By Isabella Schneider
It was a normal, peaceful evening at the Tempe Center for the Arts when a sudden guitar strum broke the silence. Mixed with a tambourine, drums, and vocals, The Vinyl Faces were doing something rare in the age of COVID-19, they were performing a concert.
Outside and socially distanced, with the option to watch on their Instagram live stream, the members of The Vinyl Faces performed their original songs, attracting arts center visitors to stop and listen.
Being so new, having even one person stop by to hear their content made the event a success, said bassist Daniel Rosen. The band formed a little over a year ago when songwriter Mikey Flores posted a flyer on the Polytechnic campus asking for people to jam with him and form a band.
“The biggest downside would be if no one stopped and listened to us but even then we still get practice playing outside and playing with each other and playing in a performance setting,” Rosen said. “So, really, at this point, everything that we do concert and performance-wise is a plus.”
A third member of the band is guitarist Diego Diaz. Diaz lives with Flores, and Rosenwhich helps their band in practice.
Even though the Tempe Center for the Arts concert was their last one until April, they will be hard at work on their second EP, creating merch, and practicing and perfecting their existing songs, Diaz said.
“We’re practicing all week after classes and homework every day, and then we’re recording, and then we’re practicing all next week again,” Diaz said.
The music that The Vinyl Faces create is what they call Arizona-Rock, a fusion of indie-rock and Midwestern blues, said Rosen. The style arose due to the boys’ vastly different tastes in music, with drummer Justin Kovach liking Jazz, Diaz liking classic rock, Rosen liking bass-heavy songs, and Flores liking post-punk.
Despite a difference in musical taste, the boys all agree on one thing, a mutual like for flowers. Thus, came their first EP titled “Flower Bed,” and their band logo of a vinyl with four flowers. Each flower represents a different member of the group.
“Our logo is goofy, kind of like a 70’s band,” Kovach said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re still making music that means a lot to us.”
In addition to the sound of their songs, their lyrics have varying influences. Their latest album “Flower Bed” has songs written by Diaz and Flores ranging from the more intense “Pretty Boy” to the chill “Feelin’ Down.”
Diaz is an emotionally driven writer, getting all of his inspiration from dreams and life events.
Flores said his process is more organic and lyric-driven. He said that he gets his inspiration from fiction, but other times writes from personal anecdotes.
“I like a little bit of everything. I like more personal writing, like having a conversation with a fictional person in my songs,” Flores said. “Occasionally there are plots and ideas that pop into my brain here and there. I imagine myself talking to someone, with ideas based on something that happened.”
Living together, writing together, and practicing with your best friends comes with challenges, said Rosen. Their varied aesthetics have led to disagreements that are difficult to navigate constructively.
Still, through time, the boys said they learned to compromise on a sound they all love.
“We all recognize that if anyone were to take the complete reins and be a dictator upon the band, it would just become another sound that’s the same as what each of us listened to,” Diaz said. “If I took over it would just sound like classic rock and it would not be the fun mix we have.”
Creating music is something all four boys have in common, and they just want to have fun with it. However, they said they would love to perform globally and reach international audiences if that’s where fate leads them. To get there, they’re utilizing the internet and expanding their online presence to make their music known.
“We plan to ride it out as far as it goes,” Diaz said. “If it gets to nowhere we’ll have nice memories and if it gets to rock stardom, we’ll have really nice memories.”