Vintage Pistol
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Vintage Pistol

Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Psychedelic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Waka Bound: Local Rock Band To Play Festival"

As it’s been for the past month, it was raining this past Sunday afternoon as Vintage Pistol formed up and put on their rock n’ roll shoes. Inside bassist Stan Watson’s nearly-on-campus house, the five-piece began to play and entered into a trance-like, improvised minor-key jam.

Vintage Pistol plays rock n’ roll. But that’s putting it too simply. As with any band with diverse players, their music sort of eludes specific genres. With musical influences spanning from Ryan Adams to Zakk Wylde, Pink Floyd and The Doors, the band shows shades of their backgrounds at different moments in their sets.

The group has grown to play tight, and can keep a jam going strong while finding a way for each band member to stand out in their roles.

Dylan Cruz (lead guitar), can shred until the gates of hard rock’s hell open, and as his fingers blur, he appears to be meditating. Watson frets all over his six string bass like a lead guitar player with stoic ease. Garrett August (keys, harmonica, vocals) keeps a steady right hand and plays the harmonica hard, and Taylor Smith (vocals, guitar) sings and plays with a carefree, mellow attitude. While Tanner Poole, Vintage Pistol’s original drummer is leaving the band to focus on his job, the new drummer, Bailey Annen, fit right in with casual confidence.

A year ago, Vintage Pistol didn’t exist. Five months ago, Vintage Pistol faced off against five other local northwest Arkansas bands, and won the Wakarusa Winter Classic. Now, these dudes are looking at performing a full set next week at Arkansas’ biggest music festival.

Courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography Stan Watson (left) and Garrett August (right) jam strong at the Wakarus Winter Classic, where they eneded up winning the competition and a set at the music festival.
Courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography
Stan Watson (left) and Garrett August (right) jam strong at the Wakarus Winter Classic, where they eneded up winning the competition and a set at the music festival.


The night of the Waka Winter Classic at George’s Majestic Lounge in January started with The Galaxy Tour Guides, with Vintage Pistol expected to follow — as fast as possible. The sound engineer that night wasn’t messing around. He told the band if they didn’t set up, soundcheck and take down within their allotted time, their set would be cut short. Along with the low attendance crowd, this only added to the anxiety.

“I was so nervous for that show,” Smith said. “Like the nervousness you get where you have gag reflexes.”

After setting up at lightning fast speeds, they started on time and were able to play a full set. They played through an all original set of rock n’ roll with some open ended jams, and fortunately, their set time matched up with the incoming Dickson crowd. With only 20 or so of their network there, the band played to a mostly unfamiliar full house.

By the time the band thundered through their final song “Kids These Days,” they had seemingly won over the crowd, August said.

“I’m not going to lie, I went in thinking we’re not going to win (the Waka Winter Classic),” Cruz said. “I had my money on the Irie Lions. But when we finished our last song we got this bellow of ovation and screaming with everybody chanting ‘Waka.’ At that point, we started to feel like we may have a chance.”

With such a warm reception early on, the band started to gain confidence. The winner wasn’t announced until the end of the night at 2 a.m. and the winner was decided by popular vote. By that time, the whole band — except for Cruz — had gotten drunk anticipating the announcement.

When the emcee that night began saying “Vin-” the band was in denial, thinking it must be another band until they heard “-tage Pistol!” Immediately, Cruz ran over to hug August and celebrate with the rest of the band and soon after, the Wakarusa representative needed someone to fill out a W9 form. Cruz, the only sober one, was tasked to fill it out.

Courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography Dylan Cruz (left) shreds on guitar as Taylor Smith (right) sings along.
Courtesy of Jeremy Scott Photography
Dylan Cruz (left) shreds on guitar as Taylor Smith (right) sings along.

The Making of Vintage Pistol

The idea for a band started out with August and Smith at the last night of The Stolen Glass where August had an acoustic set and tried out an early version of a Vintage Pistol song, “By My Side.” The two had both been in bands before, and in August 2014 Smith invited old band mate Cruz to come jam with them and their friend Tanner Poole on drums.

