BEN TAYLOR w/ BEECHERS FAULT

 

 

20160511 - Beecher's Fault at Mercury Lounge 0016
photo by Gustavo Mirabile

What was the first album you ever purchased and how do you rank it today?   Not sure what the first one I bought with my own money was but the first CD I was given was Queen’s Greatest Hits 1 & 2…the double disc. My parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was maybe 7. It’s still one of my favs to this day. So many incredible songs.

20160511 - Beecher's Fault at Mercury Lounge 0020
photo by Gustavo Mirabile

Was guitar your first instrument? and what was your first guitar?   First instrument I played was actually piano. My parents bought an old electric organ from a neighbor in England for me to practice on. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 13 and my first guitar was a black and white Stratocaster. I was really into Clapton at the time so I think he inspired that choice.

What do you play these days and do you use the same gear on stage as in the studio?   I’m really not much of a gear guy. I like to keep it as simple as possible so I play an American Telecaster for its simplicity and versatility. I own several guitars (most of them gifts) and I’ll occasionally switch it up but the tele is my go-to for studio and live. My amp is a Budda tube amp and I love that thing.

You’ve moved around a lot geographically, how do you think those contrasts of place & time have impacted your music or approach to it?   Well being from England and having English parents who love music has definitely had a huge impact on me. I grew up listening to all the English greats (Beatles, Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Floyd, the Police, Bowie etc…) I think my time in Texas allowed me to gain an appreciation for country music. I’m a HUGE Jerry Jeff Walker fan. But just in general I’ve always used music as a medium for making new friends in new places. Everyone loves music so it’s a great thing to talk about when you’re in a new place.

What’s your favorite part about being in a band; writing, recording, or playing out? I love all of it but writing is probably my favorite part. I tend to write in quick spurts. I’ll get an idea for a song and finish writing it in a day or two. I love it when it all happens at once like that.

What do you think is the tightest Beecher’s Fault elevator pitch (or did I just blow the interview?) “Wilco and Passion Pit had a baby named Beecher’s Fault”

Take us behind the scenes: what is the bands dynamic and how does that vary pre-show verses post?   Ken and I tend to run the show. We are the main songwriters and founders of the band so we are the most intense and bossy. The other three (Lauren, Serge and Max) are awesome musicians and great friends so it’s really easy to work with them. They do a great job of tolerating us. Pre-show I’d say we are generally relaxed but a little intense and focused. Post show we all like to hang and have a good time. Beechers-Fault-full-band-photo

You’re a Wilco aficionado of sorts — what are your favorite three Wilco albums? “A Ghost is Born” is definitely my favorite. I was introduced to it and Wilco in my first week as a student at Colgate University. It just really resonates with me and I think the songs are some of Jeff’s most expressive and personal. After that I’d have to say “Being There” and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”. Both of them are just packed with amazing tracks that I can listen to hundreds of times and never get tired of.
What advise would you give to a young artist or band getting ready to really ‘give it a go’? It’s way harder than you think. Don’t expect anything from anyone and make sure your band-mates are your favorite people in the world because years from now you’ll still be in the “struggle” with them.
You’ve been asked to do a tribute on the Grammy’s: who is the artist and what is the song do? Wilco, “The Late Greats”.

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STEVE HENRY


1.0  – What is WORMBURNER about musically? Wormburner is a collision of musical influences from the vintage punk, new wave, and classic rock catalogues. On top of this music there’s typically a fairly dense lyrical component, often a narrative.

2.0  – Does the band have a favorite room in NYC?  The Bowery Ballroom. 2nd favorite: Mercury Lounge.

3.0  – Is it important to put on a show when you play live? Absolutely. Wormburner puts on a very physical live show. And audiences seem to respond to that.

4.0  – Which WORMBURNER song goes over best live? Probably “The Interstate”.

5.0  – What’s on your mind right before you go on?  No matter how much we prepare for a show, there’s usually some last-minute crisis to manage. Someone realizes he’s missing a patch cord or a guitar strap or something. I’d like to be able to tell you that the moment before we go onstage is a peaceful, zen-like experience. But that’s usually not the case.

6.0  – Does a band have to tour to be taken seriously? That’s a great question, and it’s a question A LOT of bands struggle with. Without proper support and publicity in advance of playing out-of-town dates, a band can end up playing to a stretch of empty rooms, town after town. And that very commonly leads to a band splitting up. Here’s a typical sequence of events: The band makes an initial impact by filling up rooms in their hometown, then they quit their day jobs and book a tour. The tour ends up being a disaster because no one outside their hometown has heard of their particular band, and no one comes to the shows. The band hemorrages money, and the band members grow bitter and they stop believing in what it is they’re doing. They go their separate ways and they often consider their band to have been a failure. It’s just my opinion, but it might be wiser for a band to have landed some sort of fully-funded publicity machinery behind them before quitting their day jobs and trying to make a living playing music on the road.

7.0  –  If the band had their own reality series, what might it be called? Personally I try to avoid reality TV at all costs. I’m pretty turned off by people who strive to get on TV in order to achieve some sort of ‘celebrity’ status. Sorry to be a downer but it’s just not my thing. So I can’t really even think of a clever title for a reality series about Wormburner. Sorry.

8.0  – Do you guys have a super fan? Yes. Her name is Terri O’Rourke and she’s the best. She comes to all our shows. But I don’t think we can claim her as exclusively our own super fan. Terri is a fixture on New York’s indie music scene, and she’s a true appreciator of great music. It’s an honor that she counts Wormburner among her favorites.

9.0  – For your half-time gig at the Super Bowl next year, you do a medley of which three WORMBURNER tunes? Peekskill –> Stolen Tags –> The Interstate

10.0  – Is magic a part of the musical equation for you? Sure. There’s definitely a certain magic to the songwriting process. I like to think that Wormburner has experienced this as sort of “a visitation.” One minute you’re in a studio making what feels like a directionless racket with your instruments, and ten minutes later a fully-formed song has revealed itself. That song didn’t exist ten minutes prior, and it’s a pretty cool thing.