Talking With Tauk
- By Hannah Epstein
- Published on July 16, 2012
|Photo Courtesy of Tauk|
There is nothing better than discovering a band on the precipice of a big break. You can channel your inner hipster and tell your friends that you heard them before they were famous. You feel personally connected to each song at the show. And maybe most of all, it validates your good taste in music.
Instrumental jammers Tauk are on the cusp of jam band fame, touring this summer at some of the country’s biggest festivals after the release of their first full-length album, "Pull Factors."
Hailing from Long Island, New York, the band had the opportunity to record with some of the biggest producers in the rock scene: Dave Natale, who previously mixed for The Rolling Stones and produced for Fleetwood Mac, and Robert Carranza, who has worked with Jack Johnson and The Mars Volta. Natale allowed the band to take more time to craft their songs and experiment – a luxury that not all young bands get to enjoy.
“The premise was to do one or two songs a day just to put something out,” lead guitarist Matt Jalbert said. “We went to the studio, ideas started spinning and we realized we wanted to do a little more.”
[FIND tour dates, downloads and news on Tauk's official website.]
But playing in a purely instrumental group in the current music scene presents challenges to a group still trying to gain a larger fan base. Tauk started out as a group with vocals, but slowly moved away from that aesthetic.
“We started playing instrumentals, but realized that they stood on their own very well,” Jalbert said. “A lot of people aren’t used to that . . . [but the more we play,] the more we’ve figured out how to structure our set to grab people’s attention throughout the whole set.”
Their infectious jams and expert musicianship caught the attention of some of the jam band world’s biggest names. And just like other starting bands, Tauk has benefited from the experience of more established acts. When they opened for Robert Randolph, his shows influenced the way the band approached performances.
“He actually invited us to play a few songs with him up on stage,” Jalbert said excitedly. “It’s amazing how much energy he puts into it every single night.”
[FOLLOW Tauk on Facebook.]
This summer, Tauk played dream gigs at the likes of Bonnaroo, Summer Camp and The Hangout.
“[Bonnaroo is] great because you get to watch all this music and get amped up and inspired.” Jalbert said. “[You] feed off that energy that was already there.”
While in the past they’ve focused on including unique time signatures and quirky riffs into their songs, their new material marks a return to the basics of songwriting. They have started to “relax and just let a song be a song,” according to the band.
Tauk is also gearing up for a festival in their hometown of Long Island and continue writing songs that blend their rock, funk and electronica feels.
“You never know where or when your inspiration’s going to come from.”
Tauk's next performance is at Jones Beach Bandshell in Watagh, NY on August 3. For more information on the band and to download "Pull Factors," visit their official website.