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INTERVIEW: Taylor Tucker

Hi Taylor, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks VENTS! I’ve been doing great and hope you’re doing well yourself. I’ve been gearing up for my next show at Rockwood Music Hall on Sep. 7th, performing at open mics, supporting my friends at shows. I’ll hit a yoga class or two after work. Mostly music stuff though.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Leather Shoes”?

Sure thing. I wrote it on my ukulele about a year and half ago. It’s definitely one of my favorites to perform and a song that most people relate to. When I perform live I see the audience’s faces go “oh yea I’ve definitely known a person like that!” and it makes me laugh every time. It’s gotten a pretty good response so far which I’m happy about. And those who don’t like it or find it offensive are usually wearing a suit and some leather shoes, so….

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Definitely. It’s about a guy I met at a bar when I first moved to NY a few years ago. He had the weirdest looking leather shoes on and was acting like he was royalty or something. So I wrote him a nice little song about how much I adored him.

Do you have plans for any music videos?

Yes I would love to do a music video in the future. They cost an arm and a leg now a days so saving up for it first. I have so many ideas swimming in my head I just want them out already!

The single comes off your new album The Leather Shoes – what’s the story behind the title and why naming the record after this track?

It’s one of my favorite songs off the EP and one of the most therapeutic songs I’ve written. I have very strong feelings towards conceited, arrogant people so I had a wonderful time crafting this pop song.

How was the recording and writing process?

Soooooooo much free therapy. I took some time off of work to play music and write songs…I had many ideas and needed a few weeks to shape them. Then afterwards I thought I had a nice solid group of songs and thought I should probably record them? So I didn’t sit down and say “ok, time to write an EP.” It all just sort of happened naturally.

The recording process was new and slightly awkward at first…it’s like ok here’s my heart and soul! Let’s do something with it! I had no idea what I was doing. I met with a few producers before finding the awesome Mike Abiuso. He taught me about comping, different microphones I would be using, all the different gear he used. People don’t realize how much time and patience it takes to create a record and how much goes into the whole process. I’m lucky I found a producer, a teacher, and a good friend all in one. It’s pretty hilarious because we literally recorded everything in the smallest room known to man and was like welp, here goes nothing!

What was it like to work with Michael Abiuso and how did that relationship develop?

It was a drag. Just kidding – Mike is the best. He’s so patient and taught me many useful tips and tricks about recording along the way. He would take the time to explain in detail what he was doing to my music, vocals, etc and why he was doing it. He also helped bring ideas to the table which helped round out the sound of each song. We played so many funky, weird percussive instruments too. I wanted to make weird sounds using my voice and he was all on board with it. We also built a great relationship around being honest with each other. If something wasn’t working or we disagreed with an idea, we would always speak up about it.

How much did he get to influence the album?

So much! He’s very creative and would not hesitate to grab random items around his apartment to find a sound fitting for the song. We were basically children playing with toys. He’s a musician himself so he definitely helped me craft all the instrumental sections in each song. It was awesome to learn from him.

What is it about the ukelele that fascinates you so much?

It’s small and portable. You can take it anywhere. It’s like a dog. Or a child. It’s also the easiest instrument I’ve played and was able to write almost all my songs on it.

What places and emotions get to inspire the lyrics on this record?

I went through a time in my life where I felt pretty shitty about myself and I never want anyone to feel that way. I also found that people close to my heart were also feeling this way too so I wrote songs to them to try to lift their spirits and let them know I’m here for them (i.e. Enough to Me and Take It Easy). I definitely have a bit of a feisty side to me that I hone in on during Leather Shoes and Don’t Say It. I touched on heartbreak a little bit in Memory which was about frustration and sadness after breaking up with someone. Normal emotions that every person on the planet goes through at some point.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely some day. That would be awesome.

What else is happening next in Taylor Tucker’s world?

Just writing, practicing guitar, and honing in on what I want my next record to sound like. I’d like to attend more comedy shows and concerts. Eatting pizza and going to yoga more…

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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