Talking with TAUK!October 4, 2017
Fresh off the release of their third studio album, instrumental rock fusion band TAUK embarked on a massive cross-country tour. The four-piece, made up of Matt Jalbert, A.C. Carter, Isaac Teel and Charlie Dolan, swing by Seattle on Friday, October 6 for a show at Nectar Lounge. We sat down with bassist Dolan to learn more about the band and their upcoming tour.
Nectar Lounge: How did you become a musician? And how did you and the other members of TAUK find each other, and decide to create music?
Charlie Dolan: That’s funny because it’s kind of just one story! Matt [Jalbert],the guitar player, and A.C. [Alric Carter], the keyboard player, we all met in middle school. It all started when we used to go down during lunchtime and jam in the band room. And from that we started a band. I had originally wanted to play drums but there was no one playing bass so I started playing bass and then we kept playing together pretty much ever since then.
NL: How did you come up with the name TAUK?
CD: TAUK comes from a town at the end of Long Island that I spent a lot of my childhood in, called Montauk.
NL: TAUK blends a vast amount of genres into instrumental tracks, from funk and hip-hop to progressive rock and jazz. What are some of the band’s musical inspirations?
CD: All of our parents are pretty musically inclined. So Isaac [Teel] grew up playing in church, and he did a lot of R&B and gospel stuff. A.C. grew up playing with his mom, she taught him how to play piano and he was playing church music as well. Matt’s been playing guitar since as long as I can remember. And so we all kind of had different influences like that. I know Matt’s dad got him into classic rock, my dad was also into more classic rock. We kind of took all those influences and ran with it, then started listening to different genres as we got older. We passed them along to each other. Because we’ve known each other for so long, we’ve been able to influence each others musical tastes. And that definitely influences how the band gets its sound.
NL: Would you say over the time you’ve been professionally recording and touring that your style has changed at all? Or has it become more solidified in one direction?
CD: I think it’s always changing. We’re always trying to add new aspects, whether it’s a new genre or soundscape, or things like that. We try to push ourselves and not do the same things as much as possible.
NL: You’ve recently re-released your 2013 record Homunculus on vinyl! What fueled this decision?
CD: A lot of people had been asking for it. When we put out Homunculus we were in the early stages of our career as this group, so we didn’t really think it made much sense to print on vinyl. But people seem to still love that album, and we feel like we’re going to go back in the studio soon, we’ll probably put out another record, so this is a good window to put Homunculus out. And then we also got to include some bonus tracks from our last album, Sir Nebula, on there which was a nice way to blend it in.
NL: Yeah I was reading that you released three tracks from the Sir Nebula studio sessions! Why release this music now versus a year ago?
CD: You know, we try to go into the studio with more than enough material. And the idea is to pick and choose what we think, maybe not necessarily the best songs, but what makes the best cohesive album. So some of the songs, we felt like there was another song that fit a similar spot in the album, but this one is still pretty cool and strong by itself. So we can hold onto it and release it down the road. It’s always good to keep people interested and have new stuff for them.
NL: So you mentioned some new music, can you tell us more about it?
CD: I’m really excited about it! We’re doing this tour, it’s a long tour, but we pretty much take a week or two right after it and then get right back into the studio to start hashing out all this new stuff. We’re already playing a couple of new songs on the road. And then every day we’re grinding it out in soundcheck, working on new material, getting it ready for when we eventually do widdle it down.
We try to live test as many tracks as we can. The songs inevitably end up changing when we play them live. It’s on the spot so you can’t really focus on the little things, you just got to do your best to make the song sound as good as possible for the crowd. You see the crowd’s reaction sometimes, it just feels different immediately when you play it live. A lot of the kinks can get worked out.
NL: TAUK has played at some incredible national festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, Hangtown, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. But this summer you also played a set at ‘The Biggest Little Festival in the NW’, Summer Meltdown. What was that experience like? What did you think of Meltdown?
CD: Summer Meltdown was a blast. I have to say the Pacific Northwest festivals I’ve been to are some of my favorites. I love the vibes there and I love the music and I just love that part of the country. That festival was particularly great, it was a well run festival. I thought we had a good set and it was fun. I look forward to getting back there and to Seattle and seeing what comes from it, hopefully put on another good show!
NL: We’re really thrilled to have you back in Seattle! You play Nectar Lounge on Friday, October 6. What would you say fans can expect from this show? Why should they come out?
CD: Ton of new music, a lot of energy, excitement. We’re always working on new covers, new originals and some of our old stuff. We always try to put on the best show we can. We even have a new light rig that we’re rolling with, it’s pretty insane. It definitely is going to get pretty crazy in that venue. If you’ve been to Nectar it’s not going to be like any show you’ve ever seen there before.
See TAUK live at Nectar Lounge with Yak Attack this Friday, October 6.