A few days ago marked the one-year anniversary of our first interview here on the blog, and I’ve enjoyed all the 22 interviews we’ve done so far. It’s given me an opportunity to get inside the heads of musicians whose music I really admire. It’s really cool to hear about what inspired a song you can stop listening to or what a favorite artist does in between shows and songwriting. It’s basically given me a chance to geek out about music at a whole new level, and I’d like to thank the bands for answering our questions and the readers for giving us a reason top post each week.
I recently got to talk to Andrew Murray, the front man of the in-your-face post punk band Taco Leg. After hearing their 19 minute LP late last year I knew I had to figure out what made these guys tick, so I contacted Andrew who was cool enough to share with me what makes Taco Leg Taco Leg (except why they’re called Taco Leg…didn’t get that answered).
How'd you guys start out?
Started out at a party, when Simon and I decided we should start a band, and Richard was near by, so we asked him to play drums. This was in September 2007, played our first show in October 2007.
How long did it take you to write and record this record?
Recording took a couple of hours in the afternoon, no time at all. Writing too forever. Some of the songs are from our first show in 2007, some we wrote on the spot of the recording. Most songs take a few hours to work out, some take 5 minutes.
Do you guys prefer live shows or studio?
Live for sure, no question. Being in a studio is boring, we try to get in and out as quickly as possible. We keep going to play live.
What's a Taco Leg show like?
It has changed a lot over the years, but now I would say it is pretty streamlined. We play about 10 songs, which is all Clare, our new guitarist knows, so we can't play anything else! We go through them pretty quickly, but I think banter is important. Probably play a 20 minute set. We always introduce the band before each show, I think that is important for a band to do. It is polite, and lets people know who you are. A lot of banter is good, its part of being an entertainer. Telling jokes is great fun, and this is my only public outlet...!
What inspires you guys to make minute long songs?
Can't really write any longer. I tried to write an epic long song, but it worked out at 2.5 minutes. There is no need to go any longer with this sort of music. You get the point and all the satisfaction out of a minute.
19 minutes for a record is pretty short don't you think?
Not at all. Do you? There are heaps of shorter records. There are 12 songs on it that is heaps! Any longer would be tedious for the listener.
Your album is getting pretty good reviews. Did you guys think it would be so well received when you first started?
Didn't really think about it, especially since the songs are from all over the place. I knew the songs were good, and I thought they were catchy, so it's nice to hear others liking it, and getting enjoyment from it. That's all you could ask for. We had great fun doing it, and playing it, that’s what matters.
Where do you draw inspiration for your songs?
Whatever is around me, or what I am interested in. Mostly architecture, or pop culture, my favorite TV show, new food I really like.
How do your songs normally start?
In terms of writing? Usually I will come up with a riff then put words to it. Take it to practice and we just put drums to it. Or we will be at practice and Simon would just make a riff up on the spot, and then a few minutes later we have a song.
My favorite track on this record is Raiders. How'd you come up with that track?
The lyrics are taken from the movie, I saw it only recently, well in 2009 ish, and thought it was so good. I wrote the lyrics right after it finished. Can't remember how the riff came about. Same as the others. Just sitting down and seeing what I could come up with.
What occupies your time other then music?
I spend most of my time now tutoring Architectural History at University, and working pointless jobs in between to pay rent. Richard works at Coles, Clare, our new guitarist is doing her PhD in Lung Cancer research.
Listen to any good albums lately?
Not really, I haven't listened to much recently, not sure why. Mostly just songs, listened to a lot of Powderfinger today. great stuff. I also listened to Fearless by Taylor Swift again today for the first time in ages. Great record. Lotus Fucker, Forever my fighting spirit was probably the last new record in full I have listened to and really enjoyed.
Now that you have your first LP what's next?
Hopefully do another 7", not sure if we have another LP in us. Keep playing when we can. Live life to the fullest.
Why don't you think you have another LP in you?
I think it is just getting to much for us. I still have songs left in me, but with Richard living in a different city, and Clare being really busy at work it is hard to get the time together to write and practice 12 new songs. A 7" is much easier..Who knows, maybe in 5 years!
Any plans on coming to the U.S.A.?
Not again. we came in 2010 which was awesome, but probably not again. Too much work, too little time. I want to go to Guy Fieri's new restaurant at Times Square, so that is an incentive..
What'd you like about the US?
Everything! Except the cold.. we went in winter, that was pretty rough. America is the best. Great bands, amazing people, best food, incredible architecture.
Do you think the audiences were much different in the US then in Australia?
Not really. People get into it more in Australia, because they know the songs and they are our friends. But the crowds in America were really nice, and you would get a lot more people coming to talk to you, buying merch and being supportive.
I gotta ask...Where'd you get the name Taco Leg?
Don't ask.... :(
I had a lot of fun writing up the interview, and I appreciate Andrew for taking the time to answer all my questions. I hope these guys DO make another LP, but until then you can hear the album on their soundcloud and follow them on facebook.