Brian: On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC regions music scene. Let's get to know some of those incredible people here. Performing together since 2013, Vintage#18 started in the clubs near their home in Northern Virginia. Residencies at clubs in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are the back bone of a circuit that the band continues to build. There sounds reflect their love of traditional blues and soul, but also the desire to bring a current for new audiences. Vintage#18 brings a high energy show with hard driving blues, rhythms, and soul grooves that will move you as you've heard from that right there. They hope when you listen, you move some furniture aside first because there's no sense in getting hurt while you're moving and grooving to their tracks. I first stumbled across these guys a couple weeks ago when their release came out and it sounded awesome, so listeners it's with great pleasure that I introduce formally Bill and Robbin from Vintage#18.
Robbin: Well hey there, thanks for having us.
Brian: Now, can we start out ... Can you tell us the story behind the name? Where does vintage number 18 come from?
Robbin: I'm going to let ... That's Bill's story.
Bill: I'm a vintage guitar dealer and I got a chance to demo a pedal from a company from Nashville and they sent me number 18.
Bill: Whenever I communicated with the company I just said, "Tell them it's number 18."
Brian: When was this? How long ago was this?
Bill: This was 2012 probably.
Brian: Got it.
Robbin: Well he shared that story with me and when we first started we were the Robbin Kapsalis band. I wanted something different. I wanted something to stand out. Our base player, Mark Chandler, he's extremely picky about band names and so-
Bill: He doesn't like any band name.
Brian: Mark, that's okay, we love you anyway man. That's great.
Robbin: I came to rehearsal one evening and after thinking about it awhile and I said, "Hey guys, what do you think of Vintage number 18?" Everybody looked at Mark and we all looked at one another and we said, okay. The guys said they liked it and I was so shocked. I said okay wow. It stuck, so we-
Brian: When was that? This is 2013?
Robbin: Yes. Yes.
Robbin: Later in 2013.
Brian: How did you guys come together? How do you know each other?
Bill: Well it all started when, for me at least, when I went up to the Sully's jam after another band fell apart and I said, let's see who's hanging out, out here. What kind of trouble can I get into? I walked in and Robbin was singing Million Miles which is on our debut CD. It's a Bob Dylan song.
Brian: Oh cool.
Bill: I went, wait a minute. I should be playing guitar for her.
Brian: The band started out of jealousy?
Brian: I'm just teasing.
Bill: [inaudible 00:03:28] a typical guitar player thing.
Robbin: That's what that was.
Bill: [inaudible 00:03:33].
Robbin: It was really interesting. I mean Bill and I sit in on multiple sets throughout the blues jams, I would say for several months and we got to know one another and we just started talking about a band, putting a band together. I know it's something that I wanted to do. I'd been on the scene basically bouncing from one open mic, one blues jam to another, two or three a week for over a year, just shining it up, getting ready to do what ... This is what I wanted to do. I know sometimes I would meet up with Bill on a Sunday and we would be at Sully's blues jam and it was so loud we'd have to duck into the supply closet to get our thoughts out. Let's do this.
Bill: It was the only place where you could talk.
Robbin: We're not getting any younger, so let's do this. This is what Bill said.
Brian: Yes, okay. I love it. Now, where did the ... Oh man I just had it. It's one of those lost my frame of thought moments. You guys, the band formed and then you came together and when did it become a, okay we're going to record and album and we're going to put this out now.
Robbin: This wasn't until, I would say two years after we had gotten together and started making our rounds, you know our rounds within the DMV. We had already traveled out to Nashville for an ... We performed at an amp show which was very exciting.
Bill: We did that twice.
Robbin: Yes and we ... I've been writing for years, however I was really shy to share my lyrics and I don't play an instrument but I know music I know what I like and what I wanted for the songs and so I took that leap of faith and brought in some lyrics. The first lyrics I brought in were for circles and love hangover. Between the guys, they came up, they basically built on what I had, that the lyrics, and the little melody that I brought it. Let's do this oh no no no. I'm just counting it out.
Brian: Yeah, I gotcha.
Robbin: That's the way I write my songs. It worked, it worked.
Brian: Where did music come in to ... How did music enter your lives? Where did it start for you guys?
Bill: Probably the ventures in the early surf stuff growing up and then the British invasion, of course Jimmy Hendrix, Crane, bands that I saw. My first concert was-
Brian: Got it. When did you start playing?
