Vapor Band are an American virtual band created in 2017 by multimedia specialist Tony Nelson. The band consists of six animated members: Tony (lead vocals, keyboards), Shelley (rhythm guitar, vocals), Mary (bass guitar and vocals), Percy (lead guitar, vocals), Joan (keyboards, vocals), Victor (drums and percussion). These members are fictional and are not personas of any “real life” musicians involved in the project. Though, the band member’s names were inspired by Frankenstein.
Their fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. In reality, Nelson is the only permanent musical and lyrical contributor, and the vocals are often a collaboration between various singers.
“Hi. I’m Tony Nelson. I just formed a band. Well, really it’s just me. I’m going to play all the instruments. I’ll also do all the writing, composing and singing, though I’ll probably have some guest singers here and there. So, since it’s really just me and the rest of the band is just ‘vapor’ … ”
If Tony Nelson is Vapor, then how this ‘virtual band’ came to be is as much a part of the story as is his album-in-the-making: a Chicago native, Tony lived in Atlanta for several years before making the move to Jupiter, Florida, in early 2015, where he found the opportunities to create an original band were few and far between.
Meeting like-minded musicians to share a dream eventually became a comedy of wills, and the decision was made to forge ahead without the expectation of any help at all, whether from other musicians or the music industry at large. Not banking his efforts on commercial success served to lift any further pressure that may have remained, the certain liberation of knowing that he truly is free to make the records he wants to make.
Not being able to sing or play any instrument particularly well may have been the cause of some of the lack of confidence and motivation Tony got from potential collaborators, but in his mind, he would rather be a good composer playing his own music than a virtuoso playing other people’s creations. Excited to bring his lyrical ideas, good beats, instrumentals and production values to the table, the record will be made in stages, creating his songs first in Garage Band and then taking the project to a recording studio to finish and finesse. Entitled Signs of Life, Tony expects to release it as a ten-song album in the summer of 2017, along with three music videos.
Inspired by the Beatles, Daft Punk, Smashing Pumpkins and Bob Dylan, Vapor’s sound has been described by writers and critics as alternative rock, electronica, indie and pop.
While the subject matter of his songs center on his personal experiences in moving to Florida: arriving with no direction, no job, no friends and no place to stay, his journey has been nothing short of an adventure. “Florida is a strange place,” he explains, “I have been inspired by all the diverse characters I have encountered in my short time here,” adding “I think I finally have something to talk about.”