By: Tracy Forsyth-Lundy ~ Editor/Owner
Gain Records scored one hell of a band the day they signed Sweden’s Vanity Blvd to their label! The one thing I do NOT understand is why they are not touring North America? Vanity Blvd has their own style, their own sound & show just a hint of the artists who have influenced them yet maintain their independence as a group. You will NOT sit down and listen to their album and find yourself saying “oh they sound just like…” OH no no my fellow rockers! You will find yourself saying the EXACT same thing I was saying the first time I heard their album…”WHY have I not heard of this band before and WHY are they not on North American radio – they are better than HALF of the crap the radio stations play OVER and OVER and OVER again.”
I am blessed in the fact that I receive hundreds of CDs all year long from bands who would like a review. I’ll be honest in saying that this CD ‘Rock & Roll Overdose’ by Vanity Blvd is one of the few Cds I own (by an Indie band) that I can put into my stereo and leave it & play each song…no skipping tracks here folks – each and every song belongs on this album.
Band members Cindi Savage (vocals), Traci Trexx (guitar), Marty (bass and Frecko (drums) have collaborated as a group of artists who can write, compose and create some of the catchiest songs with the coolest hooks; what more can a music lover as for in a band? Oh yeah!! A kick ass live show! Have no fear my friends, Vanity Blvd takes the stage and owns it the entire show! Music is in fact entertainment, and Vanity Blvd entertains their fans like a Rock band should!
Traci Trexx and I met online one day while surfing around on Facebook. A few emails later, their album was in the mail and the rest is history. Traci took some time to talk with me over the phone one afternoon about the band, the songs and life in general. His polite manner, pure positive energy and passion for his music makes me admire this band more and more every day. Here is some of our conversation:
TFL: ‘Rock N Roll Overdose’ was first released in 2008 right? How have things gone so far Traci?
TT: Yes, the album was first released in Sweden and after we tried to get in out in Europe. It is out in Germany and soon it will be in the UK too. It is on the Internet so you can order it worldwide.
TFL: Do you ever have people tell you that you kind of look like Nikki Sixx?
TT: (laughs) Yes, sometimes. Every time I get a haircut, I show the ladies pictures of Nikki Sixx on their first album (laughs). I think now my hair is more like Paul Stanley or Alice Cooper because I have curls in it (laughs).
TFL: What is your favorite track on the album?
TT: Oh my God…well I can tell you that in the beginning and now is totally different. When we were recording the album in the studio, we wanted something new and fresh to put on the album. I made ‘Talk of the Town’ about 5 minutes before we recorded it. I think ‘Talk of the Town’ and ‘4 The Love of Rock n Roll’ were made over a lunch break on an acoustic guitar for fun and everybody loved it (laughing) so I think maybe those 2 songs would be some of my favorite songs.
TFL: There is a lot of variety on this album. When I first heard the album I had this “HOLY SHIT!” moment where I was confused WHY you are not signed to a major label!
TT: That is EXACTLY what everybody tells us. They don’t understand why we are not bigger. We are very good musicians, we are REAL musicians and we are not poser rock stars.
TFL: As a music fan I have high expectations when it comes to live music. I expect a band to be able to play their music as well as they play in the studio. Do you think Vanity Blvd can do that?
TT: YES! I can tell you this; if you put us with a band like Motley Crue, and I swear from my soul, that people will think we are better live.
Vanity Blvd has 2 videos you can find on YouTube; ‘Share My Pain’ as well as ‘Talk of the Town’. If you search longer, you will find there are actually 2 versions of ‘Share My Pain’. Cindi’s vocals do in fact send shivers down your spine and give you goose bumps, she is truly talented. I would have to say that her sound is a combination of Amy Lee meets Linda Perry with a dash of Joan Jett & a hint of Lee Aaron. Smooth vocals each and every track with such a soulful groove to her. Not every rock band can pull off a sound with a female lead vocalist however Vanity Blvd has created a sound that the music industry is longing for.
TFL: I’ve done a lot of research on you guys and I have to say I am so very impressed.
TT: Oh, thank you!
TFL: I’m serious Traci, you run your own website, your own MySpace AND you are on Facebook. When you reach out like that, eventually the right people come along.
TT: Yes, we just want to take Rock & Roll to another level, like save the Universe with our music (laughs).
TFL: Well ‘Share My Pain’, ‘Private Hell’, ‘Come Dance With Me’ they are ALL great tracks! ‘Feed My Obsession’, ‘Since U Been Gone’ track after track they are all amazing.
TT: Thank You!
TFL: The album does not leave my vehicle, now it’s on my MP3 player and I found myself grocery shopping to the music of Vanity Blvd and the guy at the deli counter is watching me as I’m rocking down the aisle to your music (laughing)
TT: (laughing) Cool!
TFL: It’s awesome Traci, your music is contagious! (laughing)
TT: (laughing) That’s so nice, you’re going to give me a big ego (laughing)
TFL: What can Vanity Blvd fans expect in 2010?
TT: A lot of powerful Rock & Roll music. We are going to try and get into the studio because we are ready to write new songs. Our next album, and so far, the basic stuff we have is so good. It’s much better than the whole album. Having everyone listen to it is our goal.
TFL: What is it about performing that you love the most Traci?
TT: I like to stand on the stage and see all of the people and see them smile at me. That’s good for me.
TFL: I noticed you are a Cooper and a Kiss fan because there are a lot of Cooper and Kiss shirts in your photos.
TT: (laughs) Yes! I am, I think Jimi Hendrix is a God!
2010 is going to bring us all kinds of new and exciting musicians, concerts and legendary recoding artists bringing talented new acts with them for all music lovers to see in person. NOTHING would make ME happier than seeing Vanity Blvd invited on to a tour with a major recording artist. This band IS the true total package – talent, passion, style, a crisp & clean Rock & Roll sound that fits right into ANY concert that is being planned for 2010.
You can purchase their album by visiting their website at http://www.vanityblvd.com support music and BUY the album! Backstage Live magazine is proud to have Vanity Blvd as our 2009 Indie band of the Year! Your commitment and passion for the love of Rock and Roll is not just a song – it’s a way of life! Full HORNS Up to Vanity Blvd and I cannot wait to see what you bring to us with your next album!