Vanity Plate Releases an Album During a Pandemic
After recording a new full length album at Makoche Studios early January 2020, Vanity Plate, which consists of Zach and Jazmine Schultz (out of Minot) and Zach Mulholland and Connor Wentz (out of Mandan), was poised to tour the album “Wilder” the summer or fall of 2020.
We were really excited, Jazmine Schultz said, “Recording at Makoche is something I’ve always wanted to do and is arguably a pretty big deal. The studio has won Grammys and has all the soundproofing rooms we needed to make things sound good. Considering we’ve always just done things ourselves it was pretty exciting for us!”
It became apparent shortly after recording, however, that there would likely be a few hiccups in the release. “We thought we might be able to tour this fall still, so we just sat on it and got the album art made and Nora took all the time she needed to mix it,” Zach Schultz said.
“But as we started heading into fall, the COVID numbers in The United States were rising and Minot specifically was one of the COVID capitals of the world. So the question became what should we do with this album? Release it and maybe have it flop or wait until we could tour it?”
In fact, thanks to the release going well Vanity Plate plans on pressing records too. “A few of us have never made records before and we all agreed that this LP is something we’re proud enough of to spend the money on,” said Jazmine. Vanity Plate hopes to start getting those pressed soon, but the process can take a very long time. “Since lots of bands aren’t touring it’s possible the records could make it through the pressing process faster, and maybe we’ll have them for Record Store Day but it’s hard to say,” said Jazmine.
For now, CDs just came in and are available at Budget Music and Video and Prairie Sky Breads. You can also purchase the LP on the streaming platform of your choice or at www.vanityplatend.bandcamp.com
“Ultimately we just decided to try and rethink what a release looks like and to do it anyway. There was no telling when we would be able to tour it and some of the lyrics and stuff are pretty topical, not to mention, the whole album is about getting out of your comfort zone, fighting for what you believe in and doing “risky” things so it made sense to just go for it,” said Jazmine.
“We picked the 5 year anniversary of my dad’s passing as the date, said Zach. “It felt significant for me to be able to celebrate a heavy day for me by doing something my dad would have been proud of and excited about. I called up Nora and she said she could work on finishing the mixes in time and Cera Pignet had already finished the album art for us so it was just a matter of pushing to get all of that done within the deadline.”
In short order, Vanity Plate also whipped together a Zoom style music video for one of their singles, “Stay Warm.” “We decided to release some singles to gather some excitement and each of us recorded footage for a music video from our houses,” said Zach. “A digital release was all that was really available to us in that time frame, so we decided to do that first. We sold the album for $1 and asked the community to support us in that endeavor. For a few days we topped the charts in several genres on Bandcamp.com thanks to the community support,” says Jazmine.