Exclusive Interview: Andy Taylor’s Visible Target14August 11th, 2011
Andy Taylor is back! No, not with Duran Duran… but our favorite little fooker is up to some new tricks with a very soon-to-be-released album and a fully re-vamped blog, The Taylor Tank. G!MME A WR!STBAND! caught up with Andy yesterday from his state-of-the-art recording studio in Ibiza, where he tells us he’s been making music “24/7″ and “having fun as an independent artist, under no pressure to hit any sales targets or do embarrassingly cringe-worthy day time TV slots.”
First, the music. Andy’s put out a free download of a rockin’ new track called Visible Target. A much more intense version of an earlier public demo, it opens with drums on the warpath and quickly stuns with signature AT guitar crunch and fiery licks. Judging by this first listen, it sounds like we can expect some serious sonic energy from this upcoming release.
In recent years, Andy has shown us (even if a bit more sporadically than we’d prefer) that he’s got more going on upstairs than your average rocker. The guy thinks. A lot. He’s got some seriously progressive views about the music industry, and is looking forward to letting them fly via The Taylor Tank. Andy says he designed the blog “in a kind of magazine style, because I want a creative, interesting means to communicate and link fans with what’s coming up over the next weeks and months.” Looking towards additional input from other artists and guest-bloggers, Andy says, “I didn’t feel that installing a simple news page on a website was sufficient, and its not going to be all about me.”
Taylor is looking to do some guest-blogging on other sites as well, with an upcoming post for Topspin, the forward-thinking music marketing platform which he’s chosen to partner with for the new release. Andy gave us a sneak-peak at the post, a juicy read titled “The New Matrix”. Through his experienced eyes, Andy gives us a close look at the old-school record industry juxtaposed with the new directions that artists are taking with platforms such as Topspin to create winning solutions for both artists and fans, ultimately shaping the future of the entire music industry.
Not satisfied with simply smoldering about the good-old Duran days, Andy’s passion for music continues to burn hot. “I think the most significant thing that has driven me to continue is that, as I stand now, I can do things for myself without having the commercial considerations of a recording agreement to consider. Once you shed that skin, the creation of music takes on a different meaning.” Ever-cognizant and grateful for the success that he’s worked so hard for, Andy firmly states that he’s “fortunate enough to have had the very best from the CD/label business, and now I want to simply make great music, without limitations, and make every ounce of it feel good.”
Of course, with us, things always wind up coming around to Duran Duran one way or another, and Taylor is very aware that he is also the only member of the band, past or present, in Ibiza this week (Duran Duran were forced to cancel the MTV festival amongst other dates due to Simon Le Bon’s recent vocal injury). “Yeah,” he muses, “I would have probably got up and played a few songs with them, but they canceled.” Playful and empathetic at the same time, Andy says, “I understand Simon is struggling with his voice, and well, you can’t sing in those keys as you once could as a younger man and expect it to be sustainable. But I genuinely hope he recovers.”
Talking with Andy Taylor is like listening to his music; it’s completely impossible not to get caught up in his free-spirited (and yes, mischievous) vibe. He’s getting ready to dive back into Twitter (@thetaylortank) and has also started working with some younger artists, which we’ll hear more about on the blog (subscribe and you’ll receive automatic updates). Andy’s also got two more projects starting before the end of the year, which he promises to let us in on, so be sure to keep an eye on G!MME A WR!STBAND! for more AT news.
The Visible Target widget below can be copied, pasted, passed along, emailed to friends and embedded on your personal site or blog, all without copyright restriction. Just rock out and feel the joy. As Andy says, “This is fun to me, and I realized I needed more of that in my life. Jesus, if you can’t enjoy your lot you may as well pack up and throw away the “keys of life”. Well, bollocks to that. We’re just puttin’ some fuel in the Taylor Tank.”Tags: Andy Taylor, Andy Taylor Blog, Duran Duran, Topspin Media
Andy… quite the guy. Yeah, I think you know where I’m going with this. I’m glad he was able to do the interview, considering he’s reclusive, and it’s a good one as well.
