In the 70s they had four top 20 hits and two top 20 albums before ending while still in their prime! Melbourne rock band Taste have returned to release The Best of Taste album, and will be playing shows in Sydney and Melbourne. The band are also working on a new album to be released next year. Tomatrax caught up with Ken Murdoch from the band to as a few questions.
What inspired you to get Taste back together again?
I had written a short story called The Doppleganger effect and I had some musical doodles that lyrically seemed to fit . It sounded quite “tastey” so I sent it to Michael and Joey to see what they thought. We then talked about recording a few tracks in my studio and before we knew we had enough for an album. Ironically we didn’t use “the Doppelganger effect” on the album.
You have an album planned for next year, how has that been going?
The album LIFE ON EARTH is now in the mastering stage. It took a year to write and record and then we outsourced the drums and some vocals to a bigger studio. Angus Davidson from Crowded House mixed it for us. We now have the unenviable task of thinking about the album artwork! We are also re learning the tracks to play live, we had fogotten how complex they are!
How will the album compare with your previous work?
This album was as always produced by myself, but this time he did the engineering as well so we had complete control over everything. We spent a lot of time on harmonies and we also used outside instruments like violins and brass. Michael was the chief arranger. We recorded our last album ROCK IS DEAD at Sing Sing studios in Richmond and had to have it finished in two weeks so we were under the pump. This time it took as long as it took.
Was it strange getting back into the studio after a long time apart?
We recorded ROCK IS DEAD 7 years ago but that chemistry between the three of us is always there so we were quite comfortable with the process. Our new drummer Damian Corniola is in his late twenties but he seems come from the same mindset as us musically. The only real difference was the catering for the last album was more than the budget for this new album!!!
Given the success you had with your previous work is there any pressure to live up to expectations?
We didnt really give that a second thought. We are hoping people will like what we have done but we as usual just tend to make music we like. It was refreshing to mix the vocals and percussion where we thought they should sit without having hour long discussions!
Where did the title Life on earth come from?
Once I had written most of the songs there seemed to be a theme running through. It dealt lyrically with religion, envoironment problems, terrorism and death (the usual happy stuff) and once we ahd come up with Life on Earth as a song it seemed to be the right title. At first we weren’t going with it cause we thought Crowded House had
beaten us to it, but luckily their album was called Time on Earth.
Are there plans to record more albums after this one?
We hope so, depends on everyone’s reaction but it is incredibly time consuming. A nice way to spend time though.
You have a series of shows planned, what can fans expect from your show?
A few surprises from the new album and lots of old favourites.
You’ve just released a best of album, how did you work out what made it onto the album?
The “Remasters” issue is mainly the first two albums combined. It has held its own quite well. Only a couple of songs seemed a little dated so we dropped those. (Although one is available as an extra on itunes) We wanted to tighten up the bass end and add a little more top but it sounded pretty big initially anyway.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
We have been listening to some older tracks and a lot of the new album to learn it for gigs. Our music (even when we really young) has always been pretty complex and not the easist to play so we had to do a little bit of study. Don’t get us started on trying to learn the lyrics. We don’t really write the love you/love me type lyrics. I drew a lot on Greek history for this album.
What other music do you listen to?
Michael’s into his jazz world, Joey is a big guitar man and I still worships Pete Townend (The Who)
What do you have planned after you’ve released your upcoming album?
Time to get on tour. We have dates in March for the whole of Australia. We are hoping to do a little overseas work as well. Rock is Dead went reasonably well in Germany and Japan.
Check out Taste’s website to find out more!