Moon Taxi Talks About There New Album.

To Trevor Terndrup, creativity is a use-it-or-lose-it sort of gift, which helps explain why less than 11 months after the release of “Let the Record Play,” the breakthrough album by his band, Moon Taxi, he and his bandmates are already at work on their next album.

“You’ve got to keep those juices flowing or else they stop coming,” he observed in a late November phone interview. “So we’re trying to stay as busy as possible, and we still love to play live.”

“Let the Record Play” was a watershed album for the Nashville-based group on a few fronts. Most notably, the album’s lead single, “Two High,” became Moon Taxi’s first bona fide hit song, reaching the top of the Triple A Airplay chart and going top five on the Adult Alternative Songs chart.

The exposure “Two High” received has had a very tangible impact on Moon Taxi’s day-to-day existence as a hard-touring outfit.

“I try to just keep my perspective very limited to what I see from the stage and the reaction I get from people, which has only gotten better and better,” Terndrup said. “I mean, we’ve had great fans for many years now. But it just seems like the fan base has augmented considerably because of the success of ‘Two High’ and because I think it really struck a chord with people and it was what they needed to hear at that time.”

When the song, which is about finding hope and unity in today’s often-contentious times and was inspired in part by the 2017 women’s march, was written and first released, Moon Taxi was working on a considerably smaller platform than the band is now. The group’s roots go back to 2002 when high school classmates singer/guitarist Terndrup and bassist Tommy Putnam moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University. There, they met guitarist Spencer Thomson and drummer David Swan, who became the other two members of the original Moon Taxi lineup.

The group didn’t really ramp up their activities until 2006. That’s when Swan left the band and was replaced by Tyler Ritter. With keyboardist Wes Bailey coming on board to complete the revamped lineup, the group released their debut album, “Melodica,” in April 2007 on their own 12th South Records.

The group gradually began to build a following with tours that took the group across America and by landing appearances at a number of jam band-centric festivals, including the Hangout Fest, Wakarusa, Coachella, Forecastle, and last summer, Bonnaroo. As Moon Taxi went on to release three more studio albums between 2012 and 2015, the group also enjoyed exposure through quite a few placements of their songs in commercials (including ones for McDonald’s and BMW) and sports broadcasts (including the NFL and major league baseball), as well as appearances on late night shows like “The Conan O’Brien Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman” – impressive achievements for a group that was self-releasing its music.

“We didn’t do that on our own,” Terndrup said. “We’ve had a great management team and a great booking agent for years. So it does take a village.”

By spring 2017, the group was poised to put out its fifth album, “Let the Record Play” on their 12 South label, and that May released “Two High” as a single. Then the unexpected happened, as the song started going viral online, gaining 110 million spins on Spotify alone.

“It had some fortune being placed on a few key playlists, like Spotify, which is the main streaming source that racked up all of these millions of streams,” Terndrup said. “Yeah, so Spotify was really the thing that pushed that song into the forefront of our catalog, and that fed the radio, terrestrial radio, too. It’s interesting how one is kind of affecting another at this point in the music business.”

Record companies noticed the online success of “Two High,” and soon Moon Taxi was being courted by a number of labels, including major label RCA, which signed the group and released “Let the Record Play” this past January.

Moving up to RCA was anything but a no-brainer decision for Moon Taxi, Terndrup said.

“It was a tough decision because we were so proud of how we had been self-sufficient and self-reliant, self-producers for so many years,” he said. “And that’s not changing. We are not giving up the creative reins at all, which was what attracted us to RCA, which is they didn’t have a vision to change us. I think they saw the history of the band and the gumption that we’ve exhibited over the years, and they appreciated that and that’s what attracted them to us.

“We were attracted to them because of a few things, but their roster is filled with bands that we love and we respect their careers as well. So it was the right fit,” Terndrup added. “And we also feel like we’ve had some records in the past that had fantastic songs on them, but no one heard them because it was just that amount of exposure that we could generate on our own was kind of limited.”

Because “Let the Record Play” was already finished when Moon Taxi signed with RCA, Terndrup feels the next album will be the first real test for what the label can do to advance the group’s career.

It’s a bit early to say how the next album will compare to “Let the Record Play” (which mostly had an easy-going blend of rock and pop along the lines of acts like Imagine Dragons or Walk The Moon, with a few instrumental excursions to spice up tunes like “No More Worry” and “Trouble”) or the group’s earlier albums, Terndrup said, but the songs will share a quality that worked for the band on the current album.

“I think we saw that with ‘Two High,’ when we wrote a song that motivated us, it motivated other people to listen,” he said. “So I think we’re definitely going to tap into that urgency of emotion.

“I’m excited to play these (new) songs live,” Terndrup said. “They have such a great feel right now as just demos. So I think it’s going to be great.”

Moon Taxi is taking a break from work on the next album to do a run of shows that continues through mid-April, including a number of dates opening for the Zac Brown Band. Whether headlining, opening for another act or playing a festival date, Moon Taxi tends to vary its set list from show to show.

“That’s how we maintain sanity is by changing up the set list and throwing in some new covers here or there, or like reimagining songs sometimes, like playing snippets of them and not even playing the whole thing or combining them with other songs,” Terndrup said. “That’s always fun. I think it’s rewarding for us because it’s a challenge and it’s rewarding for the audience because they hope we can pull it off. Sometimes we do.” For More Great Interviews With Your Favorite Artist, Check Out This Link.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.