The Taylor Tank blog sounds like a great idea as it seems like a collective work on all things, as he says, not all about him. I think that’s cool, it will have that e-zine feel.
He makes the point about not being under a label and restrictions. That has always been the case, but with many bands and artists. I’ve always said in general that if you don’t want to put up with a lot of B.S. go indie. Maybe it’s because I’ve kept up with bands and music (as well as having worked in a music store for about 5 years) but this sort of revelation is not new. I’m glad though that he is able to see it.
Now I personally think he was taking a cheap shot at DD in saying “under no pressure to hit any sales targets or do embarrassingly cringe-worthy day time TV slots.” C’mon, that wasn’t necessary. AYNIN wasn’t released on a major label, even if distributed by Universal. They are two seperate things. The band AND fans were promoting it in everyway possible, even Mr. Ronson did his part. It was a group effort, and still is now. I think it was the buzz, the energy, and promotion the band did itself before the release of the album, especially with the snippets (those teasers), that eventually opened up the opportunities for outlets to get DD to inform those unaware about their continuing presence and new album. Believe me, I doubt the band would have to pay their way or be forced to sit among the likes and stupidity of Hoda. The music off the new album spoke for itself and sold for itself. It may still be hard to believe, but I don’t think it’s getting much airplay, and it certainly did NOT get great distribution. Good thing is that it’s still succeeding. So I thought it a little of a cheap shot to mention about the band doing show appearances.
Okay, now to the track. Andy has the energy, he’s never lost it, but as for the rest… I’m sorry it just isn’t good. Yes, it does have a bit of a retro feel but the rest sounds modern, too modern. It’s almost as if any other band today could have put that track out. The vocals are weak, so are the lyrics. He’s doing his best, but I don’t think it’s really working. It’s far too easy to say, “something is missing” and it’s true. What? It would be also be easy to say it’s DD, but that isn’t always the case.
While not the best example, at the top of my head I can think of Pink Floyd and Roger Waters, the later being part of the former. Well, they started together, split up, recorded new material, and of course toured. The thing is that when it came to touring, there are differences that could be heard, maybe not major, but they are there. Both were able to do a great job on their own, but it wasn’t the same. I saw Waters solo a number of years back, most of the set list comprised of Pink Floyd songs, and while an excellent show, I was left with that “something is missing” feeling. It was the rest of the band. I’m sure many felt that way when they saw Pink Floyd.
Either way it is possible to do well, but I think in this case Andy, he is falling short. Nothing is final though and there’s plenty of time to finish up things, make any changes as needed, IF he wants to.
One thing about not being on a label, or going indie. You really don’t have to give a damn about fans, as they will either like you or hate you, the artist/band is going to make music for itself, not you or anyone else. So having that freedom is great, and if he wants to please fans then it’s win win, but if it isn’t then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him performing to a few dozen at a club because he’s caught up in doing what HE wants to do.
Ballsy as ever, I still wish him the best.
I’ll hush now.
Juan / meowmix
I got the e-mail about this from Andy and I’m ecstatic that he’s back out there. I’ve always enjoyed his free-spirited and “mischievous” nature and his progressive views are always a breath of fresh air even if they are not everyone’s cup of tea.
This new song, Visible Target, is Andy Taylor. It’s organic emotion with a twist of punk on the side really makes it a satisfying listen. Not to mention it’s great to hear him singing as well as playing again.
As always Kitty, you hit the mark with your exclusives and this one’s no different. Thanks for taking the time to show em how it’s done.
Much Love and Respect,
Eh, we’ve heard this before from him. New album, new website, etc.. etc… the album never came out, the website vanished (as well as all his other online connections) and all we saw after that was sporadic songs (and remixes of previously released songs) pop up on Soundcloud, some of them covers of DD tunes! Then there was some word of him building a studio in Newcastle (I believe it was there, somewhere in the UK at least) and that was where he was going to record a new album.
