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Vinyl Thief cuts album with fans’ help

With high energy shows where the audience dance along to every song, electro-rock band Vinyl Thief can capture their fans attention with a little “brotherly chemistry.”

Lead singer Grayson Proctor, guitarist Logan Purdom, keyboardist and background vocalist Sam English, bass guitarist Alec Carpenter and drummer Andrew Broadway have had that type of connection for a while. They all grew up together in Columbia, Tenn., an hour away from Nashville.

By the time they were out of high school, the five of them eventually started jamming together and formed the family dynamic the group has. By the time they played Belmont’s Rock Showcase last

“We are all like brothers so we fight a lot, but we worked through [the arguments],” Procter said. “When we get in a room together we can either be recording a song for two hours or have one out in five minutes.”

After five years of performing locally and touring in other states including New York, Texas and Louisiana, Vinyl Thief is now finishing up their first full length record with some help from their fans. The band started a Kickstarter campaign during the summer where fans donated  money to help fund the recording process.

Depending on on how much money they donated, fans were able to receive different prizes from the band through the campaign.  The packages included everything from a  a personal theme song and  an acoustic EP of the album to creating a set list for a live set or tickets to shows. The theme songs for the donors will be released later this year, according to Proctor.

“We tried to offer unique packages and our fans really latched on to that idea,” Proctor said.

Vinyl Thief set a goal for $8,000 at the start of their campaign in May 2012. They raised $8,168 in 25 days.

“We really wanted our fans to be involved with our first full length record,” Proctor said. “It was overwhelming because our fans helped spread [the Kickstarter campaign] out there to their friends and it showed us they actually cared to help.”

The band is recording the album at the Brown Owl Studio and will be released early 2013 with vinyl and digital copies. Purdom said the band has finished recording and will be mixing their tracks in the next few months.

“With the Kickstarter money, it gave us freedom and we are really appreciative,” he said. “It’s coming along and we want the album make it sound like people are playing in a room together than stuff on a computer.”

Before they got their album funded, Vinyl Thief released several free downloads of their EP’s.  Proctor said that connecting with their fans is important to the group.

The band sees keeping their live shows energetic as a major way to accomplish that.

“[At shows] we keep it very energetic,” Purdom said. “[Proctor] does a lot of dancing, and it’s all about engaging the crowd more.”

During one show, Proctor was jumping around the stage during the last set. As he jumped from one edge of the stage to the next, he unplugged Purdom’s guitar and landed face down in the front row with the crowd.

“The audience was laughing and I was laughing,” Proctor said. “But we didn’t let that stop us; we just kept playing.”

That attitude has led the group to play with bigger artists and gain greater attention. During the summer, the band opened up for Ponderosa at the Mercy Lounge and was featured  as one of “12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen to Now” by Paste Magazine.

“It’s good to seek attention outside of Nashville,” Purdom said. “You don’t really know how much you are doing, until something like that happens. It was a great honor.”

On October 18th, Vinyl Thief will also perform in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon Festival, where they will share the same stage with groups like  The Electric Hearts, Motive, Mobley and Daniel Ellsworth.

As the number of honors and shows Vinyl Thief are part of grows, Purdom said he still feels lucky to be part of the group.

“I think the biggest thing that I’m really proud about us is we have never really tried to figure out how we want to sound or how people want us to sound or look,” he said. It has always been about us being good friends and getting in a room together to play music.”

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