The Record Company
About The Record Company
The Record Company are a swaggering three-piece rock band with a lean, rootsy sound, but don't call them a blues act. "We tip our hat to the greats -- Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed -- and carry a lot of the blues in our music," said lead singer and guitarist Chris Vos in an interview with journalist Kate Wertheimer, "But we've got too much respect for the genre to lump ourselves into it. We're more similar to an early rock & roll band." The group was formed by three friends who went from listening to old records to playing music inspired by their favorites. Playing small venues for small money, the trio developed a serious buzz in their hometown of Los Angeles, and were sharing bills with major artists before landing a record deal in 2015. Their debut album, 2016's Give It Back to You, was a strong roots rock session that garnered a Grammy nomination, while 2018's All of This Life was more eclectic in its approach, but just as passionate, and 2021's Play Loud added more modern touches to their elemental attack.
The Record Company were formed in 2011 by three serious music fans who had each moved to Los Angeles from the Midwest and East Coast -- Vos from Milwaukee, Wisconsin; bassist Alex Stiff from Wayne, Pennsylvania; and drummer Marc Cazorla from Elmira, New York. Stiff and Cazorla first met during their college days, when they both played in a rowdy blues band that often headlined at frat parties. Once he graduated, Stiff moved to Los Angeles, and after a spell in Nashville, Cazorla followed suit, and the two friends rented a house together to save money. Vos, who grew up on a dairy farm, followed a whim and headed to Los Angeles in 2010 with his wife, and he met Stiff and Cazorla after placing an ad on craigslist looking for like-minded music buffs.
The three men struck up a friendship and would regularly get together to share favorite sides from their extensive vintage record collections over beers. The guys made the jump to forming a band when Cazorla bought a battered drum kit at a garage sale. After posting some rehearsal recordings online, the trio, now known as the Record Company, began playing out, appearing at smaller clubs and record stores where the cover was low (or free) and curious listeners could easily check them out. The strategy worked, as the Record Company developed a significant following in their hometown, and they graduated to larger venues and festival dates, as well as opening for the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Blackberry Smoke, and Social Distortion.
In 2013, they put out a five-song EP, Feels So Good, that captured their rough-and-tumble sound on vinyl. In 2015, the Record Company took their sound overseas as they toured Europe for the first time, and that same year the group landed a record deal with Concord Music Group. Their debut album, Give It Back to You, was released in February 2016. The single "Off the Ground" earned radio airplay, and the LP got a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Second album All of This Life was recorded at Boulevard Recording in Hollywood with the bandmembers themselves producing, and appeared in June 2018. After lots more touring and popping up on TV and film soundtracks (their music was used in the movies Bad Moms and Live or Die in La Honda and on the television series Nashville, Seal Team, and Bloodline), the group returned to the studio to record their third album. Before they started on the big project, they took a creative detour and cut an EP, Side Project, that found them reinventing a handful of covers, including tunes by Willie Dixon, INXS, and Cypress Hill. The EP came out in June 2021, with the LP Play Loud, appearing four months later; it added more contemporary rock and blues touches to their music while still sounding fierce at heart. ~ Mark Deming
ORIGINLos Angeles, CA