UTOPiAfest 2015: Vinyl Williams

Interviewer: Brittany Robinson
Interviewees:  Lionel Williams, Billy Winger, James Lake, and Ian Gibbs

Vinyl Williams is a Los Angeles based psychedelic indie pop band, led by musician Lionel Williams. Vinyl Williams goal is to transcend ordinary music listening, and to make their music an experience like no other. One that doesn’t involve itself with just the senses but with the spirit also. Music is form of art and this music wants to paint pictures with sound. Two albums have been released with the latest being in July 2015, called Into. In June 2015, a music video for ‘World Soul’ came out and was called “ A feast for the eyes”, but to be honest Vinyl Williams is a feast for the eyes and ears.

Picture by Brittany Robinson
Picture by Brittany Robinson

Where are you guys from?

Lionel: Los Angeles

And Obviously Cali and Texas have a different type of flow, what do you think makes Texas audiences different.

Lionel: Well the audience and the people in general that are here today were incredible. Such crazy, cool, awesome people that are extremely open to the more esoteric concepts of life and counterculture. Everyone has been really nice. Los Angeles can be weird but they are so many different varieties of people that you can’t put it into one thing. We have played quite a lot of shows in Texas and have only had good experiences here. So it’s more of the necessity of being in Texas then venturing out and seeing these really good shows rather than being in a super concentrated over-saturated realm like Los Angeles is.

Yeah, it’s really simple out here. It’s just all nature. What is your favorite thing about Utopia so far other than that, the nature, and just the audience in general?   

James: There is a river behind our cabin and we get view of it behind our balcony. It’s pretty seemingly luxurious for us; we don’t get that treatment very often

Billy: Yeah, when we arrived here it was this real culture shock immediately. That was because we drove into town, which is four or five blocks long; So we drove through town, then ended up going sleep at two or three in the morning and woke up to this gorgeous riverside cabin. All day it has been nothing but positive vibes and everyone is super generous

Lionel: It seems like every land formation is everything at the same time here:  Desert, Grassland, Deciduous Forest, and there are signs for ice. So it’s like everything. That’s very different than Los Angeles, but I also lived in Utah for 12 years. It essentially has every landform within 12 miles itself too, so I’m used to that, but experiencing this dynamic is cool too.

I’ve seen some strange things today, have you seen anything strange?

Lionel: Please tell me you saw some UFOs

Some UFOs? Not yet, I’m waiting for it. There are too many stars, they are probably all UFOs.

James: We did see two giant dragonflies having what we believe was sexual intercourse

To what you believe?

James: they were stacked on top of each other and were pretty excited about it.

Billy: They were following each other for sure

James: It was pretty cool; we don’t get a lot of dragonflies in California.

I mean they were some fire breathers over there but that sounds so much more interesting.

Billy: We’ve seen some crazy people all day and that’s what I love the most is seeing how into it people get

People here are really original

Billy: Yeah, and all the characters here are kind of my favorite part about the whole festival. The thought of being surrounded by everyone and getting to see how they appreciate music is great. Plus, we are in this amazing valley right now and we are just surrounded by this lush green, well you can’t see it anymore because it is dark obviously, bowl of the gods.

What’s the most exciting thing about performing?

Lionel: The fact that we were in this valley made it feel like we were a part of this all-chemical device and all the energy was being concentrated in the valley. Also, everybody seemed to be in a really good mood when we were playing. Everyone was chilling and wavering. It’s good to see that. Plus, the wind was blowing in my face meaning my hair wasn’t in my face like it always is when we play outside show. Usually I can’t see anything when I play.

Billy: Yeah, it was fun for us too because we just took a little break and this is our first day of tour, and we hadn’t played together in a few weeks so it was cool to see what happens. Also it’s always to cool to play in front of a festival crowd, but it could either go really good or really bad. Everyone seemed very in tuned to it and chilled out, it was good

If you could describe Vinyl Williams as ice cream flavor what would it be and why?

Lionel: It would be Celestial Starburst

Celestial Starburst, explain please?

Lionel: There is no way to explain it because those words explain it more than anything else could.

Did anyone else have an explanation?

Billy: It would be similar to rainbow sherbet. Imagine that but kind of above any color you could imagine

So brown?

Lionel: Like sparkling?

Billy: No it could even be white, but it would transcend color and become nothingness. You Know?

It’s more than just Ice cream I guess?

Billy: Yes, it’s a concept.

That was some next level stuff you guys. Are you going to camping?

Lionel: We have the option to. Our booking agent is here and he has a tent. Last time we slept in it, James here got peed on.

What, we need more information. How did you get peed on?

James: Very drunk man who happened to go sleep, and woke up with him next to me.

Did you know him?

Billy: We had met earlier in the night, so it wasn’t really an unknown man.

James: He covered his face most of the night so I didn’t know who it was.

Billy: Therefore, he was an unknown man.

Lionel: Moral of the story is if we sleep in our booking agents tent tonight we will get some nose milk on us probably or some kind of fluid.

Billy: I don’t like those words.

That was actually my first time hearing that and I’m actually trying real hard to hid my disgust.

Lionel: So now you know. We replicated the raw feeling.

Well if you were to go camping what 3 things would you bring other than the obvious, like food, water, and shelter.

Billy: 30 things?

3? Yes, 30 each, you first.

Billy: Books, Bud, and Bros

Alright, that was very manly of you

Billy: Maybe the Texas a wearing off on me. My dad used to live here.

Oh really, where?

Billy: I think he lived in Houston; it was when I was a kid. I always came to visit him, and I always liked Texas. We went to SXSW a few years ago and it was really fun. I love Austin.

Do you plan on going back to SXSW?

Lionel: We are planning to go back next year and even playing Psychfest.

Awesome! I might see you guys then.

You can find more of Vinyl Williams on Facebook or Twitter

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