TAUK has literally been the talk of the scene this past summer. Having tuned their individual talents into one well oiled machine, the guys are on the route to infamy.
Editor, Phil Sunkel, got the chance to sit down with the guys to do a little interview before their set at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL.
Charlie Dolan: It’s better than you telling us, “Yeah, I didn’t get any of the interview.”
HYPE: Oh, shit. I forgot to press record. Can we go back and do that again? Hahaha just kidding.
Isaac Teel: Everyone do that again for another hour.
HYPE: So You guys must get asked a lot about the name, right?
AC Carter: Not as much as you think.
HYPE: Really? Because I was sitting here thinking, I bet every journalist that comes up to you is like, “What does Tauk mean?”
HYPE: Yeah, those are pretty standard. I’m not going to ask those.
Charlie: Yeah, so the name comes from a town at the end of Long Island where the three of us grew up, called Montauk. Our name is really just a homage to our home island.
Matt: The long one.
Charlie: The Long Island.
HYPE:Ok so, this past year you guys have been doing a lot of stuff, a lot of crazy cool stuff. What are some of your highlights? What are some of the regrets?
Matt: Last night was a regret. We got very large milkshakes at four in the morning. I regret that. I think most of us regret that. As far as the highlights go, I think Lockn’ Festival was definitely a huge highlight for us.
HYPE: You guys packed out that set, right?
Matt: Yeah, it was a one o’clock set. It was hot as fuck and a lot of people came out. We were happy about it. Mad Tea Party was a great festival. Floyd Fest. The Hudson Project was really good.
AC: Catskill Chill.
Matt: Catskill Chill, also amazing.
HYPE: I do want to ask you guys about your new record, “Collisions”. How would you say it’s different from Homunculous and …
Isaac: Pull Factors?
AC: It’s always been a step-wise process for us. When we did “Pull Factors” we were kind of figuring out who we wanted to be. We were going through some transitions at that point so we said, you know what? Let’s just get in the studio, experiment, lay some things down and see what happens. “Pull Factors” was exactly that. It was a combination of different writing styles from across the board that we all contributed to.
We kind of painted out our own unique palette with that. That was definitely the foundation for our next effort, “Homunculus”. “Homunculus”, we were really concerned about the compositions. We wanted to make sure that, as our first full LP with Isaac, we wanted to make the strongest statement as possible as a complete album experience from start to finish.
Each song flowed into each other. Then, we toured and toured and we came up with “Collisions”. We expanded on “Collisions” by taking the best parts of “Homunculus” and just really working through them. Allowing ourselves to play more and experiment more, take a little bit more solos and just have a little bit more fun, you know.
People kind of had a taste of what we did, but we really wanted to bring the live aspect of our show into this album. We want it to be as on point as a studio album, as it would be for a live show. We really tried to bring that perspective to that.
Matt: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of similarities between “Homunculus” and the last one. Kind of going off what AC was saying, a lot of the new stuff is kind of stronger. There’s a lot of aspects that we took from “Homunculus” and there was some songs on that album that I think would still fit on the newer one. There’s some that wouldn’t really fit, in terms of just the composition styles. We made a series of choices to kind of go with a style that’s more like funk and groove based. We did a lot more writing as a band on the last album as opposed to the album before it. I think that kind of let the band shine through, everyone as an individual kind of got to have their voice heard a little bit more on the new album.
Charlie: It was also the difference that we, for “Homunculus”, we kind of just jumped in the studio, we already had some ideas. We had some things worked out. We stayed in the studio and churned it out whereas “Collisions”, the last one, we worked on all the songs together. We toured on them, really saw how that ended up developing the songs. That’s also why it kind of gave it a little more of a live feel. It also allowed us to develop the songs in a different way than we had with “Homunculus”.
Isaac: I totally concur with what everybody’s saying. I think we just took more risks with this album in terms of sound, melody, and groove. I think, hopefully, that came across. I think that this last album showed a lot of growth. We did a lot of pre-production for this latest record and I think it showed through the music.
HYPE: I think that’s true. “Collisions” is almost a literal term for the cohesiveness that has come from working through the past albums and getting to where you are now. I want to move it in to asking you guys what is something each of you has learned over this past year? Then, after that, one more question and you guys can go watch The Fritz.
Matt: I think something we learned is that this has been the most shows that we’ve ever played in a year so we’ve been busier than we ever have. It’s actually been the best year for us by far, but I think something we’ve learned is it’s really difficult to finalize writing your material on the road. Before this year, everything we wrote was in the studio.
We’d go in the studio, practice, and just come up with ideas. We didn’t have a ton of free time, but we had more free time than we do now. Right now, the biggest challenge is we’re playing all these shows and it’s really driving us. We’re like, oh, man, we need another song that would be great for this night. It’s kind of cool that we’ve got a lot of shows to look forward to. Our schedule’s filling up for the future. At this point, we’re learning that you kind of have to take the time to slow down at a point and it’s very important to grow and to make sure that not every show’s the same for people when they come back. For me, I know that I’ve learned, maybe I can’t tour 360 days out of a year, you know? I can’t do it. You could, but good luck.
AC: I think that one thing I’ve tried to take away from this is just keeping a positive attitude no matter what the situation is. I mean, who knows? You might have fun.
Matt: You might.
AC: You might have fun, but honestly, though just keeping a good positive head about things because not every song, not every day, not every show is going to be the most amazing. It’s just to keep push through it, you know, just making sure that you’re keeping a positive head no matter what.
Charlie: Yeah, I’d agree with what AC is saying. It’s like the big thing we learned is to stay positive and stay humble, putting the right energy out there and really just working hard and going at it pays huge dividends. Maybe you might not see it immediately, but you know, months, weeks down the road, it really does pay off. Being sincere people and putting every effort in our heart into it, is I think the biggest thing we have going for us. Just going into any situation, even if it’s a shitty situation, with a positive attitude and just trying to make the best of it. It’s been huge for us and I think that’s the biggest reason why we’ve had so much progress and that we still like each other, get along, and that we’re still together making music. I think it raises the ceiling for where we can go.
Isaac: I mean, that’s very well said.
Isaac: Yeah, man, I mean, for me, I’ll keep it quick. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is patience. Through all the shit we’ve been through and what we’re going to go through, everything has it’s time. You can’t rush it. If you rush it, you’re not going to be ready. You want to prepare yourself to be ready to step up when you need to, when you’re called on. I think we’re going to have plenty of opportunities, patience is key. Everything will fall into place.
HYPE: Thanks guys, I appreciate you all taking the time to sit down with the HYPE Fam.
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