A piece of paper may seem flimsy, but once it’s folded into something it becomes stronger, its weakness suddenly transformed. That’s true for people, too: Once you recognize your weaknesses you can shift them to become your strengths. You can become like that piece of once-flimsy paper, now folded into origami. That’s the premise behind Vinyl Theatre’s dynamic second album, which takes the title Origami to represent the idea that you have the power to reform your personal limitations.
“We toured for eight and a half months during our first year out,” Keegan says. “You start to realize your weakness and your strengths on the road. You realize that there will never be a last hurdle – there’s always another one. There’s always something more to be gained. That song is about finding strength in your faults, which carries through the rest of the record. It’s a positive album with hopeful undertones, but it also touches on these harder parts of life.”
In August of 2016 Vinyl Theatre headed up to upstate New York to record at Dreamland with producers Albert Di Fiore and Alex Aldi, whose work with Passion Pit inspired the musicians to connect with him. The band spent a month recording day in and day out, focusing solely on the music. They used real drums for every track and wanted the process to feel as organic as possible. There were no limits put on what could be tried and in the end, Vinyl Theatre left feeling like they’d tested all sonic options. “We were able to try everything we wanted,” Keegan says. “We can look back at the album with no regrets now because we know we had the opportunity to explore the songs in the studio.”
Origami marks a massive growth for Vinyl Theatre. The guys originally started writing songs together nine years ago via Skype, but didn’t officially form as a band until three years back when they unveiled their Chromatic EP in the summer of 2014. Since the release of Electrogram a few months later, the band has toured with Twenty One Pilots, Smallpools, The Mowgli’s and Dashboard Confessional among others, and headlined Summerfest in their hometown of Milwaukee. Being on the road so much has pushed the musicians to become even better, which is reflected in the new songs. They’re driven by a sense of pride in their work, always aiming to do more and to create music that is hopeful and encouraging to those who listen. For them, Origami is about embracing who you are and using that knowledge to become stronger.
“Even when something feels paper thin you can make anything out of it,” Keegan says. “You can make anything out of yourself, too, when you realize what you’re made of.”
Colin Rigsby, who has been playing drums since the age of 12, took a stab at civilian life following more than a decade of writing, recording, and touring the world with his band House of Heroes, but it didn’t take very well. What started out as a remedy for restlessness, however, soon developed into a full-‐blown passion and the beginnings of Rigsby’s new solo project-‐-‐Vesperteen. Within a few months of going solo Rigsby had penned a new batch of songs that would become Vesperteen 2015 self-‐titled debut. After a successful transition into the live realm, Vesperteen started touring and has yet to stop. Traveling to perform his signature brand of alt-‐pop reminiscent of bands like Bleachers and The 1975 for his passionate and dedicated fanbase, Vesperteen has sold out shows across the map in North America and Europe. With only one EP and a few singles released, Vesperteen has already garnered over 2 million Spotify streams and 50,000 followers among social media platforms, all as an independent artist.