Monday, July 6, 2009

Interview with Gerald Taylor

I recently got to talk to one of my favourite bass players and here's what I learned.

When did you get into music? What instruments do you play?
Who are your biggest influences?

Gerald Taylor: I guess it all started with a stack of KISS records when I was a kid.
Someone gave them to the family and my brother and I soon became
little rockers. My father was always hunting for bargains at yard
sales and one day he brought home a copy of a 1950s Fender Precision
bass which had no strings and all the electronics were hanging out of
it. It collected dust for a number of years.

In grade 8 band I started the flute which continued into highschool
then in grade 9 I got that old bass repaired, stringed and joined my
highschool jazz band and was forced to learn the instrument very
quickly. Throughout highschool I played bass in a number of other
ensembles including a jazz quartet when I was 17. My biggest influence
was Jaco Pastorius and I ripped the frets off of every bass I've since
owned. (and usually seriously botched it in the process)

How many bands have you been in over the years, what style of music were

GT: As I mentioned before, my first bands were primarily jazz but have
also played in a country band, a number of rock bands and a
folk/rock/jazz thing in the late 90s. I guess I'm a versatile player
but these days I really enjoy indie rock stuff.

The band you are in now, what is it? Where do you see it heading?

GT: This Mad Desire ( is the name of my
current project and it in itself has a neat history. The singer, Mac
Attack, and I have known each other since highschool and we played
together in a band even back then. Over the years we seem to have been
pulled back together a number of times and I am very happy to be
working with him today. We are an indie rock band and have an
extensive catalog of songs that'll make you dance and cry and
everything in between. We are doing our damnedest to get ourselves in
front of as many people as possible and have had a number of small
successes recently. If I have anything do say about it, it'll be my
career and last musical project. I really believe in the music we're

The cities you lived in, you are originally from Thunder Bay, how did moving
improve or hinder things for your first band? How did living in Europe
colour your music? Would you ever return there?

GT: Yeah, I've moved around quite a lot over the years. The folk/rock band
I was in was the vehicle to get me out of Thunder Bay and into a
larger market. We moved to Guelph and after I left that band I moved
to Toronto. There are just so many more opportunities here and more
clubs to play. I moved to Europe as a career break that was originally
only supposed to last a year. I guess I had too much fun over there
and ended up staying for 6 years. During that time I didn't play as
much but instead got more into different indie bands from around the
world. I would love to return there to visit or play shows but don't
plan on relocating any time soon.

You have released cds with different bands you have worked with, how was
each experience differ?

GT: Well, the folk/rock band recorded a six song EP and we were heavily
funded by a family member and recorded in some of the best studios in
the GTA. That was a great experience and I learned so much from it.
The Karma Repair and Deathstyle recordings (precursors to This Mad
Desire) were done with a much smaller budget and since we couldn't
afford a producer we were much more hands-on with the recording and
mixing process. Again, lots learned. I have to say I'm really looking
forward to the next trip into the studio. I really want to meet and
work with more people in the industry.

Your personal website is a detour from that side of you, what made you chose
to call it that?

GT: Um, well. I love coffee and was trying to register or and Network Solutions suggested mycoffeepot and I went
with .org for the hell of it. Yeah. Not that interesting but that's
how it worked out. I tried to make it a blog while I was overseas but
usually ignored it. Since I set it up with Wordpress and have been
picture blogging from my phone, the content has been much more
regularly updated.

Hobbies outside of music?

GT: I collect fountain pens and I like NYT crosswords. I'm a true geek at
heart. I also enjoy tinkering with my home network and *NIX.

Favourite places to hang out?

GT: At home. Nobody makes better coffee than I do.

I remember seeing you play live back in the early 1990's, how would you
compare the venues you have played in since then?

GT: Oh wow. Hard question. I've played everything from bars with 3 people
in the audience and packed soft-seat auditoriums and everything
in-between. No stadiums yet though--that's next.

What are your other goals outside of music?

GT: I want to learn how to cook. Honestly, I suck. God help you if you
ever have to eat anything I've prepared.

What career would you have settled on if you were not a musician?

GT: Probably a Barista or teacher. I love working with people.

Who of your heroes have you had the chance to meet over the years?

GT: I met Michael Moriarty and it was a big deal because I'm a huge
Law & Order fan. That's about it I guess.

Do you have a new cd due for release any time soon?

GT:Have been in the studios a bit recently but nothing is planned for
certain. Best thing is to check out This Mad Desire homepage and from
there you can get to our facebook page. We'll update you when
something is coming.

Photo courtesy of Gerald Taylor

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