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10 Quick Ones with TALIA – May 2018

According to a recent press release: “Aggressive riffs, heavy bass, and pounding beats, TALIA falls in line with ’90s rock bands like Hole, except with a little less lipstick. Always lively and on the verge of explosion, their music excites crowds. After several shows in the US, the Paris/Los Angeles based trio releases their fourth EP, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, via Pavement Entertainment today, May 4, 2018. The EP is the successor of Cockroach Killer (2008), Permanent Midlife Crisis (2013), and Thugs They Look Like Angels (2015). Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was recorded at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini and promises to deliver a heavier and rawer sound than its predecessors.”  We get guitarist Nick & Alice to discuss new music, influences, and more in our 10 Quick Ones…

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?

Nick: It’s called Let Sleeping Dogs Lie it was recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in 5 days, first time we worked with him and it was great, we wanted a sound that would be rawer than what we had done before There’s less overdubs than on the previous records, less sound effects, most of it sounds like what we play live. Wrote what was gonna become “Afraid of Heights” after we played in LA at the Whisky a Go-Go for the first time, woke up one night and I picked up an electric guitar, unplugged cause I didn’t want to wake everybody up. The song “Bleed You Dry” was something I wrote a few years ago and recorded live with a camera one night as a demo in the studio I used to work in. I was drinking beer while I was doing it and by the time I finished I was drunk so it was not that great especially the guitar. I didn’t plan on putting it on a record but a lot of people including the band told me they really liked it so I did it again in Steve’s studio (but without the beer) There’s a few references to the lyrics of the previous records (that’s for the diehard fans but right now only the guys in the band noticed it)

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

Nick: I was 10 and my cousins made me listen to Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, but what stroke me first was the way they looked, even before hearing the music. When you’re ten and your mother picks your clothes all you wanna do is wear leather, ripped jeans, grow your hair and look cool. I was already playing piano, which I hated, so I was already familiar with playing an instrument and my dad was nice enough to buy me a guitar and to teach me the basics.

Alice: I started guitar when I was seventeen, I wanted to be Dave Mustaine. It took me a while to realize that what I really liked was only riffs, rhythm guitar parts and playing along with the drums. So I tried the bass but suddenly all the great heavy metal songs I liked to play on my guitar seemed boring on the bass. So I started to listen to 90’s rock or three piece bands like Green Day, Nirvana etc and I knew that I wanted to play in a band like that.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Nick & Alice: Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Megadeth, Foo Fighters, AC/DC. There’s too many of them and we don’t know if people can hear Megadeth in our music but let’s say these five are our favorites.

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

Nick: To work in a studio it was Steve Albini and we’ve done it. To write a song (in an imaginary world) I would say Bon Scott because he wrote really better lyrics than I do and he sang better than I do too.

Alice: Bert McCracken from The Used.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Alice & Nick: We’re influenced by 80/90’s music. The melody, the song that’s what’s most important to us, not the technical skills, although some of the drum parts and bass parts are quite difficult. We like drums that pound hard and deep bass, we don’t do guitar solos cause we don’t think we can do anything that hasn’t already been done. Let’s say we’re not punk enough for the punks, not heavy metal enough for the metal heads but too noisy for being called pop. The lyrics are important to us too, we have to be able not to feel embarrassed when we sing in front of an audience and it has to talk about what we feel and what we live for without being too obvious.

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

Nick: Janis Joplin said she wasn’t writing songs she was making them up, that’s what I like most: making up songs.

Alice: playing live is obviously the best part of it, but I’d say what I also like is that you never know who your music will reach, what opportunity you’ll have or even how well a show will go. That makes the whole experience very exciting (but also kinda stressful).

7. 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?

Nick: Unfortunately the first to pick up the guitar and sing is our drummer Mickey. Nobody cooks and everybody drinks.

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

Nick: Alice would love to be a writer so she could write horror stories even though she hides under the sheets when she watches a scary movie. I would love to make comics but I can’t draw so I’ll have to stick with sound engineer

9. 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”?

Nick: A lot actually, but since I’m happy with the way things are right now I tell myself that everything happens for a reason and that all the mistakes I’ve made were meant to be and that I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now if I had done things differently. For example I’m not very happy with all the songs on the first record but I had to get these songs out of my system to grow up and write better ones.

10. 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?

Nick: I’d go with Bleach. Bleach is the record that really made me wanna write songs, I bought it a year after Kurt Cobain died, some friends told me “it’s not as good as the other ones” and stupid me I listened (another lesson I learned: don’t listen to people), eventually I bought the record and I really liked it. I was 19 and I figured that Kurt Cobain was about the same age when he wrote most of the songs so it made me wanna do it, I mean I was writing some stuff here and there like a riff or something but never an entire song, but after hearing that record that’s all I wanted to do. And I knew it had been recorded in a week for like 600 dollars on an 8 track machine and it sounded great so it seemed doable. I was about to learn that it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

Alice: I’d say High Voltage just to see Bon Scott singing.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

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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