Same old song and dance from Mr. Taylor.
Andy is no dummy, and he’s right about “under no pressure to hit any sales targets or do embarrassingly cringe-worthy day time TV slots.”
I applaud him for creatively trying to bring attention to his music.
His bandmates and especially their managers on the other hand, are dumb as bricks.
Best of luck A.T.
Do not refer to DD as his “bandmates”. He left that band a LONG time ago. But they are dumb as bricks because they are still able to tour around the world and have sell out shows when they do? Oh yeah, they are stupid as hell.
What has Andy done? Oh of course, DD should do the same thing, don’t release any albums, and put out a song or so every couple months and then a few remixes of said song over the course of the next few weeks. Oh, and don’t tour, ever.
IF DD did what he has been doing the past 5 years the fan base would be screaming bloody murder and abandoning the band in droves! Hell, they have a fit that Duran Duran on the ave. takes 3 years between albums.
Come on now Milt, chill out a bit. They will always be bandmates, even if they aren’t together as a band, it was the camaraderie forged while being in that (won’t speak the name of the band in the same paragraph so I don’t cause any un-needed hard feelings) created the popularity they still enjoy today from it’s fans. I am glad and happy to entertain all opinions but they are just that, opinions. You don’t support or care for Andy, good on you, that’s cool. People who do shouldn’t be chastised anymore than you should for they way they feel. And I know some of the bashing you’ve taken as I’ve had some fairly good whacks myself.
I am SO looking forward to a new CD from Andy! I love his muzik, his style and I hope that he comes to play in Southern California. Also, I would truly be honoured if Vader Vader could open for him.
I agree with Milt. Same old song, same old dance…
Got one word for you Andrew: Reportage
Can we all just grow up a bit now and get the thing released? It’s been 5 years. Doubt it will hurt anyone’s reputation now.
I wholeheartedly agree with you guys about Reportage, it’s time has come to be released to the fans who waited so long for it. I don’t care how much you have to pay Andy to get it to us.
I LOVE Andy Taylor! I love his energy on stage. His best solo project for me was Thunder but i think for both sides he should be with DD. And of course i agree with Dave B that Reportage should come out soon please !!
The new track was nothing special for me but im waiting for the CD release.
Thanks for this interview! I love Andy to bits. For his integrity and musical strength.
What and how he chooses to deal with his career is non of anyone business and I agree with Shawn. The guys will always be bandmates. Their personal things they have together is non of anyones business either. IF “Reportage” gets released I for one will be thrilled to bits. Andys flair is sorely missed by many.
I can never stress enough how brilliant Andy is as a guitarist and I do love his voice.
Andy is and always will be a Geordie and they speak plain and with no rubbish. This may offend many, lucky they can just choose not to listen *shrugs*
Im crossing fingers hoping to see Andy in Denmark soon Ill be right thre supporting him as I do for Duran Duran. Always will x
For all of you getting on Andy about DD… knock it off! He’s allowed to have his own thoughts and opinions about the band he helped to make famous. The Fab Five are never the same without him, and everyone knows it. I’ve been a devoted Duranie since way back in 1981, and I just came to realize back in the Astronaut album just how much energy and heart he brings to Duran Duran. John Taylor tweeted yesterday about Andy, and said that there was a “50-50″ chance of Andy playing a one off with the band, that means they are probably staying in communication with him. Andy doesn’t need to put up with anyone’s crap, and he knows it. He’s been through the ringer with these corporate money suckers who care nothing about musicians or their talent, they only care about how much money is to be made from them.
No wonder Andy moved to Spain and started his own career there. He’s in control of his own future, and is able to recognize talent. It’s great that he can teach the next generation of artists what he’s gone through, and how to avoid the pit falls of the business.
I love you Andy, with or without DD. BTW, your work in Power Station was the BOMB! You and John should have been able to bring more of that sound to DD, maybe the mainstream audience would have been able to appreciate your talents more.
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