TAUKing Sir Nebula, Fall Tour, and More At North Coast
TAUK is on their way to releasing an entirely new studio album called Sir Nebula, accompanied by a fall tour that has other bands like Lettuce and Thievery Corporation on their bill. They have released a wildly psychedelic music video of their song, “Horizons,” as well as another new song called “Time’s Up,” earlier this week.
As I interviewed TAUK I realized that these guys are not only musicians that have been playing with each other for years, but they are good friends as well. It made for a pretty well balanced interview, which is rare when an entire band is interviewed at once. It’s almost comical, cycling in and out as if they were trading leads. Here is some insight to their ingenuity, their past stories from shows, and the future of their tour and sound.
How does the name Sir Nebula work into the future of your sound on this newly awaited album?
A.C. Carter (Keyboardist) – Well, Matt came up with the name Pull Factors, I came up with Homunculus, Charlie came up with Collisions, so it was Isaac’s turn to come up with the next theme of the record and he’s chose Sir Nebula.
Isaac Teel (Drummer) – I just felt that the music was going into space. There’s a lot of parts that remind me of shooting up into a rocket, and looking at earth.
Your website had mentioned that you guys got to record this album in one whole swoop instead of breaking the recording session up into pieces. Did this allow you to record a lot of improvisation or did you have a lot of this charted out before it got recorded?
Isaac Teel – Well, we did a little pre-production before hand, we had the charts and songs sort of mapped out, but when we go to the studio we felt out some things and had space for spontaneity. It worked out really well.
Matt Jalbert (Guitarist) – When we went into the studio there was a mix of a few songs that we had already played live, just a couple of them really, others were more flushed out ideas. We had charts and ideas for those songs. Then there were some songs that we just went in on and made them up on the spot. So there is a mix of loose writing styles and we like it better that way as a band.
How did you guys find the artist Po Chen Chia to do your music video for the song “Horizon” off your new album Sir Nebula?
Matt Jalbert – We were just looking at all these different music videos that we liked. And my buddy sent me a list because his friends did this kind of thing so we all checked out some of those, found Po Chen Chia, and reached out to Po and he wanted to do it.
Have you guys ever thought about using some of his videos as visuals for the backdrop of a set one day?
Matt Jalbert – It could be cool but we don’t typically tour with projection or screens like that.
Isaac Teel – It’s possible though.
Matt Jalbert – It’s not a bad idea for when we show up to festivals like this and have our own screen to get our own thing going with visuals.
Was Jam Improv really the intended goal for the sound of this band? Or did it just fall into it because of the free form jazz style funk that the band plays?
Matt Jalbert– I think everything we do is just whatever it is you know? We don’t show up and are like we need a song that does this or we need to go in this direction. It’s more like uh-
Isaac Teel – More like just let it be.
Matt Jalbert – Exactly just let it be, just know that one of us will constantly be bringing in new material and we will always be trying new things out and whatever comes to that gets built upon. That way it just feels more natural as a sound. We never want to try to be something else, we just want to do our thing, whatever that is. We don’t know what it will be five years from now. As long as it has a natural progression then we will have an open mind about it.
I feel like you guys have fell into a good niche by touring with Umphrey’s McGee. How did that relationship start between these two bands?
Matt Jalbert – I met Ryan Stasik at Lock’n two years ago, and I’m pretty sure that’s when we first met the guys. He approached me and told me he loved the band and he listened to some of our stuff. It seemed to open up a whole line of communication and we did some shows together, it went well, and then did a lot more after that [laughs]
TAUKing McGee, how did that idea come to be, and how do you choose which songs you want to play? Because I’ve seen you play songs from ‘Spinal Tap‘ to ‘Bonobo,’ like do you just try and pick the most random songs to cover and have fun with it?
Charlie Dolan (Bassist)– We kind of have a repertoire that we’ve built up because we kept doing it in select cities and it was these songs that we would keep adding to. This time we are actually starting from scratch, not practicing at all, and just being like ‘play these songs’ and see what happens. It’s kind of always like ‘ yeah lets just try it and see what happens’ type of thing. We hardly rehearse it. That’s pretty much the dynamic of the dialogue that we have put together as Tauking McGee.
TAUKing McGee played ‘Big Bottom‘ by Spinal Tap at Summer Camp this year. At the end of the song all of you smashed your cheap, and presumable generic, bass guitars. Did you guys go to Wal-Mart and get some basses?
Charlie Dolan – Oh yeah, they were like 50 bucks. Some of them were barely playable.
Matt Jalbert – I swear mine was a fucking tank though. I smashed it like four times and the thing wouldn’t break. Then Jake comes over, first whack it’s just shattered.
Charlie Dolan – Jake must be a pro at shattering guitars-
Matt – He is a pro! Afterwards he is just telling me how next time I just need to find the sweet spot and all this, and I’m like ‘man I’m just going to hit it harder next time.
A.C. Carter – You’ve got to eat your Wheaties before you smash guitars bro.
…So you guys are going to be smashing guitars tonight right? Hopefully this will be a repetitive thing.
Matt Jalbert – Not mine
Charlie Dolan – It’s actually kind of funny how we made that happen though. Stasik and I usually switch off parts throughout the set and we were like “how can we get everyone on stage” and we both agreed that we should just invite four basses to play Big Bottom, buy four shitty basses and just smash them.
It seems like you and Umphrey’s McGee have been teamed up for a while. Who else would you like to be touring with in the future?
A.C. Carter – Chon, they’re a younger band but they’re also very proggy and they have a good buzz going on in the scene. Snarky Puppy would be great.
Isaac Teel – Funky Knuckles just to throw one out there.
A.C. Carter – Sound Tribe would be really fun to do a run with.
Are there any smaller bands that you guys could take under your wing?
Matt Jalbert – Well this fall we are doing our own tour. Getting the chance to go on stage and do so many shows with a band like Umphrey’s, and we’ve had the opportunity to play with many different bands it’s always awesome because it’s always a learning experience. But I think this fall we felt it was time that we step out and do our own thing and play our own shows and get that under our belt. So throughout that tour we are going to be having a bunch of different bands join us.
Charlie Dolan – Yeah I would to do for another band what Umphrey’s did for us. We appreciate that they put us in the spot light, and we definitely want to do that for other bands if we can get to that point.
What is something new that we can look forward to on this Fall Tour?
Matt Jalbert – We’ve got the new album, new merch, and some new covers that we have been working on.
A.C. Carter – A couple of dates that we are looking forward to are the dates that we are teaming up with Thievery Corporation and Lettuce in Jacksonville Florida and in Denver Colorado. Those are two bands, very different bands, and it will be the type of shows where the music compliments one another. We are all really excited to be working with them. It’s a testament to what everyone is trying to do.