Bill: I started playing probably ‘63.
Brian: Got it. You've been at this for a lot of years then?
Bill: Yeah, but I'm still a young man.
Brian: This is your first album that's been released though?
Bill: I've been on a lot of other peoples' projects, but this is the first time I've put an album out. It's something that had a long time coming.
Brian: That's right high five right there. Yeah.
Bill: I kept looking for the right group of people and by golly I think I've found them.
Brian: You found them! Now Robbin what is your story with music? How did that start for you?
Robbin: Oh goodness. I've been listening to music since I was a child. My family, we love music. We are yeah. My Aunt Annabelle, she used to play all the old soul and blues, the Muddy Waters, the Ada James, the soul music, Clean Up Woman with Betty Wright. I'm dancing around in my socks in the living room with her. I've always wanted to perform, I just didn't have opportunity growing up and I was also very shy believe it or not.
Brian: Were you singing growing up in out places?
Robbin: Church choir.
Brian: Church okay.
Robbin: Church choir.
Brian: Okay I got it, it's a church thing right, gotcha.
Robbin: Fast forward, young adult, still wanting to perform not able to, life happens, you get married you have children, those become the priority. I did not make music a priority. Now I'm an empty nester. My kids are grown.
Brian: Oh man.
Brian: All right you're a free woman now. You got a little bit of time to do some stuff like this.
Robbin: I relocated from Atlanta about six years ago with the company I'm currently working with and I found all this extra time I had on my hands and I said, okay I need to get out and get some music under my belt. That's what I started doing.
Brian: That's cool. Now what about-
Robbin: From one thing to another.
Brian: What about outside, now outside of the music then, in your personal time, do you have any hobbies? What do you guys do outside of the music?
Bill: Well I have the constant task of looking around for old guitars and musical instruments because that's what I've been doing-
Bill: -since 1989, professionally.
Brian: Oh. Say more about that, what do you mean?
Bill: Well, I started out with just amplifiers, would refurbish them and I did my first guitar show in 1990 in Dallas, Texas. These guys came around and looked at me booth full of amps and went, this is a guitar show what are you doing with all these amps? I said, look you guys are going to need to have amplifiers for those guitars that you're selling, so here I am.
Brian: That's cool.
Bill: I look for old guitars and musical instruments of all stripes.
Brian: Do you sell them?
Brian: Or coll ... I got it. What's the name of ... Is it a business?
Bill: Yes it's called vintage sound.
Brian: Vintage sound, so if they google vintage sound they will find what you're doing.
Brian: Got it, that's cool and Robbin what about you? Outside of the music thing.
Robbin: More music.
Brian: What does that mean? Listening to music?
Brian: Or go to live shows? say more.
Robbin: Yes, I attend live shows. I listen. One of my favorite groups are the Gypsy Kings. One of my favorite groups outside of the soul blue genres I enjoy other genres as well, to include the likes of Bette Middler, Barbara Streisand. I listen to it all, jazz and that's what I enjoy. I enjoy spending time with family and friends but believe it or not this past year I've been all consumed with the album, with the band, with, yeah.
Brian: I feel you. All right now last question I love to ask in these interviews is, if you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?
Robbin: As a band?
Brian: However you want to answer that, that one's open ended.
Robbin: I would say because we are a newly formed band together now, for a little over four years, I think that even though it's captain obvious to say communication is key, I can't stress that enough and I think it's easy to say oh no we're good, we're buds, we communicate. No. You need to have a point person within the band to make things run smoothly and I think that's, as far as having a band, that's what I would offer, and please don't give up. I am-
Brian: Don't give up, I love it.
Robbin: Don't give up because it's ... Here I am. I'm a grandmother. I'm a new grandmother.
Robbin: Thank you.
Brian: [inaudible 00:11:37]
Robbin: I wanted to do this. My son, he told me, he says, "It's like you just woke up one day and decided oh I think I'll have a band."
Robbin: I said, "No, sweetie it wasn't like that."
Brian: It's been a lot of years in the running, you just didn't know. For those listeners, now for listeners who want to find out more about you guys, where do they go to find out more about Vintage number 18?
Brian: Vintage18.net, so that's the website. Now you guys, is there a certain social media that you love more than the others?
Robbin: Facebook, yes.
Robbin: Instagram, yes. Hit us up. Twitter absolutely.
Brian: Reach out.