“The first time you go overseas, and you’re playing in France, or England, and people are singing your songs—for a guy who couldn’t get people to sing his songs in his own hometown for most of his life, that’s a mind-blower,” recalls The Record Company’s Chris Vos in a rare moment of reflection. “Having our song hit #1 on Billboard AAA and getting to call my one my biggest musical heroes, my grandpa Don who was a farmer for 91 years, and tell him that had happened before he passed away and hear him say he was proud of me—I’ll take that all the way to my grave.” In fact, The Record Company is nothing short of a worldwide sensation; the Los Angeles-based blues-infused rock trio released Give It Back To You, their highly-acclaimed debut via Concord Music Group in early 2016, and since then, have unleashed chart-busting singles, lit up stages and arenas all over the country, toured the world, and been nominated for a Grammy.
“The thing about it is, I’m really a big believer in concentrating on the moment you’re in,” says frontman Vos when asked if he’s had a moment to absorb the meteoric success they’ve experienced. “If you’re working hard on that moment, your pathways seem to make a lot more sense moving forward and when you look back over your shoulder the things you’ve done, the lessons you’ve learned, the good and bad, it makes it easier to digest. In that respect, you just feel like you’re living your life, trying to do the best job you can,” he continues. “When I sit back and really think about it, I really can’t believe it. Someday, I’ll be able to reflect on it all, but right now, I’m just so excited to keep making music.”
It hasn’t always been easy; Vos, was raised in a Wisconsin farming family, spent years grinding in various projects with little to no luck, wondering how he would pay the rent, and playing gigs to empty rooms. When he relocated to Los Angeles and connected with bassist Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla—who had similar experiences trying to make it in the industry—things began to change. “This band brought all three of us what we never were close to having before,” says Vos. “We were so defeated from years of failed attempts in other bands, we literally looked at each other and said ‘Screw it. Let’s do what we want, exactly how we want. Who gives a shit if anyone likes it?’ The biggest honor you can get as a musician is a chance and some attention. If a single person gives you that, in this busy world, that’s precious and can’t be wasted,” he continues. “Because we were honest, and played what we liked, we got that precious gift of people’s attention.”
Any spare time between their copious number of tour dates is spent writing their follow up to Give It Back To You—there are no days off for The Record Company, and that’s the way they like it. “I’m fired up. It’s going to be early next year,” Vos says of the band’s new album. “We haven’t been off the road in a while, so we’re going to take some time off the road and go into the studio and dig in. I have no idea what’s coming, but I know this time’s been transformative and it’s been an exhilarating crash course.”
The band will shake up the Live On The Green main stage on Saturday, September 2nd, their second year at Nashville’s annual end-of-summer festival series. “We’re so stoked to play Nashville again,” says Vos. “I love playing festivals, they’re great for so many reasons. As a music fan, it gives me a chance to see bands. When you’re on the road all the time, you rarely get to see a lot of different bands perform. As a band, it’s a hell of an opportunity to get in front of a lot of people who might be willing to give you, again, that precious gift of time and attention. We play rock n’ roll music, throw down as hard as we can at every show and have a good time, and we invite other people to do the same.”
“People don’t always get the chance to experience this; out of respect, if you do get the chance, you’d better take it seriously,” Vos continues. “As long as the harvest is there, we’re going to stay out in the fields and work. We’ve shows to do, songs to write, and miles to travel. We have to keep moving. I’m just know I’m beyond thankful, and I’m going to keep working my guts out,” he says. “It’s such an honor.”