An irrepressibly modern shimmer gleams from Cabaret (released February 7), the new album from Nashville’s Moon Taxi. With this set these surefire, festival tested live dynamos have discovered their studio voice, a sound as intense and multihued as their concert presence, a song cycle where the entire band continually goes for it with all their might, impassioned singing bouncing above ringing guitars and a dense, hypnotic rhythm bed as the music rushes ever-forward. Timidity simply doesn’t exist in the Moon Taxi of 2012, whose earlier work had more classic rock and jam band leanings but now rolls in the same lane as Cold War Kids, Motopony, Lake Trout and post-Achtung Baby U2. Their road experiences still figure in lyrically with several cuts capturing the spinning abandon of late nights where one needs an extra pack of smokes and full flask because they know in their bones they’ll be greeting the sunrise. While still very much a rock band, this album showcases Moon Taxi’s beat savvy and dance/hip-hop awareness in a really fluid manner. Put another way, this sucker moves seductively, an inducement to twirl and smile even as it asks tangled questions and pokes at the cosmos with smiling curiosity.
Cabaret marks a new, exciting chapter for this tenaciously evolutionary unit, so we fired off DI’s signature questionnaire set to the band see what they had to say to our inquiries.
- 1. Great music rarely happens without…
- Tommy Putnam (bass, guitar, vocals): Years of practice, determination, and teamwork.
Spencer Thomson (guitar): Inspiration.
Wes Bailey (keyboards): An open mind.
Trevor H. Terndrup (vocals, guitar): Respect
- 2. The first album I bought was…
- Tommy: Red Hot Chili Peppers’s One Hot Minute
Spencer: Arrested Development’s 3 years, 5 months, 2 days in the Life of…
Wes: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation
Trevor: Beck’s Mellow Gold
- 3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
- Tommy: Bon Iver’s For Emma
Spencer: Youth Lagoon’s The Year of Hibernation
Wes: “Tell Your Heart Heads Up” by Mutemath
Trevor: “Victory Dance” by My Morning Jacket was my song of the summer.
- 4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
- Tommy: An astronaut.
Spencer: A movie director.
Wes: The next Wes Craven.
Trevor: A marine biologist.
- 5. My favorite sort of gig is…
- Tommy: Sold out. The crowd is always so amped up to be a part of it.
Wes: One where the hotel is within walking distance from the venue.
Trevor: Packed house.
- 6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
- Tommy: I’ve been working on this band since I was 14. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just playing bass.
Spencer: My last name is spelled “Thomson” not “Thompson”
Wes: I am an avid golfer.
Trevor: I am an avid recycler.
- 7. I love the sound of…
- Tommy: Classical music.
Spencer: Waves hitting the beach.
Wes: Soft music played loudly.
Trevor: Bansuri (bamboo) flute.
- 8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
- Tommy: The Beatles’ Abbey Road
Spencer: LP by Discovery
Wes: Whatever and Ever, Amen by Ben Folds Five
Trevor: Brothers by The Black Keys
- 9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
- Tommy: There have been some great ones, but Brooklyn Bowl’s fried chicken dipped in honey comes to mind.
Spencer: Franny’s in Brooklyn.
Wes: The Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, NC
Trevor: Brooklyn Bowl’s fried chix
- 10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
- Tommy: The South.
Spencer: Sewanee, TN
Wes: The stadium inside my dreams.
Trevor: Sewanee, TN
- 11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time is…
- Tommy: Staying up late. I have to drive ‘til 6 am sometimes, so I’ve given up on going to bed ‘til 3 am.
Wes: Developing bizarre sleep patterns from driving through the night.
Trevor: Being very vulgar.
- 12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
- Tommy: Radiohead. They can be so different from one album to the next and maintain the same integrity
Spencer: Zeppelin. Bonham.
Wes: Zeppelin. Because I’ve met Robert Plant!
Trevor: Older Radiohead. Huge soundscape.
- 13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
- Tommy: Two Semi-Trucks crash into each other on the interstate in Louisiana. The cab was ripped out of the rear truck. We were the first ones there and I thought for sure he would be severely injured or dead, but he was walking around.
Spencer: The Flaming Lips.
Wes: A hot air balloon crashing in my backyard.
Trevor: This questionnaire.