The Rolling Stones just came through town on their No Filter Tour and packed tens of thousands of fans into Gillette Stadium. But that's really the pot of gold at the end of a never-ending rainbow for most rock groups.
It's just not that easy. You've got to pack the vans, pull out the gear, plug in the amps and hope the crowds come. When they do, you've made the first step. (And if you can pick up some critical acclaim along the way, even better.)
That's kind of where The Record Company comes in. The Grammy Award-nominated trio has built up critical mass and a growing legion of fans as they play to larger audiences in moving from supporting act to headliner.
Whether it's opening for John Mayer or Zac Brown, or even their two-month stint opening for Bob Seger on his farewell tour last fall, The Record Company is building a name for themselves. You may have heard their songs, "Off the Ground" and "Life to Fix."
They'll bring that buzz to Boarding House Park on Saturday night as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series. The Beat recently conducted an interview via email with Chris Vos, the group's lead singer, who also plays guitar and rock harp.
Q: Music critics and just fans of rock music are always looking for "the next big thing" and sometimes, it's out there in plain sight. How do you explain the band's sudden emergence as a critical darling and rising popularity?
A: You can't control how or predict how anyone is going to react to the music you create, but you can control how hard you work as a band to make the best music you can and play it with all the heart you can muster up. We strive to create the best songs we can together and play them from an honest place inside us. That is at the center of what we try to do both in the studio and live.
Q: How does it feel to go from sharing stages with acts like John Mayer, Zac Brown and My Morning Jacket, and your two-month stint opening for Bob Seger on his farewell tour, to being a headliner?
A: You learn so much watching artists like that perform when you are an opening act. Each artist and each gig always carries its own lesson. The common denominator in all those artists is they each are totally original to themselves, write great songs, they work so hard on their show, and they always turn it out every night. Play hard, work hard on your music, and stay true to who you are. You take those lessons with you when you headline your own shows.
Q: Your music has drawn comparisons to Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash? Were those among your influences growing up? Where else do you draw inspiration in your writing and performing?
A: Absolutely. All those artists had a huge impact on us from a young age, as well as countless others. It's not uncommon for us to go from listening to Hendrix, to Beastie Boys, to Patsy Cline, to John Lee Hooker, to The Who, to Sturgill Simpson, to Aphex Twin. We don't focus on one genre as listeners. We are big fans of music of all types, and there are lessons around every corner from all types of artists.
Q: I know you've been kind of non-stop on the road in support of your last album. How has that relentless touring helped the band evolve both musically and in concert?
A: It's like any relationship or team in that the more time you spend doing something together, the more you understand each other and anticipate each other's moves creatively. That allows for the musical conversation to evolve over time and allows for you to keep finding new space to explore together.
Q: What should fans (and potential fans) here in the Greater Lowell/southern New Hampshire area know about seeing The Record Company live? What should they expect?
A: I believe that each show in your life is one less time that you get to do what you love in your life, so play your heart out every time. There is no time in life to waste, and every time you get to perform, it is an honor and a privilege that you need to work hard to stay worthy of.
Q: Any message for people who either have tickets and are coming to the show, or for those who read the article and buy tickets?
A: Thank you for supporting live music! Please feel free to come on out early and we'll do our best to have a great time together, play our guts out, and have fun doing it. Cheers, everyone.
Tickets for The Record Company at Boarding House Park are $34 ahead of time, $40 the day of the show. Go to lowellsummermusic.com for tickets or to hear The Record Company.