“Of course, as soon as Dylan started playing with us we were like you’re in,” August said. “Dylan didn’t even know the song and he just kept shredding. Taylor and I both kind looked up and were like ‘Yeah, this guy’s in.’”

Their first show only had four people in the band, but they caught the attention of Watson, who was in the crowd. He offered to be their bass player, and after one practice with the band he had secured his role in the Pistol. As for the name, it wasn’t certain at first.

“(Our band name) was either going to be the Wooden Nickels or Vintage Pistol,” said August, laughing. “I was in favor of The Sneaky Petes, but it didn’t stick. We went with Vintage Pistol.”

Dylan and Watson’s classic rock influences quickly turned the band’s ballads into full on rock songs, Smith said. With such instant chemistry, the band stuck together and went on to record an EP, which can be heard online at their Reverbnation page. The band plans on recording and releasing a full length album before the end of the year.

Waka Bound

If you’re headed to the mountain next week, Vintage Pistol will be playing a full hour and 15 minute set at the Backwoods Stage Thursday from 10:45 p.m. to midnight. They’re the only other band playing besides fan favorites Umphrey’s McGee, who are also playing Friday at the revival tent. - The Free Weekly

"Vintage Pistol Heads to Mullberry Mountain"

Radio Interview:

The Fayetteville-based band Vintage Pistol earned a spot at this year's Wakarusa Music Festival by winning a contest earlier this winter. Their performance Thursday night will be the first appearance at the festival for the band. - KUAF

"Vintage Pistol to Release Second EP"

One of Fayetteville’s loudest and most impressive rock n’ roll bands is ready to release their blazing second EP this weekend.

Recorded in early 2016 with Bryan Burkhart of Groovement, Vintage Pistol’s five track EP “The Second Amendment” will be released Friday, Aug. 12 at George’s Majestic Lounge alongside Oklahoma City’s Space4Lease and Fayetteville’s Randall Shreve. It’s only a $5 cover, and the first 50 at the show will receive a free EP — all the more reason to get there early for the full show.

Vintage Pistol consists of Taylor Smith (vocals, guitar), Garrett August (vocals, keyboard), Stan Watson (guitar), Andy Cowick (bass) and now Mike Stewart (drums). The band has been through a few drummers throughout their existence, but they’ve now settled in with Stewart, completing the line up.

The album’s title has no political connotation, the band said, but is considered the literal “second amendment” to the Vintage Pistol constitution that is their studio discography.

Without question, Vintage Pistol is one of those bands in town that can shred ‘till they’re dead. About a quarter of their live sets go into improvised jam sections that lead into different parts of the set. It’s no surprise four of the five songs on the EP feature tracks longer than five minutes, and that’s a good thing.

Every song features stellar instrumental sections, especially the epic, building jams on “There’s a Flame” and “Done Runnin’.” Watson’s guitar solos are always a highlight of the tracks, and when he really gets going, his feel can send shivers down your spine.

Check out our interview with the band:

TFW: When did the idea for a second EP come about?

AUGUST: At the end of last year, we started recording in February of this year. We only had four days to record it. We were there until the sun came up each day.

TFW: How was the recording process?

SMITH: Bryan really helped our sound. He kinda tweaked a few things and really pushed us forward.

WATSON: There was one thing he told me to do, and I didn’t even really think about it, but I recorded like two layers of guitars. I always practice my parts for the live shows, I’d just do this at this point. There were a couple songs where he was like how about you record your rhythm here and Taylor can have his rhythm and you do a solo over that. There was a couple parts in the songs where we had three layers of guitars going, and I never even thought about doing that. That was his idea, and really enhanced the recording.

TFW: Where was it recorded? Does Bryan have his own studio somewhere?

COWICK: Yeah, it’s state of the art. It’s out by Lake Weddinton.

AUGUST: There’s deer everywhere. Groovement gets to practice there every week. He’s recorded for tons of people out there like Andy Frasco…

SMITH: Yeah, Shawn James did a record out there with Adam Putnam in that studio. That studio is used by a lot Fayetteville people.

WATSON: He’s got a nice Rhodes piano out there and a B3 organ. Very professional.

