TAYLOR CARSONS' After The Tamer Has Gone, 5 Questions:
TAYLOR CARSON | After The Tamer Has Gone
Imitation may be the strongest form of flattery, but being an original takes nerve. In a world that has become seemingly oversaturated in nearly every subject since technology, it has become increasingly hard to find genuinely fresh material.
Yet, that is exactly what HAUS artist Taylor Carson achieves with his new album “After The Tamer Has Gone.” There is a lot of music out there, yet just when you have Carson's new album figured out, he throws in a perfectly crafted wrench that will send your mind on a new adventure.
Recently I had the chance to sit down with Carson to really flesh out this concept, and it's clear he's on to something.
1. This album seems to be a departure from your previous 6 albums. What prompted this change? How has your artistry evolved?
On my last record, “Go Amaze” I wrote most of the songs in open tunings. I needed to get away from my old tricks. I got that out of my system and went back to what I know well, but with a lot more knowledge. On Tamer I focused on making the tracks universal. I’ve aimed for that on all of my seven records, but I think we nailed it this time. These tracks are easy to lock into for the listeners, and I am pleased about that. It debuted at #2 on iTunes which was very validating.
2. A clear standout track from the album is “Josephine.” What was the inspiration behind “Josephine?” Is there a particular person you have in mind when singing this song?
Josephine is a girl from a small town in the south who wanted to be on stages and under bright lights. I picture her on Broadway and having film success during prohibition. The chorus she is making a declaration - She’s made her life happen, she has success, but she doesn’t take it for granted. Even as her career goes on, she still loves moments like it’s new every time. She makes it happen, and she soaks it all in. “I’m gonna sit right here until the credits fade away.”
My mom passed away years ago, but she has always found a way to sneak into my songs without me even knowing it. She was from Alabama and moved from the south to the NYC area with my dad when she was 20 years old. She was an opera singer and LOVED the spotlight. Chased it from a young age and found success on stages and under bright lights. My fondest memories with her were singing songs and dissecting them. She challenged me to write my own “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” A tough feat, but it’s always in my head when I am writing. I’ve never been more proud of a song than I am of "Josephine." Emotionally, nothing comes close to the creation of a song. It’s all mine when I’m writing. I write for me, and I record for the listeners. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in hindsight, I think that my mom was there saying, “you’re getting closer.” I’m getting closer.
3. Pick one song. What is the story behind the song and what is the inspiration?
“I Believe In You” turned into the song that I closed every show with on my recent national, five-week tour. I wanted to leave the audience with the idea that we were all once kids, full of untainted imagination. We were all once kids, and it’s easy to forget that. The kids we were made the adults we are today. "I Believe In You" was written with my daughter in mind. My greatest hope for her is that she never lets anything get in the way of her imagination. I believe in her, I believe in all of us. A little bit of hope can go a long way these days.
4. In “Sonic Boom” you really experiment with your vocals, and they truly sail. What prompted this change?
Sonic Boom is a song I wrote in Sweden with a writer/producer named Niklas Jarl. Once we had something, the song was written very quickly. Most of what we recorded in the first few hours is what you hear on the record. The song was in my back pocket and was added to “After the Tamer Has Gone” right before we had it mixed and mastered. I love the idea that “it just takes a little spark, to set off the fireworks. I’m still waiting.” I live really well in polar opposite worlds. When life is excellent and when I need to find my way out of a tough situation. The middle is boring, haha. Jet lag and wanting to prove my worth in this writing session worked out well for me. The guitar part isn’t busy, so that allowed me to take the vocal melodies to a place I don’t usually go.
5. Behind the composition of this album, who were your biggest inspirations? What musicians have inspired your work?
I can safely say that no artist inspired this record. I’ve never gone into any of my records with other artists in mind. Whatever happens, happens. 99% of the time I am at home banging away on an acoustic guitar trying to get something out that helps me process the world. Then the songs go to the studio to find what is best sonically for the blueprint that I have created. I grew up listening to a lot of Cat Stevens and Paul Simon. Dudes who can hold your attention with great lyrics, great melodies, and great guitar parts. That’s the real test. If you can strip the song down and it holds up, you’ve got something that will last the test of time. The challenge is not to get sick of yourself!
Carson seems to be on a continuous journey to perfect his craft. Each album possesses a new element the other didn't while creating the building blocks for the next. After The Tamer is Gone is a gem in Carson's musical canon. It's an album that will satisfy you now, but makes you wonder, what the hell is coming next?
Keep up with Taylor Carson here.