Interview with

Taylor Nodell

"Making music is fun and rewarding, but finishing a song is like pulling teeth. Releasing an album is like getting your dental degree.​"

Artist Name: Taylor Nodell
Country: Australia
Release title: Once He Did Though
Release genre: Singer Songwriter, Rock, Indie
Band Members: Taylor Nodell

If you enjoyed these thoughts by Taylor and would like to find out more about his work, visit his official channels below.

Taylor Nodell - Once he did though - Album Cover


Taylor’s music on Spotify. Enjoy while reading the interview.

About the Artist

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I wrote my first song while taking piano lessons as a kid. I believe it was about an ant and was a little McCartney-esque but probably quite amateur. I picked up the guitar in middle school and not too long after that formed my first band, the power trio “Clockwork”, and fell into the role of guitarist/singer/frontman.

Classic rock is home base for me, The Beatles, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin. Then I branched out into metal with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Helloween, but I’ve always been a huge fan of hair metal bands like The Darkness, Steelheart, Skid Row, Van Halen. I was always drawn to over the top vocals, blazin’ guitar solos, and gut busting drums.

What would you say are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

In this music project as Taylor Nodell, there’s really only the idea that I have to be making music. Just pick up the guitar and make some stuff. I’ve been travelling a lot in my adult life so I’ve been working with the limitation of just using an acoustic guitar for the past couple of years, but on this release I was living in a warehouse with a music studio so I had access to a lot more instruments.

Taylor Nodell - Playing guitar

About the EP

Tell us about your new EP. Is there a story behind it? What were the influences or inspirations to write it?

This is an album I wrote in 2017, I recently cut it down, got it mastered, and finally I’m releasing it on streaming platforms. I was shifting from a sort of care-free “children’s music” tone on my first album “I Pet A Dog” to a slightly more pointed one with “Once He Did Though”. Songs like “Polarized” describe climate change through the lens of buying a pair of sunglasses. The silliness is still there though in songs like the title track and “Cars Are Glue”.

Could you describe your creative process behind the album? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into a finished song?

Moon Soon – This is a song about how the moon looks larger closer to the horizon, and the fallacy that because it’s bigger, it must be closer. This phenomenon is called the Moon Illusion, and I guess there isn’t an agreed scientific explanation for why this occurs yet. Musically, this is a variation of Crazy Train’s verse riff, played on acoustic guitar. This has 5 key changes at the end of the song.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches – A true story also originating from working at summer camp. Because peanut allergies are pretty serious, and because peanut butter is pretty standard kid food, we had to eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches away from most of the campers. You would go up the deck, and have your sandwich on a bench, giving ample space from any potential allergician.

This doubled as a place to kind of get away from your normal predetermined table. You could hang out with anyone up there (as long as they could survive the peanuts). That’s where I would hang out with Mel and catch up. Eventually she had to go home and then she wasn’t there anymore.

Once He Did Though – This is an exploration of how you can rearrange words and still technically have a coherent sentence. It’s a 7/4 drum groove that I’d played around with while having access to a drum kit for the first time, switching to a fast ¾ during the guitar solos for the same reason they do in Money by Pink Floyd.

Alyse Alyse – I started writing this in 2015 living in a hostel in Naarm/ Melbourne. It’s a simple song about a crush on the receptionist.

Polarized – I used to play this game with two friends in high school where you would tap the shoulder of the other person, and then if you were wearing sunglasses as they turned to you, you would shout “POLARIZED” at them. This song is a treatise on buying sunglasses and climate change.

Cars are Glue – Cars get us from one place to another, in essence glueing us together. Another one of the “heavy” songs on the EP, I modded Micro Marshall 1W AMP to get a really fuzzy distortion and chunked out some power chords for a big sludgey sound that I could wail over.

Releasing music is such a mammoth effort. What are the biggest challenges? What things did you learn in the process?

Making music is fun and rewarding, but finishing a song is like pulling teeth. Releasing an album is like getting your dental degree.

Nothing is ever really “finished” and I think I could do with a stricter deadline policy. Often the biggest challenge for me is fiddling around with a part in post, trying to get the EQ or reverb right, when really I should have gotten another take or used a different instrument or written a different part. When writing alone, some parts work in isolation, but then when putting together the whole song you realize something’s not working.

I feel like I’m always learning though as long as I’m trying things. One of my favourite, although extremely basic, recording “tricks” is to double your guitars and pan them left and right. I’m sure this is the first thing you learn in recording school but I had to discover that. It takes a pretty mild sound and makes it much fuller. Now I’m doing things like putting a little phaser on the snare for a bit more movement in the groove, or reversing a cymbal crash to transition to a new part. Production is a whole additional skill set I’m diving down.

What formats will be the release available on? What is the best place for people to find and support your music?

The EP is digital only and is available on all the major streaming platforms. I always push people towards Bandcamp as the best place for people to check out all my tunes.

What's next?

What’s next for you?

I’m about to release another EP in an acoustic bossa nova/ jazz style, then finally getting back into something more metal as I’ve been able to settle down and collect some more gear.

Where can we check for upcoming gigs? Links?

I regularly play the bi-weekly Tuesday open mic night at the Sneaky Possum in Chippendale. The next one is on September 5th.

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