TFW: What were some of the goals and vision with this EP? Is it an update on where you all are at right now? Or more conceptual?

AUGUST: It’s kind of our second wave of material. There’s more of a jam influence in a lot of the songs. Several ideas on the album weren’t pre-written, they were things we brought to practice and just jammed and jammed until something formed from it.

WATSON: It was kind of out of our element, because we’re so used to being in the live stage setting. We really didn’t structure our songs shorter by any means. We kind of did them how we do them live. There’s two songs that are six minutes long, and shortest one is four and a half. We didn’t try to do a three minute pop song type thing for the radio. There’s definitely some jams on the EP, so it’s not like some straight three-minute pop EP.

AUGUST: We tried to go in there without any requirements and make it as live sounding as we could. There’s a song that we literally wrote and figured out the transitions on the way over there. We jammed it once and one other song, and then Taylor said ‘Hey let’s try that with Done Runnin’” and we did it. That was one of the other things Bryan was like, why don’t you roll your hand up the keyboard or play a higher octave and that was one of the defining moments for how he helped us change our sound for the better and kept pushing the envelope.

WATSON: He was good at telling us where to leave space and where to drop out and where to come in big.

TFW: Tell me a little bit about the songs. Why did you sequence the tracks on there the way you did?

WATSON: “You’ll Never Know” is the first one. It’s the highest energy, fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll song on there. Bryan pointed that out and said we should start with a bang, so we went with that. It’s a good way to start off the EP. The next one is “Clash,” which is our up-tempo, funky one that people could really move to. “Done Runnin’” slows down everything and gets a little more exotic.

COWICK: I think “There’s a Flame” is one of the strongest in terms that there’s a chorus that’s going to be memorable. It’s really funky, too. In the verses, Stan plays a really funky wah.

TFW: What are some of these songs about, lyrically?

SMITH: Relationships, usually. Bad ones and good ones. That’s where most of my writing comes from, just real life experience is what I try to draw inspiration from most of the time. “There’s a Flame” is the exception on the EP. I took inspiration on how it is being in a band. It’s more like dealing with adversity and moving on. “There’s a flame that won’t go out” is the first half of that chorus. You have good shows, you have bad shows and sometimes its hard to keep the flame burning.

AUGUST: You get with other bands, and sometimes they’re not good people. Just kind of stand offish. Space4Lease are like our best friends, and then you meet other bands and it’s the opposite. - Fayetteville Free Weekly

"Vintage Pistol Releases New EP Interview + In Studio Acoustic Performance"

Radio Interview:

Vintage Pistol recently put the finishing touches on the band's second EP, "The Second Amendment." The group will celebrate the release of the album with a concert Aug. 12 at George's Majestic Lounge. - KUAF RADIO


Still working on that hot first release.



magine if The Alman Brothers Band went on a trippy magic carpet ride with The Black Keys and all of it was being narrated by Van "The Man" Morrison. That is pretty much Vintage Pistol, a 5 Piece rock band out of Fayetteville, AR. Influenced by the sounds of psychedelic, roots, rock music Vintage Pistol is doing just as its name states and is staying vintage and true to the sounds that were laid down by the Giants before them. The band will be releasing its 2nd EP "The Second Amendment" in August 2016. 

"Vintage Pistol plays rock n’ roll. But that’s putting it too simply. As with any band with diverse players, their music sort of eludes specific genres.. from Ryan Adams to Zakk Wylde, Pink Floyd and The Doors, the band shows shades of their backgrounds at different moments in their sets." - The FayettevilleFlyer 

Vintage Pistol has played along side the likes of Doyle Bramhall ii, Jonathan Tyler, Quaker City Nighthawks, Charlie Crockett, Quiet Company, The Black Moods, Coyote Union, and more. They have also played at Wakarusa Music Festival in 2015, played showcases at SXSW in 2016, and will be headlining the Whiskey Dicks stage this year at their 2nd straight Zerkapalooza.

If you come to a live show, be prepared for an energy and passion that will be second to none! The band is taking their vibes and the sound to the next level. Seizing every opportunity as if it were their last, this band is here to stay. 

Band Members