Interview: TAUK – Coming to a Festival Near You
Bands That Jam recently caught up with the Long Island/NYC band TAUK, before they ventured out to start their summer shows. A very large portion of our readers will be able to see them perform in the coming months,as they are playing several big festivals: Hangout Beach, Summercamp, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brother’s Peach festival. BTJ asked a few questions, here’s what they had to say-
Bands That Jam : First things first- your name TAUK, we understand it’s a nod to your hometown and roots….
-Yes! Kinda….the name TAUK comes from the town of Montauk located at the end of Long Island, none of us actually live there. I have spent a lot of time there with my family since I was young . Around 2002 we recorded and sold a CD for a high school community service project, we needed to decide on a name for our band and I happened to be wearing a Montauk shirt that day. The rest is history….
BTJ: You were a 5 piece with vocals, now a 4 piece instrumental?
-The band has changed a whole lot since we began calling ourselves Tauk. We have had members come and go, we’ve also split for long periods of time because we all went different colleges. Even before we became TAUK, Matt AC and I started playing music together sometime around 6th grade. It has been a pretty natural evolution up until now with the three of as the core members of the group. Recently we have brought drummer Isaac Teel into the band, bringing whole new elements to our song writing and playing. We’re really excited to continue to get out there and show people what we can do.
BTJ: ….can we expect vocals in your live shows?
-Right now we don’t have any vocals in our live shows. We definitely plan to work with vocalists in the future on some of our recordings and in a live setting.
Your beginnings seem to have morphed (with the live music scene) of the mid-2000′s from a jazz-funk with vocals toward a more experimental and instrumental structure…
-There has definitely been a progression in the focus & musical identity of the band. Like I said before, it has all happened naturally for us as we have grown together & individually.
BTJ: what have you been tagged as, and what if anything would you categorize yourselves as?
-I think the best description of our sound right now is “Instrumental Rock Fusion”
BTJ: You guys have opened for or played with a number of biggies, including moe., TLG, and Robert Randolph. By the looks of your schedule, and the progression of venues, it looks like you’re stepping it up a level, how’s that feel?
-It feels good but we’re not satisfied at all. We’re always trying to push ourselves as much as we can to get out there and build our fan base more and more. We hope to be at this a long time.
BTJ: …you’ve been at it a number of years, probably occurring just in time?
-No better time than now
BTJ: ….coming up in the scene in the past 10+ years, how have things changed?
-Things have changed a whole lot. When we first started it was all about myspace for bands now there is so much more than that. Social Media has changed everything about how bands promote themselves and we are really looking to harness that as much as possible.
During the past you have played some major music venues,mainly up and down the I-95 corridor/ North East, you guys have a pretty solid following too…
The NJ Turnpike- love/hate?
-Depends how much traffic there is, we definitely do as much as we can to avoid that during certain times of the day.
BTJ: ….and have some major festivals including Hangout Beach, Summercamp, and Bonnaroo, and the new Allman Brothers Festival on the horizon, how do you approach the festival experience as a band? show up, play, leave or hang and rage, little of both?
-If we can hang and rage, we’ll definitely do that. Sometimes you have to drive to the next city for the next gig. I think we will be hanging around for these festivals as much as possible to see the other bands and just have a fun.
BTJ: What are some of your more memorable shows or favorite venues?
- I think the guys would agree that our favorite venue that we have played is The 930 Club in Washington DC, or Brooklyn Bowl in NYC. For me one our most memorable shows would have to be playing Terminal 5 in NYC with Robert Randolph, we sat in with Robert to close out the night. We played “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin
BTJ:: How do you feel about archive.org/etree and a fan’s ability to access a broad and diverse collection of music and many others from nearly anywhere, have you considered uploading your shows?
-We are definitely for sites like archive.org, great way to showcase our live music. We will be up there soon for sure.
BTJ: Your new album Pull Factors, holy shit! I’m really enjoying it- it’s free on your website! What/ How did you arrive at giving it away like that?
- Right now we’re really trying to build up our following and get our music to the ears of the listener. What better way than to give it away for free? Our goal in the end is get people to come out and see us live.
BTJ: Many groups at your level put on a killer live show, but to be blunt, their albums suck, Pull Factors, not at all….
…we hear you worked with sound engineer Dave Natale (Rolling Stones), and producer Robert Caranza ( Mars Volta), and it certainly sounds professional in every way. How has working with them added to or enhanced you as a band?
- Working with Dave in his studio was a great experience for us. He allowed us to really experiment with the recording process like we have never done before. In the past we would go in to the studio with a goal to finish the song as we knew it in a certain amount of time. For Pull Factors we really just went in and tried stuff out without worrying about if it was the right thing or not. We are happy with the result.
- Robert has been a good friend for a while now. He brings so much to the table as far as getting things to sound their best sonically. For this record we did a lot of over-dubbing and layering in each of the songs. Robert is able has a great ear for knowing what elements of the composition to bring out in the recording while still having clarity and separation for the supporting parts.
BTJ: We look forward to seeing you this summer, anything big on the horizon that you want readers to know?
- Were really looking forward to get back into the studio to do a track with Engineer and Producer Elliot Scheiner. Look out for that!