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Taste the Rainbow on Taz Taylor’s Nocturnal CD

Featuring five singers from three countries

Taz Taylor Band, finding the words.
Taz Taylor Band, finding the words.

Drummer Val Trainor and bassist Barney Firks have been backing Imperial Beach-by-way-of-England guitarist Taz Taylor since 2010. These days, the Taz Taylor Band (TTB) splits their time between playing instrumental gigs and shows with vocalists. “We’re kind of half-and-half at this point with how many vocal records and how many instrumental records we have done,” Taylor says. “The local shows that we’ve played over the last few years have almost all been instrumental. Now and again, we will feature some guest vocalists and make a record that way. I think it’s nice to hear what a singer will do with stuff that I may have already spent weeks laboring over, then you give it to a singer and, three days later, he will send you back your exact same thing, but with vocals on it. It’s like, ‘Holy shit, it’s so different now.’ It kind of explodes.”

On their latest CD Nocturnal, this process played out with five vocalists, including Americans David Reece (Accept), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen), and Chandler Moge (who contributed vocals to TTB’s Pressure & Time album). Scottish singer Doogie White and British vocalist Graham Bonnet both sang with Rainbow and Michael Schenker, and Bonnet played on TTB’s debut album, Welcome to America. Taylor recalls Bonnet being surprised by how easy it was to pair his lyrics with Taylor’s playing. “I thought about it for a second, and I said, ‘Well, maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that I learned to play guitar while listening to records that you sang on.’”

Taylor’s own surprise was finding so many hard rock fans in the U.S. circa 1997. “I grew up in England, and hard rock was very much a niche thing there. I quickly realized hard rock and hair metal, as it was called at the time, was massive here in the ‘80s. It dominated the airwaves. It dominated MTV and VH1, whereas in England, it absolutely did not.” Taylor’s Global Rock Records will reissue the entire Taz Taylor Band catalogue later this year.

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Taz Taylor Band, finding the words.
Taz Taylor Band, finding the words.

Drummer Val Trainor and bassist Barney Firks have been backing Imperial Beach-by-way-of-England guitarist Taz Taylor since 2010. These days, the Taz Taylor Band (TTB) splits their time between playing instrumental gigs and shows with vocalists. “We’re kind of half-and-half at this point with how many vocal records and how many instrumental records we have done,” Taylor says. “The local shows that we’ve played over the last few years have almost all been instrumental. Now and again, we will feature some guest vocalists and make a record that way. I think it’s nice to hear what a singer will do with stuff that I may have already spent weeks laboring over, then you give it to a singer and, three days later, he will send you back your exact same thing, but with vocals on it. It’s like, ‘Holy shit, it’s so different now.’ It kind of explodes.”

On their latest CD Nocturnal, this process played out with five vocalists, including Americans David Reece (Accept), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen), and Chandler Moge (who contributed vocals to TTB’s Pressure & Time album). Scottish singer Doogie White and British vocalist Graham Bonnet both sang with Rainbow and Michael Schenker, and Bonnet played on TTB’s debut album, Welcome to America. Taylor recalls Bonnet being surprised by how easy it was to pair his lyrics with Taylor’s playing. “I thought about it for a second, and I said, ‘Well, maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that I learned to play guitar while listening to records that you sang on.’”

Taylor’s own surprise was finding so many hard rock fans in the U.S. circa 1997. “I grew up in England, and hard rock was very much a niche thing there. I quickly realized hard rock and hair metal, as it was called at the time, was massive here in the ‘80s. It dominated the airwaves. It dominated MTV and VH1, whereas in England, it absolutely did not.” Taylor’s Global Rock Records will reissue the entire Taz Taylor Band catalogue later this year.

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