This next Spotlight – Moon Taxi. Based out of Nashville, this rock band has release 5 studio albums and with a 6th about to come out. We got to sit down with Wes Bailey about the band and their music. Check out what he has to say below.
So, a quick recap of the foundation and early years of Moon Taxi. You all met at Belmont, a Christian college back in 2006? Does faith play a big part in your lives? Or what was your reasoning for attending?
We were attracted to Belmont because of the great music & music business programs. Being involved with a school that had access to studios was appealing as well.
What does your name mean, and how did you come up with it?
I don’t know, I joined after the band had formed and I have heard so many different answers to this question I’ve lost track of what is actually true.
Growing up in Nashville, arguably the North American focal point for country music, was it difficult to not follow in the footsteps of everyone else around you?
Country music certainly reigns king in the music business of Nashville, however there is a large presence for pop and rock as well. There is a great rock club scene and over the past decade or so, Nashville has diversified immensely.
Growing up what were your influences musically or people that helped guide you through those early years?
Because I am a keys player I am drawn to piano music, Elton John/Billy Joel in the classic rock world and then later some of the great jazz pianists like Oscar, Ray Charles and Stevie wonder.
You have a huge catalogue of music and spent about a decade or so releasing music independently. What’s the struggle like in those early years, and was the toll ever so bad that you wanted to give up?
The early years were some of the most fun and exciting. We were playing lots of shows and working on our sound. We never discussed breaking up even when things looked very bleak, we kept pushing on trying to write better songs and make better records.
2017 hits and your world changed. You have a big break with your song Two High, that was featured at the Women’s March in Washington, DC. How did that happen?
When we released that song Spotify instantly supported it on their playlists and it got a lot of national exposure. We released that completely on our own and it was one of the most gratifying experiences we’ve had as a band.
What was it like waking up to literally millions of plays?
It was an exciting time for sure, now on to the next big one!
After years of being independent, you sign with RCA, and your careers just mushroomed out of control. How weird was it going from smaller studios to the big leagues? Was there ever a concern of it happening too fast, or were you just enjoying the feeling of “We made it”?
I don’t think any of us consider ourselves to have “made it” because we don’t want to be too comfortable and rest on our laurels, rather keep pushing ourselves to outdo past successes.
Coachella, Bonnaroo, you even did all the big late nights (Conan, Seth, Jimmy, Letterman) which were the most fun performances, or at least the most memorable ones that really stuck with you?
Our first Bonnaroo in 2012 was a big milestone for us. We had worked so hard to finally play that festival which is just an hour outside of Nashville. There is a great Thursday night slot that we had, & that made a big splash. We got a lot of new fans that night that still come to our shows.
Throughout 2020 you released 2 absolute bangers. First, Hometown Heroes, which is a journeyman song about your experiences as musicians, and then you released “Light Up” which is a feel-good silver lining we all need. Tell us a bit more about those tracks and what they mean to you?
We wrote Light Up in May 2019 and the lyrics could not be more fitting for these times. It’s nice when things work out that way!
Off the success of “Light up” “Hometown heroes”, when can we expect the album to drop?
Our full album, “silver dream” will be out in late January.
You’re incredibly positive role models in the community, involved with a variety of charities, helping to raise funds. What really made you decide to use your platform?
I saw a doggie trying to walk across the street; I saw a little gimp and I knew there is something we can to do to help the less fortunate.
Coming up very soon, you are playing the Rock the Vote Livestream on September 22nd, 2020. To say that this election is an important one is an understatement. Is there anything you want to say leading up to the show, and to your fans/readers?
Playing that very special event was a real treat because it was filmed in the Belmont arena that we used to play back in college. It felt good to get back together and play all those old songs with the rest of the guys.
With Covid causing cancellations of tour dates and appearances, is it difficult being down where you are now?
We are enjoying some family time and picking up new hobbies like cooking and childrearing.
What are some local haunts that you want to give a shout out to? It can be bars, restaurants, venues etc. Alternatively if you have any places here in Canada that you liked we can give them a shout out as well!
We played a festival called Pemberton NBC and the drive from Vancouver to the festival was the most beautiful scenery I have ever witnessed. I can’t wait to play these new songs in Canada one day hopefully.
What would you like to say to your fans?
Thanks for sticking with us!
This Spotlight – Moon Taxi is a wrap. Big thanks to Wes for taking the time to chat with us.
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