It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Montreal rocker, and solo artist Taylor James. This young and extremely talented multi-instrumentalist does it all, from being a singer/songwriter as well as playing everything from guitar, bass, drums to piano. His music is filled with soulful, soothing and raw emotion solidifying his grasp on the music world. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to him about his musical inspirations, influences and future aspirations as a solo artist as well as the steps he has taken to overcome the mundane frustrations of being part of bands that didn’t work out in the past. Currently, he is busy recording and working in studio on his album, for now you can find his music on YouTube with songs like “Fallen Under,” “Hollow,” “A Dragon” and “Taste of Sin.”
Debra Heather (DH): Can you tell me about some of your musical influences growing up?
Taylor James (TJ): When I was really young my father always played AC/DC and Pink Floyd in the car, I can remember listening to AC/DC live 1992 almost everyday day with him. As I got older I went through a NU Metal phase with Linkin Park and Limp Bizket and other stuff like that then Metal Core with Killswitch Engage and Unearth, but I really found myself musically and personally with the bands Pantera, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. I was really into the way the music affected me emotionally.
DH: Give me a bit of background about yourself what instruments do you play? Do you have a favorite song that you love to perform whether it’s one of yours or an artist that you admire?
TJ: I play all the basic band instruments like Guitar, Bass, Drums, a bit of piano and I sing. I don’t really play other peoples songs because I’m a composer, and that’s all I do when I pick up and instrument, I actually don’t really know any songs besides my own. My music defines me and makes me feel good. I’m also lucky to be a multi-instrumentalist, thus being able to perform and record all my music on my own in the studio that I built, but the two songs I do like to play are “Old Man” by Neil Young and “Got Me Wrong” by Alice In Chains.
DH: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music? Have you been in bands prior to becoming a solo artist?
TJ: Hockey used to be my life when I was a kid, but when my father passed away, I quit hockey and started playing the electric guitar. I had also just started high school, so I naturally fell into a band with some new friends. I played in a few bands since then, mostly revolving around the same group of friends with a few main guys and other acquaintances, but nothing really took off. I was getting very frustrated towards the end with my last band. It’s difficult. Especially when you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere. I decided just to go on my own. I quit drinking and enrolled myself into a school called Recording Arts Canada and with the education I received and money I saved from being sober I built my studio and started my album.
DH: I’m currently listening to “ A Dragon Lyric” and it’s awesome! Tell me about your music making process and where your inspiration comes from when writing music?
TJ: Most of the songs that are going to be on my album were written while I was sober and in love. It was a very lonely time for me because all of my buds were drinking all the time, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I just stayed in my studio every night and wrote about how I was feeling. When I first built my studio, I wrote the song “Fallen Under” for a girl I really liked, I was excited and full of confidence, but it didn’t work out. Hey…That kind of shit happens, but it brought me down really low. I started to question myself with my sobriety. I though to myself, am I supposed to be alone like this? Am I working this hard just to feel like shit all the time? So I wrote the song “A Dragon.” She is the dragon. So in general my music is written with pure emotion, and it’s the truth because I wouldn’t have any music any other way.
DH: What are your plans in the next year to further your musical career? Are you working on new music?
TJ: I’m always writing music, but I’m so busy recording and working on this album that I haven’t really put any effort into new songs for the future. Once I’m done with my album, I plan to put together a band to perform my songs live. I want to put on an album release show in the same style of the Nirvana or Alice In Chain MTV Unplugged show. I want to film it and put together a full proof press kit which would also include a music video, a photo shoot, performance and album reviews, personal biography, artwork and merchandise. I don’t really care about money. My dream is just to travel, perform and record music. Then one day have a family and pass down my experience and achievements.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world,then it can only happen through music.” Jimi Hendrix