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A Dirty Dozen with TIMOTHY JUDSON TAYLOR – March 2022

| 30 March 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Timothy Judson Taylor has released a brand new single titled “The Fall of Rome” via TLG/INgrooves. This is the first single off of his full length album Crossing the Rubicon due out this summer! Timothy has been a lead vocalist and lead guitarist to an assortment of bands, as well as all-original lineups where he’s written all his own material. Tim has amassed an enormous body of original work and always wanted to release it to the world…in the way his mind heard it.” We get Timothy to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The album Crossing The Rubicon began as a way to expressing my alarm at what I saw happening to civil rights, and the discourse between opposing parties with different views on governance. I take on many issues throughout the record. Some of these songs are simple high energy rock and roll fun, like “My Woman,” “East European Girl,” “As Long as I’ve got a face.” “Ready For Love,” but some of them are deadly serious. “Cold Blue” is written as a way to give a better end to two women who were murdered by the I-5 killer, and the Green River Killer. I grew up with Karen Finch who was brutally murdered on a dark section of I 5 in Northern California. She fought for her life with everything she had. You never met a nicer girl. I worked with a fellow in Seattle whose daughter went missing, and she was eventually found dead in the Green River. It REALLY hurt this good man. As I digested these tragedies, I thought in the way of the time of an MTV sort of video, and in my minds eye, I felt like the ideal justice would be a woman who recognizes the nature of the evil perpetrating these crimes, and she would be ready for it. I gave women the power in this, and I highlight how broken these men who do these thing really are. “Crossing the Rubicon” came about in roughly 2014. I was horrified at how poorly we are represented, and at how that would unfold. You can only allow so much pressure to build up in society, and once it reaches a boiling point, and the boiler explodes, injuring or killing all who are near it. “The Fall of Rome” is centered around the battle over the 2nd amendment but it IS NOT about guns. It is about civil rights in general. The lyrics tell the story. The song flowed out quickly, and the music was the easiest thing, as my anger, anxiety, and dismay all poured out effortlessly.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was always a fan of music from a very early age. I saw the Beatles debut on Ed Sullivan, and knew that music would always be a major part of my life. What got me to dive in was Greg Lake at Cal Jam, sitting there in a white suit, chewing gum as he sang effortlessly, the most beautiful ballads I had ever heard. It made my hair stand up on my neck. A few months later, and I was on the path. My mother busted her tail to earn enough money to buy my first guitar, a Lyle acoustic I carried that guitar everywhere i went and played for hours every day.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

See the above answer!

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Greg Lake, Ronnie Montrose, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, and Joe Satriani.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I work with an AMAZING lineup now. Derek Sherinian is usually my first call. Ron ‘Bumblfoot’ Thal is second. Brian Vibberts is for my money, THE best mix engineer working today. He mixed Crossing The Rubicon. Having Simon Phillips on board for my next album is a dream come true. Tony Franklin is icing on the cake.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Straight forward, hard rocking, high energy fun. I bring a fiery disposition and fast fretwork to most of my songs. So far, reviews have been amazing, and welcome. But I am honest with myself. I am a slave to the era of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s in terms of how my songwriting works. I will never be the best, most advanced, or a superstar. I just strive to be excellent every time I pick up an axe, and open my mouth to sing.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Being able to express what I hear in my head!

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

When we were cutting Crossing The Rubicon we assembled at my place in Virginia, and while there, I did all the cooking and entertaining. It is how I am wired. I am always the first one to break out the axe, and start the music.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Greg Lake! Saw him at his last tour, Songs of a Lifetime. Got a chance to tell him what he had done for my musical development. It made his night, and he was genuinely moved. So was I. I have never heard a better singer. Having known most of my idols personally, Greg was the one guy I never got to spend time with that I REALLY wanted to.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I worked in high tech for many years in digital video and audio. My forte was editing, and special FX, so I got to do what I loved for most off my working life.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Yes. I was on the cusp of “discovery” and had the respect and admiration of many of my musical heroes. But I met a woman who initially was a terrific friend, and loads of fun. She had a small child, and it became obvious quickly, that I had to either step in and rescue the child from violent abuse any her father and stepmother and be her dad or let her fall through the cracks. Her mother was seriously mentally ill, and my conscience wouldn’t let me abandon her, so I set my music aside for her sake, and saved her. I cannot say I would do it again, even though it ended as badly as imaginable. I loved that child more than life itself, but the marriage was THE most toxic thing I have endured in a lifetime of what an old philosophers curse would call “an interesting life”. Its not a happy ending sort of thing. The mental illness shattered the family, and the kids and I have no contact. I own a fair bit of that. As Octavian says in the HBO series Rome, “the jug is broken, and cannot be mended”. It is the way of things.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Brain Salad Surgery is my all time favorite album. It is a MASTERPIECE of storytelling, fun, and impossible musicianship. That album to me is THE pinnacle of Progressive Rock, and futuristic dystopian nightmare. I cannot think of a way to improve it, but I sure would love to have been there!






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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