Around the Artist.
An Interview with Chris Taylor. 11/13/01 by paul
WEB SITE INTERVIEW WITH SINGER, SONGWRITER CHRIS TAYLOR
Chris Taylor has seemed a little hard to find lately, it is
mainly because he is busier than he's ever been before. Taylor
is launching two new compact discs this month, working as the
music and arts director for the cibolo creek community
a San Antonio congregation modeled loosely on the willow creek
phenomenon in Chicago he's also recently moved into a
new pad, and had some significant life changes. We caught up
with Chris so that you could bring yourself up to speed with
Brand New Ache. Lo-Fi. So, why two albums at once?
CT: well... the project actually started with "lo-fi".
went into the studio and just got going... i think we tracked
like... fifteen songs or so. the ones that had the most consistency
in the themes behind the record made the final cut. although,
there were some interesting things that didn't. we came out
with a VERY grass roots bootleg version of "lo-fi"
a while back but it was meant to
be a recording to be taken seriously... the idea of turning
it into a double disc rolled around in my head but i wanted
to write new songs, with more hooks and discipline as far as
the structure was concerned. so in april; of this year i called
shane and justin and we started playing the songs in my living
room as a band... booked us in the studio and called some friends
to round it all off. the double disc idea was done away with
mainly due to cost, but also... it just felt like two different
cd's to me.
Q: How would you distinguish one from another?
"brand new ache" the title for the proper album...
has a beginning, middle and end to it and has actual songs (with
verses and choruses!) so that sets it apart from "lo-fi".
even more so, "lo-fi" is definitely a response to
the questions and woes raised on "brand new ache".
it's almost like a voice of comfort to all the pain of loss
Where are you at currently with your touring and performance
career? Are your other obligations going to prevent another
tour on the scale of what we saw in 1999 and 2000?
as far as touring goes... it's always been a bit here, a bit
there. so there has never been a major tour in the sense of
a bus, crew and demand for ct live. but we've managed to book
dates around festivals like cornerstone
and such. right now, my life is taking some drastic turns in
both the personal and professional sense. i'm working with cibolo
creek community as their music and arts director. that is an
outlet that allows me to train and build and inspire others
to bring the best out of themselves... and i get to be creative
too. do stuff most people wouldn't do in this type of setting.
i'm involved with video and some drama too.
but... that's not to say i can't break away for some strategic
gigs here and there. these two records aren't meant to be on
the same level of radio and marketing as the rhythm
house cd's. and i went into that knowing this would come
from my own pocket and some private investors... so to do some
grass roots stuff, selling it through the net or out of the
back of my car... i like that idea -- as long as the investors
get paid back, that is! (laughs)
i'm not really doing these as demos to shop or any of that nonsense.
just the pure joy of making music and getting it to the people
who want to hear it...
So, are your label days over?
my label days are not over... i'm still a Rhythm
House artist... they are doing whatever they can to promote
and although i'm still tied in to that big process of making
a record for distribution and
mass marketing, i felt it worthwhile to make a record (or two)
for the fans who've been into my stuff for a while now.
Can you comment on your relationship with Rhythm House Records?
Have things changed since the label uprooted and moved to Nashville?
things have changed for them and as far as a relationship goes...
there's not much of a back and forth communication. they are
so busy trying to keep it all up and running and trying to make
the best decisions for the label... we don't get a chance to
catch up. i wish the best for them in the most genuine of senses...
but i gotta live and eat and everyone i know has the last two
records... i gotta get something else out there. plus... i write
tons of songs and to only put out 10 every year or so...
You've mentioned here and onstage some major changes in your
life, including a new job, a separation, a seeming shift away
from searching for national or international fame and fortune.
Have you found others in the industry who share common experiences?
Where do you go for comfort and solace?
these days finding comfort and solace is hard to do. i find
them in places most wouldn't think... a u2 concert, hangin'
with friends in the church band, at lunch with justin or dinner
with [manager greg carnes or drummer shane kyle] ... getting
to pour yourself into a body of people as i have been doing
weekly at cibolo creek community is a way of investing that
has a huge return in ways i just can't explain.
far as the industry goes... i don't have a clue. i just sense
that after sept 11th... artists and entertainers in general
are digging in deeper, they know their place and it's only about
healing and compassion for the ones who lost their loved ones
and gave their lives for this country we live in.
kept the note until the morning
and it came without a warning sign
After ten years with him girl
such a lonely string of pearls
haunts your mind
its obvious to everyone but you
why, why, why
On this clear blue goodbye
all of us here stuck in traffic
Watching the cars pile and stack
We wonder where were all going
And if well make it back
Whats the hurry? Whats the deal?
Let go of the steering wheel and fly
On this clear blue goodbye
are you feeling down
oh my soul?
You put your hope in something
you could not control
And now youre BREAKING YOUR OWN HEART
may be another night of rain
But it feels as good as the sun
Soak it all up, soak it all up, soak it all up
For the long trip back home
room for the angels to work
their heavenly stuff
Leave room for the radio cos ya know
its all weve got
Leave room for the joy
to invade your tired young heart
And when it comes,
let it come, just let it come
And soak it all up
SOAK IT ALL UP
Soak it all up, soak it all up, soak it all up
Gotta get it into your heart
gotta get it into my heart
Tonight may be just another night of rain
But it feels as good as the sun.
Tell us about the day you wrote Clear Blue Goodbye.
it was rainy and cold and i was in nashville, tn with justin
and we were touring with the normals. it was one of those reflective,
inward days and the lyrics were a first draft. a couple of hours
later, justin and i sat in andy's living room workin' out harmonies.
...Have they gained a new meaning for you?
oh yeah... some nights it's almost impossible to sing without
Once the CDs hit the street, what's next creatively? Are you
i'm writing a song everyweek for paul's messages here at the
church. very relevant to his teaching... maybe ask all the right
questions to get people thinkin' about their spirit and God
and the bigger picture... that's fun but takes a lot of discipline.
Are you producing other people's CDs?
CT: not right now... i still wanna produce yours! although justin
graves has a project in the works and i forced him to let me
play harmonica on a song. he could have done it himself....
but i begged.
Are your music video days over? Any truth to a rumored collaboration
with short-subject filmmaker Storme Wood?
i haven't asked him officially yet... so storme if you read
this... give me a call! (laughs) i'm always up for a camera
crew to follow me around.
try to run more short-format interviews like this in the near
future. If you have a specific question you'd like answered,
write to us.