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Interview: Solar Taxi

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Posted April 23, 2014 by markdowning in Uncategorized
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This week AMA media’s Celine Smyth caught up with Peter Vogelaar from emerging electo-pop band Solar Taxi to get the dirt on their upcoming plans. The band have had huge support from loyal fans and music critics alike with their debut album “Broken Brother’s Secret Bells” receiving wide spread critical acclaim. Since forming, the band which is fronted by the stunning vocals of Aisling Brown have gone from strength to strength. With an eclectic range of music and an ability to infuse varies genres of music with their signature electro-pop style, these guys are destined for bigger and better things.

“If there is any justice in this rock n’ roll world of ours, “Zodiac” will be played to death by Irish radio and storm into the top ten” – Hotpress Magazine

Hi Peter, thanks for talking the time to talk to me.  So where did the name Solar Taxi come from?

We had a previous band that Aisling wanted to call Solar Taxi but was voted out, so she got her way this time. I guess it’s a knowledge is your vehicle type of thing…. Very deep!

How would you describe your sound to anyone who is not yet familiar with your music?

That’s a difficult one because the album is so varied, but I guess electro-pop.

Folk legend John Martyn took you under his wing early on in your career. How much of an influence did he have on your music?

John heard some of our early demos that we did through a mutual friend and was taken with Aisling’s voice. He was nice enough to send it on to some American producers for us, very encouraging for us because we adore his music. I mean who doesn’t?… Guitar wise he is a big influence on Jamie and likewise bassist Danny Thompson is a big influence on me.

Where do you normally gather song writing inspiration from?

I’d say a lot of the songs are about relationships with other people, there is a strong rhythmic element in our music so that’s largely the ethos of the band too.

Your debut album was extremely successful with downloads confirmed from everywhere from Singapore to Sri Lanka. How does it feel to know your music has already been heard in all corners of the globe?

It feels great to know we have reached out that far for sure! It’s a sign of the times with the internet etc… I guess we don’t have a particularly defined Irish sound and we have had enquiries from the US in particular.

How would you define the term “successful” in today’s cut throat music industry?

We took out a sizeable loan to record the album and promote the band, and we made it back quite quickly through gigs, licensing deals, album sales and airplay royalties. So success to us is being self-sustainable. Ultimately though, success is being able to do it all and creative reward of course.

You have had music licensing opportunities with MTV and E along with having your song “The Fool” featured on the soundtrack for Exit Strategy. Some artists have had huge international success from having their music placed in the right TV show or movie. Do you think this is a platform that many artists tend to overlook?

Absolutely. I think many bands feel remote and distant from these opportunities, but just as the market is saturated with an endless stream of new and very good music coming out, there is a lot of advertising and independent films in production that need music. Sites like reverb nation and sync houses are always looking for new material, so it is a matter of the bands and artists being proactive. A good track will always find its way out there I reckon.

Do you think that having an online presence is important for fans to find you and music critics to find your music to review?

Totally, a content rich website and a YouTube/Facebook account are absolutely essential these days. A lot of the music blogs have a bigger readership than regional or even national print publications and of course a geographically wider readership too. In the grand scheme of things Ireland is not a big market so with the internet there’s a resource for anybody to reach out.

You have been regulars on the music festival scene in recent years with performances at Daytripper, Vantastival and Indiependence to name but a few. Can we expect a lot more festival performances this year?

Our main agenda this year has been to come back with strong new material. Not just for ourselves but also we are feeling some external pressure to follow on from what we’ve achieved with the last album. So we are not out this much this year, our big festival date is opening for Paloma Faith at the Daytripper festival in our native Waterford. Excited!

What do you think is more important, artists conforming to commercial expectations to sell records, or artists being committed to originality even if it means their record reaches a smaller audience?

Well it’s a pre-conception that you can’t do both, the best music does both we reckon.

There is some incredible talent in the Irish music scene at the minute, is there any in particular that have influenced or inspired you?

Lots and lots! “The Waves” by Villagers is just incredible. This really makes us want to up our game in terms of a song having a message and everything in the song supporting that message. So many great bands though… The Minutes, Mojo Gogo, Neon Wolf Lots of worthwhile stuff from Waterford actually – O Emporer, The Dead Heavys, Propeller Palms, Katie Kim, Deaf Joe

You recently covered Bastille’s “Pompeii” for Today FM’s live session, what made you choose that song?

It is testament to a good song that it can be done in lots of different ways.” Pompeii” is one of those songs. We always get asked to throw in a cover on radio interviews so we wanted to get away from female vocal covers and do something different. We got a lot of requests for that after it was broadcast on Today FM so we put it on YouTube.

If you could play with any artists alive or dead who would be on your bucket list?

Led Zepplin, Fairport Convention, Free, Fleetwood Mac, St. Vincent, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Naked and the Famous, Daughter, Ike & Tina. Random but true!!

What is next for Solar Taxi?

That difficult second album! Or at the very least an EP for the summer…

Although Solar Taxi are hard at work recording for their much anticipated follow up album, they will be stepping out for an appearance at Daytripper, the summer music festival in their home town of Waterford. The festival will take place from July 4th – 6th and will also include performances from Walking on Cars, The Kaiser Chiefs and Paloma Faith to name but a few. Get a taste for their music by checking out some of their videos below.

Solar Taxi are available for bookings for music venues and festivals. For booking enquiries contact AMA Music Agency on +35312013660 

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