Q & A with The Taste
Following on from their recent single ‘The Hands Of’, Cairns based Tropical Hip Hop ensemble ‘The Taste’ launch their new single ‘Sunday Funk’ ahead of their upcoming album release ‘Convalesce’ On September 13th.
The North QLD crew will be heading our way for a few shows shortly, including a Solbar performance on Friday September 15th, so we thought we best catch up with them before they hit our area...
Hello you funky crew... nicely done with the new single, 'Sunday Funk'. For most part, it's
very reminiscent of early-90's The Cruel Sea... and it does sound like the type of song that
would be easy to carry on for 10 or 20 minutes. Was it hard to edit it down to a five minute
Initially when it started out it was a bit of a jam track. The groove is over two chords so we could
easily run with it all night. We have a number of lead players (guitar, sax and trumpet) and would
often have special guests join us, so it was a track we would generally open up with to let our lead players blow off a bit of steam. By the time everyone has a crack at taking a solo and often Moses (lead guitarists) and our horn players would battle it out a bit, trading licks, the time would often end up to be well over 10 minutes.
It actually does sound like it may have evolved from a soundcheck-type track, into
something much cooler... would I be far off?
Pretty spot on. We had played the song for a good year before we settled on a structure. We pretty much took all our best ideas for it and compacted it into a 5 minute package. The chorus was originally a jazz scat Matt (lead singer) had developed from the bass line before we added the lyrics.
You're releasing your album, 'Convalesce' this week... how long of a journey has it been for
the writing and recording process for this release?
Last year we landed a big new years eve gig in Cairns supporting Saskwatch so pretty much took
that as opportunity to start developing new material for the performance. We had been working on new songs before this, but we really kicked into gear when we got that news in August 2016. We recorded the majority of the album in Townsville at The Rec Room in April this year, and then
completed the overdubs ourselves back in Cairns over the following months. Dropbox and
Messenger got a lot of use over this period with all the back and forth's from our engineer Luke
Green, who put a lot of long hours into it.
And now you're about to head off on a fairly sizeable tour, which will see you head as far
down as Nimbin/Byron Bay, along with Coast/Brisbane shows, before heading back north.
How hard is it for a North QLD band to tour down that far (in comparison to say, us Sunny
Coast bands have very reachable stops to get down to Sydney, it's a little more stretched
The distance is the biggest issue we face, I think I lot of people don't realise how far away Cairns is to Brisbane, it is close to a 20 hour drive. There was a lot of planning involved in terms of costs and we had a lot of help from our agency (Little Wing Agency) to help make it a reality. Hopefully this tour will grow our audience and lead to more opportunities in SE QLD and NTH NSW.
What's the Townsville music scene like (for those of us that haven't ventured that far)? And
is there anything we can learn from it?
Townsville is a growing scene and there is a lot of bands coming out of there who are starting to
make a name for themselves. We made a point of trying to play in Townsville regularly and have
performed there 7 times since 2015. They have a bigger population then Cairns so it makes sense
for us to get down there as often as possible.
Regional Queensland acts are definitely coming to the front, especially with the recent success of
Busby Marou. The Cairns scene has definitely gone from strength to strength in the last few years
and we starting to have some really big names such as Elton John add us to their tours. Hopefully
with both the Cairns and Townsville scenes growing, it can become more feasible for bigger acts to venture our way.
You're a pretty large band (members-wise)... how do you keep sane while on the road?
Luckily we all get along pretty well so it's always a lot of fun when we get together. It's like a reallybig family going away for the holidays.
Thanks guys! Congrats on the new album, have a fantastic tour, and we'll see you on Friday
September 15th at Solbar.