Nashville indie-alt band Moon Taxi took the Gov Ball stage at 3 p.m. last Saturday and played an energetic live set full of hair flips and stage jumps courtesy of lead singer Trevor Terndrup (so much #turntup potential with a surname like that). After the show all that we could think about was that with three albums under their belts and a band name extremely relevant to us NYC car-less space cadets, Moon Taxi should be shared with the EARMILK nation.
So, after slow clapping to "Beaches", screaming the "oh oh oh" chorus to "Morocco," and freaking out that they played their newest track "All Day All Night," we sat down with the band and got to know them better. Read on to learn how they spent their time in New York, who would be on their Gov Ball line up, and how their newest song (streamable below) came to be.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208199994" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EARMILK: What influences did you guys draw upon for your forthcoming album? Any thread or theme that weaves itself throughout?
MOON TAXI: Musically, we wanted it to be a little more organic and performance-based than our last album. Initially we talked about capturing a summery 70's vibe. I think there is still an element of that but once you start making a record it kind of takes on a life of its own. That being said, I do feel like it is our most cohesive album to date. To me it's an album about embracing new beginnings while retaining a sense of the places and people that made you who you are.
EM: What is "All Day All Night" about? How did this track specifically come together - and how do you go about writing music typically?
MT: The origin of this song is the opening guitar part that continues throughout the song. That was actually an idea I recorded during the writing period of our last album, Mountains Beaches Cities. We ended up not pursuing it for that album but when it came time to write for the new one, it was among the first things we started working on. Wes used the guitar part as a foundation and shaped the rest of the music around it, adding chords and other instrumental parts and melodies. He had a vocal melody in mind that I put lyrics to. Lyrically the idea was to tell a story about someone who's been going non-stop through their day's and nights. It could be ambition, desperation, drugs or love that keeps them going, maybe all of those things. After that, the whole band became involved and we started working out the feel and arrangement. We revised a couple lyrical lines as a group and then we just kept working it out bit by bit. That's a somewhat typical process for us with a lot of songs. A lyrical idea or musical phrase becomes a spark of inspiration and the process begins. Sometimes the song comes together quickly, other times it goes through multiple incarnations before it reaches its final resting place. This one had to wait over 3 years to see its completed form!
EM: What tracks resonate with you the most?
MT: Since "All Day All Night" is the only song out, I will just speak to that. It's a song that we've seen resonate with a wide ranging group of people. A lot of people are out there living crazy round-the-clock lives. This is an anthem for them.
EM: What are the best / most challenging parts about being on the road?
MT: It's very hard to maintain a consistent daily schedule with the travel and the different demands of each show. It can be physically and mentally exhausting. But sharing the music with fans is sort of the culmination of all the hard work you put into making an album. It's very rewarding to see something you've put so much blood, sweat and tears into enter the world and bring happiness to other people.
EM: Any upcoming collaborations?
MT: Nothing on the books at the moment but we are always having guest musicians we respect and admire perform with us when they are around.
EM: What are your thoughts on playing festivals, and specifically Gov Ball?
MT: We love playing festivals. Our sound and songs work well in an outdoor summer environment. We've always looked at festivals as an opportunity to connect with our existing fans in a cool environment and reach a whole new set of people at the same time.
EM: What do you all do in New York when you're here?
MT: New York is always an exciting place to come. We have a lot of friends here. The night before our Gov ball set, Trevor and Wes took in a Broadway musical, I met an old friend for dinner and Tommy and Tyler watched My Morning Jacket's set at Gov Ball. We love soaking in the energy of the city. No other place in the world like it.
EM: Who would you put in your Gov Ball lineup as "must see" acts?
MT: Some real amazing and inspirational artists on the lineup - Sturgill Simpson, Tame Impala, War on Drugs, Björk, Ratatat.
EM: What's in the pipeline for this summer and year?
MT: We're going to be dropping songs from the upcoming album throughout the summer leading up to its release. More amazing festivals are coming up like Bonnaroo, Pemberton and Lollapalooza.
EM: What products can you not live without?
MT: Cliche but my iPhone and iMac.
EM: What are you doing when you're not doing music?
MT: Spend time with family, travel and get caught up on TV and movies.
EM: Tell us something random/funny/comedically terrible that's happened lately.
MT: We recently joined Periscope, you can watch the absurdity of our lives in real time now.
If you want to feel like you've hitched an unmetered ride into their galaxy, check out the links below.