What were the very early days of Tauk? How did you come to officially form the band?
Tauk started as a trio. Matt, AC and Charlie played together in middle school. They used to jam out during all of their school breaks. They sometimes would lose track of time, and would have to each get late notes, otherwise they would miss class. Music was each of our passions in high school so it was evident that we would all meet. I (Alessandro) joined the band when I was a senior in high school and Matt, AC and Charlie were freshman. We used to play covers ranging from Stevie Wonder to Phish and we were always writing our own material. At that point, we played with another drummer. It wasn’t until the following year, when I was in college, that Adam joined the band. From that point on we played as many shows as we could. Some at our high school, others in NYC. We even did a forty show tour one summer. We would always make the best of our time off from school by writing new songs, giging out, and practicing. All of that led up to last July when we started recording "Brokedown King" out in LA.
Long Island has experienced a resurgence in rock, producing some notable bands like Brand New, As Tall As Lions and Taking Back Sunday. Do you feel connected to the LI scene and recent momentum?
Long Island is our home. It is a beautiful place that we certainly gain inspiration from. I mean, our name comes from "Montauk!" It doesn’t get more Long Island than that. The Montauk Project has always been a fascination to us and we hope others check it out too. Beyond the cool places and stories that surround Long Island, there are some pretty sweet clubs to gig out at. We love playing places like the Jones Beach Band Shell, The Crazy Donkey, The Phunky Phish and the Great South Bay Festival. Long Island has large crowds that go out to see live music. I think we have benefited a lot from that.
You’re playing West coast dates with TLG. Is this your first time playing there?
This is our first time playing the west coast and we couldn’t be more excited. Tea Leaf Green has a great following out there and we think this is a must see bill. We all absolutely love how laid back the west coast is. The vibe is sweet. Of course, that all starts with the venues we are playing and there are some nice spots on this tour. We are pumped to get our message out there.
How did that opening slot come about?
This particular bill was put together by our awesome agent and managers. Thanks guys!
There is a little bit of moe., a little bit of Phish, and a good splash of Umphrey’s in your mix. How influential are those bands?
We are definitely influenced by many of the jambands. We have all seen Phish quite a few times. We opened up for Moe. this summer, which was a great experience. We have also seen Umphrey’s and the Disco Biscuits before. We are all influenced by a lot of other different kinds of music as well. Ranging from Radiohead to Kneebody. Everyone in the band loves Stevie Wonder but also gets down to Medeski, Martin and Wood. We listen and see concerts from a very eclectic set of groups and genres.
It’s not just that Tauk is a jamband, but you’ve got the intricate compositions, coupled with harmonies and delicacies those bands have. What’s the songwriting process?
Our group is very collaborative. Usually someone will come in with a musical idea (either basic or a bit more developed) and then it morphs into something new once we each add our individual input. For instance, Charlie will come in with an idea for a song and we will all begin adding our touches: Adam will tweak the beat, AC will work with keyboard sounds, Matt will write a guitar part and I will write the lyrics. Everyone brings in musical ideas and then we all work on the song together to make it our song.
What’s the plan for fall? Or NYE?
Aside from going on tour with Tea Leaf Green and headlining some of our own shows all across the country, we are playing a show with 311 in PA. We are very excited. New Years is still up in the air, but you can be sure we are trying to put something sick together.
Favorite person to follow on twitter?
TheEconomist and TheOnion
What’s on the DVR right now?
Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the NY Jets.
Favorite mobile app?
iChess for the long van rides. Otherwise, bejeweled is a band favorite.
for more info see: http://www.taukband.com