdoor patio of Nectar Lounge, at times bellowing over the morning Fremont traffic, the two recount stories of their band’s origins and progress, leading up to their Nectar show on Friday, May 26.
“Our show is now bigger, better and more fun,” Tayler says. “And we can’t wait to share.”
What started out as two friends from Shoreline Community College playing in a Rolling Stones cover band quickly evolved when Bradley married Tayler’s sister.
“We all moved down to LA together,” Tayler says. “And we were so, so broke.”
The three shared a tiny one-bedroom apartment, she says, and she and Bradley were forced to write music together out of lack-of-space.
“Well you’re also a very good musician,” she says, laughing. “It wasn’t purely out of convenience.”
When a promoter at a bar offered them an 11:30 p.m. gig the night before New Year’s Eve (the worst gig ever, Tayler points out), Vaudeville Etiquette was born.
Too Many Cooks
After moving back to Seattle shortly after, the two took a break from the band for a couple of years, Bradley says. When they reunited, they went on the hunt for new members. Via Craigslist.
“I literally placed an ad that said, anyone who wants to play any instrument, come here,” Tayler says.
“It was very broad,” Bradley chimes in.
But through that broad ad, the band found pedal steel player Matt Teske, who ended up being one of the cornerstones of Vaudeville Etiquette’s sound. Shortly after, drummer Bryce Gourley was found, and bass players have been rotated in and out over the lifetime of the band.
Playing with many multi-talented instrumentalists presents its own challenges though, Bradley says. Everyone brings different visions to the table, which can be difficult to compact into a cohesive album.
“We should change our band name to Too Many Cooks!” Tayler tosses out. “Though we do well at finding little pockets for everyone to feature their abilities. One of our strengths as a band is that ability to trade off.”
Aura Vista Motel
A little over a year ago on May 6, 2017, Vaudeville Etiquette dropped their sophomore album, Aura Vista Motel, to glowing reviews. Bradley and Tayler tribute new electric, rock and R&B influences, as well as producer Shawn Simmons (who’s worked with The Head and the Heart and Lemolo) with its success.
“Shawn brought a very focused and organized concept to the sound and the new arrangements,” Bradley says. “These were songs we had tested live, and had been writing with new influences and together we ended up with this nice, tight round number of tunes”
The record came out darker than either expected, Tayler says. But the final product informed them on the direction their band was moving in.
“We’re growing beyond writing simple little folk songs,” she says. “We don’t want to go chasing trends.”
After a month of touring through postcard-esque Spanish towns, German villages and the countryside of Poland, Vaudeville Etiquette returned to Seattle eager to jump on the writing train, says Bradley.
“We’re all writing a little bit, and figuring out new ways to approach writing together,” he says.
Some of those new tunes can be caught at their upcoming show at Nectar Lounge on Friday, May 26, they say.
“Playing in our home city,” Tayler says, “I almost cry I’m so happy. And by and by Nectar is one of our favorite rooms to play in Seattle.”
She’s eager to transform the whimsey and uninhibited nature of Vaudeville Etiquette’s European performances into a show for friends, fans and family.
And what can people expect from that show?
“We want everyone to feel like friends hanging out at a party,” Tayler says. “And the bill is amazing! General Mojo’s, Spencer Glenn Band, Cedar Teeth. Everyone should feel comfortable, and sexy and fun.”
“And maybe a little drunk.”
Catch Vaudeville Etiquette with General Mojo’s, Spencer Glenn Band and Cedar Teeth on Friday, May 26.