Interview By Gideon Greenbaum-Shinder
From Julys 2014 Vandala Magazine
How are you doing?
Taylor: Really, really well. It’s kind of been-, it’s actually my birthday tomorrow. I’m having a surprise party this weekend.
A surprise party that you know about?
Taylor: It’s a really nice weekend of celebration so I’m kind of like -, it’s a start of a new week but it’s already been a great birthday week so far.
Well, that’s fantastic. [Laughter] So you guys are doing a pretty huge tour right now, so I guess taking a break would be kind of a treat.
Taylor: Yeah, totally. It’s funny that you say that because this is like not on tour for us – at all. This is the equivalent of not being on tour. We’re just doing a lot of fly outs and accessible stuff this summer. But we’ve kind of finally just finished up all the regular touring. The other things we’re doing for this record when we’re home, and we’re working on another album right now.
Oh wow, another album is in the works?
Taylor: Yeah, the wheels are turning.
That’s always good to hear. I noticed that you guys are jumping around a lot this summer. You guys are playing TURF Fest in Toronto and going right out to Keloha Fest in BC the next week and then coming back for Osheaga, then Montreal and all these other things
Taylor: Yeah, yeah exactly, it’s nice to do all these Canada ones. We haven’t done any festivals in Canada. I’m really looking forward to all three of those.
So you were saying that even that amount of going around isn’t really considered touring for you guys; what’s a heavy tour, then?
Taylor: Oh well, so we were named -, I think it’s an award – for the most touring band in the world of 2013. Given by Songkick. They track all your shows and they tracked how many shows each artist did and how many miles they traveled – they could determine that, and we had the most shows of any band. We travelled around the world five times or halfway to the moon.
Having been on tour so much, one of the questions I actually wanted to ask you was about the things that you miss on tour and maybe a specific act of generosity; or somebody had just been nice to you guys on tour and made you guys feel like you were at home?
Taylor: Oh yeah, that happens all the time which is kind of like your saving grace I find when you’re on tour and you’re sick of another hotel room or whatever and it always seems, you know, strangers just kind of come up and make you a home cooked meal or take you out to their restaurant. They show you the cool places in the city and one example is when we played a show in Switzerland.
At this venue, it was just really awesome and the people that were into the venue took us around to this coffee shop, the best view of a coffee shop I’ve ever seen, by far. It’s sort of hard to explain but just imagine the craziest Swiss Alps view just from this coffee shop and they cooked us all this amazing home cooked meal and opened up all this wine. It was just this family oriented thing right at the venue.
Things like that definitely help us out when we’re so far away from home all the time.
Do you guys feel a huge difference when you’re traveling around so much just kind of popping into all these festivals. Is there a big difference from festival to festival?
Taylor: Yeah, the festivals have really different cultures around them, just kind of based on how they started, where they are and what they’re about and what’s going on at the festival.
Does the band have any sort of ritual or anything like that before going on stage?
Taylor: We do actually. We do have a ritual that we do. It’s sort of secret though. I don’t think, I don’t know that I can divulge the exact ritual or the specifics of it but I can say we sort of have this little, you know, it’s a ritual that we do. It’s something that we all do together, right before we go on stage; we’re all on the same page. We center ourselves and being a live band is really important to us. I consider ourselves a live band. In some ways we’ve just toured so much -It’s really important that we’re all together and on the same page. Everybody’s just supportive of each other and in a good state. This ritual that we do right before we go on stage.
Wow. Yes, absolutely you guys have an extremely high powered live show and it’s been said that you’re even better live. So that’s a big compliment in my book.
Taylor: Thanks man. We’re trying to change that on our next record and make a better record than we are live but it’s been a challenge,
Do you guys find that you’re different when you go on stage opposed to when you’re just normal guys not on a stage?
Taylor: [Laughter] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I don’t know, to some degree. It’s sort of weird. It’s like when I don’t go on tour for a long time and then-, like in a situation we’re in now, I toured a lot in the last year but now I’ve been really used to just getting home and just having a normal life again. And then I have my thirteen inch schedule where I am not like some crazy person with this live whirlwind tour thing that’s happening. And then we go to play a show and it kind of strikes me how insane it is. My job is to basically go play music in front of 5,000 people or 10,000 people or something. You know, we just played this festival this weekend in Dover, Delaware called Firefly. It’s kind of a new festival. It’s the biggest one on the East Coast now. There are 80,000 people.
I thought it was this tiny festival that we were going to play for a few thousand people, I don’t know, I don’t want to quote the number but it was definitely one of the biggest shows that I think I’ve ever done live. We hadn’t rehearsed at all or anything. It just sort of came right back. It was like riding a bike for us. It’s something we’ve done so much and it was such an amazing time doing it but being out of it for so long, it just really struck me how weird it is that’s our job and I feel lucky but it’s sort of strange.