Taylor Locke and Chris Price met up with Elle Vie for drinks before their show at the Artifice in Las Vegas to share some anecdotes and future projects that are in store for this excellent band.
Elle Vie: Thank you for meeting us! How are you doing?
Taylor: I’m doing good! I’m trying to pace myself because we are playing so late, and I’ve been informed that I deliver the goods when I’ve had a few less beverages…(laughs)
EV: What made you decide to take on this side project?
Taylor: I don’t like to say the phrase “side project” anymore because it has a lot of negative connotation people think that it’s something that is taken less seriously. And although I’ve been in Rooney longer and we are more established and well known; a lot of my energy and focus and time have gone into it The Roughs. We are going to start producing merchandise and make a third record soon. It’s only natural that creative people have multiple outlets. It seems like every musician I meet has more than one thing going on.
EV: What are the differences you have between the two bands you’re in?
Taylor: My position in The Roughs is a different job, then what I fulfill in Rooney. I wear a different hat, a different energy.
EV: How do you like your position in The Roughs?
Taylor: It’s equally challenging and rewarding because the guys in Rooney know what to expect from me and I know what to expect from them, we have a system. In this band – The Roughs people are relying on me for certain things, which are different; especially in the early days where we don’t have a manager and we are not on a label. Organizationally, handling all the scheduling, booking, and in addition to that I am co-writing all the music with Chris. Also, for the live show talking to the audience trying to communicate the songs and sing the material is also challenging. I feel like every show we play I understand a little bit more of what I need to do to deliver to the best of my ability.
EV: What inspires you to write songs?
Taylor: Two things: other music; trying to create the same feeling that a certain songs give me without ripping off the song. Trying to capture the spirit or style of music that I enjoy, obviously without coming to close to it. On the lyric side just all the stuff that we all go through. Relationships, you’re happy, sad, you got a job, or you have a job you hate, you got a girlfriend you hate, you got a girl you love that’s not your girlfriend. All the things that are good (laughs).
EV: You mentioned that you have a couple of challenges. What has been your biggest challenge?
Taylor: Honestly, the realization that it can take a really long time to catch on and get popular. There are no expectations, we can pull into a show and there can be a one hundred people there or there can be eight people. There’s no minimal level versus a band that has been around for eleven years. We can play in a room with one person, and we still have to put on a good show. So just adjusting to the “newness” of it.
EV: Tell us about your touring experiences?
Taylor: We just did a really successful tour supporting a Canadian band Sloan. It was really great! It’s fun because there is no pressure. Music is really fun!
EV: What is the Album of the Year in your opinion?
Taylor: I hear the new Wilco is really good. I heard the first song on it and I thought it was great! Nels Cline was a guitar player I grew up seeing in Santa Monica. He played this improvised psychedelic jazz and he joined Wilco about two albums ago, and he has been taking the band over. Sloan, who we toured with have an album out called The Double Cross and I love it. It’s fantastic. Mike Viola put out a new record, he is a friend of mine and probably the best living songwriter, hands down period.
EV: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Taylor: There are two spots on our next album for outside collaborators. One by Mike Viola. Also, one of the members of Sloan, we also have some string players. It’s getting more collaborative!
EV: If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Taylor: A magician! (laughs)
EV: What do you do to unwind?
Taylor: I’m a workout buff. I’m a gym rat (laughs).
EV: What’s your drink of choice?
Taylor: Whiskey, Bourbon, Wine. I vary to other drinks but I do like Whiskey and Wine a lot. Now what happens when you go back and forth between whiskey and wine is that other people start telling you what you did the previous night. So I am trying to settle down a little bit (laughs).
[Chris Price joins the conversation in the lobby]
EV: How are you doing tonight?
Chris: I’m pretty good!
EV: Tell us about the tour with Sloan?
Chris: It was great! We were out there for a few weeks with one of our favorite band, Sloan is a really awesome Canadian band. I feel like our group is a really good match with theirs. It was like a unified night, every night people were coming to see a specific thing so I thought that was really cool.
EV: Who are your musical influences?
Chris: I’m kind of all across the map… I grew up a record collector. I collected vinyl when I was little. I’m way into the 60′s-70′s rock music, The Beatles, The Stones, Zeppelin, The Kinks. But I’m also into the power pop music Raspberries. I love soul music. I love Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin. I’m big into Brazilian music. My dad is Cuban and a Latin record producer so I grew up around that scene. I’m from Miami originally.
EV: What inspires you to write?
Chris: Writing for me I do it a lot whether. I’m writing with Taylor or on my own… A lot of the time I feel like I don’t actually have the idea myself, I feel like I’m channeling something. I don’t know where it comes from, I don’t know why I have ideas — they come very easily. The well is full (laughs).
EV: In your opinion what is the album of the year?
Chris: So far my favorite record is the new Fleet Foxes record, also Mike Viola’s new album. I really liked the new Bon Iver record, and the new Wilco record pleasantly surprised me.
EV: Tell me a little bit about this new album?
Chris: I can’t tell you too much… but we’ve written the record pretty much entirely maybe one song left to write. Both of our last two records were ten songs each, this one will be twelve songs I can tell you that, and it’s the best stuff we’ve written so far.
EV: When do you expect the new album to be released?
Chris: That is yet to be determined. We are in the middle of finishing a studio. We’ve been building a studio in Taylor’s house so as soon as that is done, we are hoping next month we will be going in and knocking it out. We record very quickly. The first record was recorded in ten days and the seconded record in fourteen days so it takes about two weeks to do a record, so we’ll see.
EV: Thank you for your time we are looking forward to seeing your show.
Chris: We look forward to playing!