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A Dirty Dozen with JUSTIN TAYLOR from ALBORN – February 2023

| 21 February 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Formed in 2016, Northern Illinois based alternative metal band Alborn consists of Justin Taylor [guitar/lead vocals], Alex Raser [Drums/vocals], Zame Lewis [bass] and Nate Guske [guitar/vocals]. Their sound has been compared to Deftones or a heavier version of Alice in Chains. But, make no mistake, Alborn has created something unique, hard and melodic. Entering 2022, the band was invited to join Sevendust and Plush on a run of New Year’s shows in the southeast. To round out 2022, Alborn buckled down, did more writing and flew to Las Vegas to work with Chris Collier and James “Fluff” Harley. This dynamic production duo was fresh off working with Korn on their Requiem album.”  We get Justin 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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We always try to reference our previous releases, sort of acknowledging our favorite songs or parts and include tastes of it in the new songs to keep our sound true to what it is. For the new ep, we really “trusted the process” and let whatever came to us naturally stay. There is a song that I used a slide on, but kept the distortion guitar, giving it a kind of sad creepy vibe.

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

My dad started a band with my brother and I, I think I was 5 for our first show. I guess the whole idea of pursuing it as a career didn’t come until my dad bought me a tape recorder when I was maybe 10, and I started writing originals. But it was always just a dream, being from small town midwest it seemed like the most unfeasible option possible. I don’t think I ever took it serious until Alborn was formed.

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

I thought I knew what I wanted our live sound and show to be, until 2016ish when I saw another QC band, 1152. They were heavy but well balanced, unbelievably tight,  and the sound crisp, punchy, and in your face. They stood out so much from every other band I’d ever seen, and I wanted our impact to be the same.

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

This is going to sound crazy but I have always wanted to do a collab with Dave Chappelle, not to have his voice on a song but to have him in on the creative process and lyricism. Aside from being one of the greatest comedians of all time, he’s incredibly intelligent and has so much insight, I’ve always felt that he’d just naturally be able to navigate thru a song of any genre effortlessly, and be able to express a song in a way different way than I ever could.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I enjoy working on old cars and trucks. I have a 1973 GMC K25, 1964 Impala and a 1967 Impala that keep me busy as all hell.

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?

Self descriptions are tough, but what we aim for is heavy and deep, simply put. We love breakdowns and love emotions, and try to blend them in the best way we can. I’ve learned that comparing bands is a universal language for listeners to make other listeners understand quickly, so I don’t cringe at the comparisons, at most I’ll chuckle every now and again and think “how in the hell did they hear Maroon 5 out of us?” or whatever lol.

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

We’re big on ordering out, and typically stray from acoustics, but we are all beer gatherers.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I met Chad Gray on my 18th birthday, so 10 years ago. He was the first person I’d met who I’d idolized and listened to for so long. Hellyeah was playing a show not far from their hometown here in Illinois, which made it extra cool.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part is being accepted. I constantly second guess this path as a career, and think of all the other things that life could do for me if I put all of this effort into a different trade, but any time I hear or see a positive response, those thoughts disappear immediately. If it wasn’t for Alborn, I’d probably try to go full time as a music producer.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I like in depth questions, real specific ones, like pointing out specific lines in lyrics and asking for an explanation, because I feel like lyrics in hard rock and metal get overlooked. I wont answer any more questions about politics lol politics and Covid are off the table for me hahaha.

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?

I would love to redo any time I’ve fallen on stage because that shit is wildly embarrassing hahaha.

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?

I’d probably choose White Album by The Beatles. All the drugs, mayhem, and internal chaos that was happening and yet they were able to produce such a high quality, diverse collection of songs is mind boggling to me.






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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