Community / 5 April 2017

BandLab User Interview: Nathan Taylor

The Real American Dad

This American makes no bones about who he is. A glance at his BandLab bio will tell you three things — he’s a “husband”, “father” and “guitarist”. He lists his talents as playing the guitar and songwriting.

As for his favourite genre of music, he simply states, ‘rock’. And that’s all he needs you to know. What an efficient dude.

What we’d like you to know, however, is that this guy is great fun to listen to. We’re sure his 1,700 plus followers agree. He sounds like a grinning fanboy rocking out with his electric guitar. 

Nathan Taylor is what it looks like to still love music when you’re a father-of-three. He tells BandLab more.

What is the thing that makes Nathan Taylor, Nathan Taylor?

I would describe myself as passionate. My wife might describe me as obsessive, but I would go with passionate. Whether it’s music, whether it’s art with the kids, whether it’s building things out of wood, whether it’s cake decorating with my wife, I try put my whole heart into whatever I’m doing. I try to make it as good as I can, or at least put my mark on it.

We can certainly respect that. What makes you respect your music heroes?

In a broad sense, I’d say I admire any artist that is willing to put themselves out there. Willing to wear their heart on their sleeve and try to express themselves through their art or their music. It takes a lot to put yourself out there.

Who’s a famous artist that you admire?

If the artist I’d admire has to be famous, I would say John Petrucci. He’s technically awesome, has a vast understanding of what he’s trying to convey, and how to get there. But apart from that, he strikes me as a very humble and down-to-earth person.

Why drives you to write songs and make music?

I make music because it’s the best way I can express myself without actually having to say anything. The music speaks for itself. The hope is that people will listen to it and gravitate towards it; potentially even participate in the conversation. Music is interesting that way, because if you have a bunch of people trying to talk at the same time, that won’t work out so well. But in a band atmosphere, in a collaborative atmosphere, you tend to give people time to talk, while making space for them to be heard. Potentially, you can build upon what they are saying, or react to that.

Tell us about a meaningful moment in music for you.

I remember once, going to the local Chinese restaurant, and participating in the open mic blues night that they had. It was a very interesting experience, trying to play with three other confident musicians without knowing them, or going over any material beforehand.

I had three ideas that I wanted to try, my thought was to play in a group atmosphere, live, and try not to spend a lot of time setting up. I wanted to go on stage, plug into the amp, and see what happens.

Playing the open mic was special to me because it set aside my anxiety of playing in front of people. It made me set aside my feelings of how good I thought my material was, and I just performed for myself. I performed because I wanted to. Regardless of how it was perceived, or what anybody thought of it, I wanted to play.

Share with us how you use BandLab.

I use BandLab as an idea-bucket. A means to capture an idea in the moment as it’s happening, without trying to spend too much time on setup. Setting up the mics, the cabinet, making sure that I can be loud, or not, or whatever, takes up time.

BandLab gives me the ability to just be able to take the voice notes, or even record the tracks right on my phone. It’s nice that I’m able to annotate things about the particular track. In the project creation I can take a picture of the pedal that I may be using to create a particular sound so that I can reproduce that. I can even write down notes for the progression on what the actual proper version is, how many times, so on and so forth. It’s a good way to consolidate ideas as they come out.

How did you discover BandLab?

How did I hear about it? I came across it by chance. It was in an ad somewhere online, it was on a webpage, or something like that. It boasted collaboration, and being an artist that’s working alone, I thought that would work out real well. I could do a lot of stuff on-the-go, or by myself, so I said, “Hey, I’ll just sign up for this and see where it goes.”

What would your superhero power be?

If I could be a superhero, I’d go with Mr. Incredible. Basically because he’s super, he’s got all the powers that you want, super strength and all that. But beyond that he’s one of the few superheroes that gets to have a family.

There aren’t many that get to have the full experience. He gets to save the world, but then he also gets to have the love and fulfilment that goes along with actually having a family. Children, it’s one of the highlights of life, so to say. So to be a superhero without that (children) wouldn’t mean anything to me. But to have the best of both worlds, that’s a big win.

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