With a band name like Taddy Porter, you might picture a six pack of something seasonal that costs around $8.99. However, after listening to the hard rocking soul of a band rightfully coined Taddy Porter, you’ll think more of Otis Redding, Bob Seger and a little Alabama Shakes. Not many bands can actually pull of sounding like their influences with sincerity and confidence, but this Stillwater, Oklahoma quartet nails it. nd what’s even more appealing, these youngsters look nothing like the aged veterans they sound with a polished groove/stomp atop earthy vocals that howl of legitimacy.
Taddy Porter will release their sophomore album Stay Golden on February 26, 2013 via Primary Wave Music. Co-produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Cornell, Shooter Jennings) and Mark Neill (The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach), Stay Golden finds Taddy Porter re-energized flooding these 11 lo-fi songs with elements of raw rock, warm Motown soul, Southern blues and psychedelic pop to create their most expansive sound to date. After rekindling their love affair with classic rock ‘n’ roll, Taddy Porter has found their musical sweet spot with Stay Golden and the result is an album filled with songs as timeless as the era they hearken back to. We recently had a chance to speak with lead singer Andy Brewer..
Can you share what the inspiration was behind Stay Golden and how you evolved from your debut – am I correct in saying the band now has a stronger identity even though you appear more influenced by the past?
Stay Golden came about by a mix of life lessons and experiences over the years. When we wrote our first album, we were new to a lot of things: each other and the studio.! Once we got to know each other as players, it was easier to draw from each other while in the studio. Even from the first album, we knew what we were doing was old-school. We like to play what we like to hear.
How would you best describe how much the band has grown in the past couple years musically?
We have come a long way that is for sure. All of these things have been a big part of the evolution of this band. Being able to spend time in the studio and experiment with different sounds and tones is what we love. And being on the road, you see what it takes, night in and night out, to stay out there. Other than that, our music is the response to an observation. We knew after that, that we wanted to make some changes.
I read that you listened to a good share of British Invasion bands- The Kinks, The Zombies, but I hear lots of the trademark Motown sound.
For sure! Love Motown! Once we started touching into different genres, we wanted to add some of that swing. One the first album, there was not a lot of group vocals and we wanted to change that. We always loved the call and response sound! And harmonies are killer live. So we added that antiphony/harmony aspect.
Are there any other particular albums that laid a key inspiration for Stay Golden?
Not any particular album. For us, it was certain songs and the discovery of certain artists. We got turned onto Music Machine and it was great hearing all of these great, early, sounds that would be adapted and expounded upon later in music.
In terms of musicianship – who brings what to the band in terms of chops?
We all have our individual roles in the band. Joe is in charge of the lead lines, Doug and Kevin man our rhythmic movement, and I have always been about melodies and lyrics. Altogether, we use our specific talents to come up with, what we consider, an even mix of every member.
What did Dave Cobb and Mark Neill get out of the band in the studio that your felt might not have been achieved without their guidance?
They saw that we were headed in a certain direction, and they gave us the tools that we needed to bring everything out. The environment of making music as it comes and capturing something at its instant was very important. Both Dave and Mark did an amazing job of pulling music out of us. We didn’t record live on our last album. And all of our favorite bands did. We knew we had to try it, and Mark and Dave were already planning it. They walked us through it all. Without them, the sound would be completely different.
Along with Jack White’s epic Blunderbuss- seems the music climate might go back into more a gospel/blues/soul/guitar rock territory than in the 80’s new-wave revival we have heard lots with. Do you see the music scene evolving back to more soul driven rock?
Definitely. We see it go back and forth. We feel that people are thirsty for something pure and positive. Honesty is something that, in my opinion, has been lacking in today’s music. The best thing about being artists is that we have the freedom to make observations and speak frankly about changes we feel should be made. At the end of the day, we know that true music fans appreciate passion and beauty. And that is soul music to the "T".
What other current bands today do you admire and who would you most like to collaborate or share the stage with?
Definitely Jack White. We have always been big fans of his style. Whether its Dead Weather or his solo stuff. We are fans of Alabama Shakes as well. Their singer, to me, is reminiscent of Mavis Staples. Love her. Both have that soul feel for sure. We love these bands for their ability to emote. Jack White and Alabama Shakes do this well. When you watch them sing, it’s almost like they are in pain. That is beautiful to me. You definitely get the idea that they are passionate about what they are doing.
What past live performance for the band most stands out?
We played at The Norva in Norfolk, Virginia and it made a big impression on us. The crowd was so responsive and we hadn’t played there before. We have a lot of energy on stage and it doubles when the energy is shared. We learned something awhile ago, that light and shade are the ways to go about a live show. Swells and crashes all over.