I feel like hipsters are getting knocked a lot more than they should. Sure, their counter-culture coolness and their millennial vantage point is irritating to some of the baby boomers out there, but who cares? Vintage is in, bubblegum pop music is out, and there is a large propensity for flannel from all directions. Even still, people like to point fingers at the weirdos who think they are "cool," but there are a lot of positives coming from hipsterdom, and often from places you'd least expect.
I will be the first person to admit to being a hipster. I listened to Bjork since I was a child and I knew who Tom Waits was before my parents were even fully aware that he was a singer of some sort. I get a lot of flack for my hipster-ness, but I honestly just think that I am ahead of the curve. For all of the teasing I've endured, the most hilarious thing for me is that all of my critics are not fully aware of how familiar all these hip habits are.
Take vinyl, for example. I have an extensive collection of vinyl, thanks to the hipster kids of days past who dusted off their parents' old LPs and gave them a spin. There's a sound in those old vinyls that we don't really get in other music forms, an old-school, comforting flavour that takes the listener back to a better, simpler time. That's where the band Melted Vinyl drew its first inspiration.
"The band's name originated from being at a fair on a really hot day, and a DJ had been there with real vinyl," says Sam Kritzer, who plays alongside fellow band members Wolfgang King, Landon Ferris and Alex Bender. "He was worried it would melt, so we thought it would make a cool name as well, as lots of kids don't know what vinyl is. For us to have it in our name, it really just goes back on us trying to bring back rock 'n' roll."
It's a bold statement coming from someone as young as Sam (he's only 15), but for a drummer with a wild amount of talent and a sensibility for classic rock tunes, he certainly has the bar set at an attainable height. Citing Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters as some of the band's greatest influences, Sam has been playing the drums since he was only two years old. Melted Vinyl has been making their own music for five years.
"The band came together through a program called Rock Nation, which basically just puts young musicians in cover bands," says Sam, reminiscing about Melted Vinyl's beginnings. "You get to play out a lot. I had been friends with my bass player, Landon, since we were about eight and as we got older, we decided we wanted to start an original band."
Since then, Melted Vinyl has played at a number of L.A. venues, and they even passed up a record contract from America's Got Talent. Their goal is simple: they want to play music and bring back classic rock 'n' roll. With a culture that is starting to look back at some of the classics of the 60s, the goal seems to be more than reasonable.
Their music is incredibly full and mature, another surprising element for a band of young men who were born after the year 2000. But the music is everything, and the feeling of playing for the crowd is what gets them going. "The most exciting thing about being a musician is playing live, because the rush of it is not comparable to anything else," says Sam. "You do what you love and work as hard as you can at it. As long as it's real and true to what you're doing, the industry will listen."
Without a doubt, this is only the beginning for Melted Vinyl. As a group of very good friends (with the occasional guest guitarist), their music has been the glue that has kept their dreams of getting the rock genre back to its rightful place on the throne. They really couldn't have chosen a better time to do it. Hipsters have been aching for a new/old sound, and if there is any new band that could do it, it's this one.
And they want to go international. Although they are based out of L.A., their sound is universal. Tours over the country (as well as to Canada and overseas) are definitely in the cards. When you are young, ambitious and talented, there is no limit to what can be achieved. Happily, it is only a matter of time before I think that hipsters should be considered innovators instead of annoyances. After all, they are discovering something new out of old things, giving them a good scrub, spinning them a new way, and showing the world just how great "classic" can be. There's nothing better than visiting with a familiar friend and discovering new about them every time you see them. Very soon, I think that Melted Vinyl will be giving us that exact feeling. Also on HuffPost:
I think that hipsters should be considered innovators instead of annoyances. After all, they are discovering something new out of old things, giving them a good scrub, spinning them a new way, and showing the world just how great "classic" can be. There's nothing better than visiting with a familiar friend and discovering new about them every time you see them. Very soon, I think that Melted Vinyl will be giving us that exact feeling.
Also on HuffPost: