Interview with Taddy Porter
Taddy Porter gives southern rock a new face – by Mel in Toronto
Taddy Porter plays refreshing and powerful southern rock music. The name of this band was adopted from an English beer, band members liked the name of. However, lead singer Andy says that out of superstition, no one from the band has ever tried the beer, "we feel that if we drink that beer, the band would possibly just fall apart," Andy says. - Unfortunately, in Canada this beer does not seem to be available, otherwise I would have tried it to tell you how it tastes, and so, the only thing I can tell you is that the band Taddy Porter rocks!
Taddy Porter has been a band since 2007 and hails from Stillwater, Oklahoma. The band consists of Andy Brewer (lead vocals / guitar), Joe Selby (lead guitar / backing vocals), and brothers Doug Jones (drums) and Kevin Jones (bass). The band released their first self titled album on Primary Wave Music in June 2010. The album was produced by Skidd Mills, who previously recorded with bands like Saving Abel, My Darkest Days, and ZZ Top.
Lyricist Andy offers insights into some songs on the album. The song SHAKE ME "is pretty much about having a good time - a feel good, party song," Andy says. To see how much of a good time this band has while on tour or on the road, check out the video to this song.
Andy starts talking about the song BIG ENOUGH by quoting the first lines 'She fell asleep alone again, her tears are her only medicine.' "The song is about that if you are willing to stop crying and try something different, try falling in love, that it will make you feel better, and asks are you big enough for love?" Andy says. WHATEVER HAUNTS ME is "about past events that have led to where you are in life at this time," Andy says. The slower song, IN THE MORNING, Andy describes that it is about a boy who meets a girl as he is about to leave a party and gets the chance to know her. The boy and girl both hope this moment will last forever. As their night draws to an end, she tells him to call her in the morning, and hopes he'll love her in the morning like he did that night.
Today, Taddy Porter will start touring with Slash (formerly Guns n Roses). The first show will be in Toronto with seven shows across the USA to follow. "After we've heard that we are going on a Slash tour, we were blown away. My lead guitar player is a huge, huge Slash fan … and took some pointers from Slash," Andy says. "This will be the biggest thing we've done so far. We were on tour with Saving Abel for quite some time and they were amazing guys. But being able to go on tour with one of these rock legends, it's just amazing, it's mind blowing," Andy continues.
If you are lucky enough to get a ticket to the Slash show, watch out for the guys from Taddy Porter after their set. "After the show, we always go and hang out with everybody, we scatter ourselves all over the place," Andy says. "I'm a music fan. It's no fun just hanging out in the back. We like to come out and hang out with everybody."
Watch out for more Taddy Porter shows, as their next tour is already booked and they are going to be touring with Finger Eleven.
"In your own words" – ONE on ONE with Mel and Andy
Mel: How did you come up with your band name and what is the meaning of it?
Andy: Taddy Porter is actually the name of an imported beer. When we were trying to come up with a name, we were coming up with many really bad names, like Red Giants, which is already someone else's name, we figured that out, and Honey Drip, all these names that really didn't explain who we are as a band. I was at a bar with my drummer and we were trying to figure out the name and I walked up to the beer fridge, only had $3 in my pocket, so I was scrolling the prizes of beers, instead of the names of the beers. When I scrolled down, I saw a beer that was $8.50 a bottle. I scrolled over and it was Taddy Porter and it sounded like somebody's name to me, like Lynard Skynyrd, or Molly Hatchet, one of those names that are playing a persona or sounded like a person's name. Whenever we heard that, it kind of fit our style of music, being a southern jam band. It sounded like a persona that we could attach music and a genre to. And that's how we got it.
Mel: Have you ever tried that beer?
Andy: It's funny, but none of our members has ever tried it, because we are superstitious. We feel that if we drink that beer, the band would possibly just fall apart. People always ask us, how is it, is it good? And we say, well you know what, we've never tried it. This throws them into a little loop. But I've told somebody else, if we have a number one song, then I would possibly consider trying the beer. But other than that, no, we haven't done it, because we are superstitious. Kind of like a lucky pair of socks or something like that.
Mel: Who are your influences?
Andy: I am a big classic rock fan, obviously. When I was a child I was listening to my father's music. … After going through my genres of music growing up and listening to how the music has been evolving, I found out that I enjoy my father's rock n' roll music better than what was going on at the time. A lot of influences come from classic rock artists like Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Lynard Skynyrd, bands like that. I have modern influences, like Wolfmother, and The Black Keys and pretty much just bands that have an eclectic sound to them.
Mel: Could you please tell us about the music scene in Stillwater, Oklahoma?
Andy: It's surprisingly good. Stillwater, it's Oklahoma, so there's going to be country music fans, but also bands like All American Rejects are from Stillwater. Other bands that are different genres of music, are from there too, which made it great for us, because as we were playing in Stillwater there were no really competing bands, there was no genre that somebody was playing and trying to be the best in that genre. When we started playing our kind of dirty southern rock music, there was no one in town at the time that really did that. It was great, because the crowd would come see this genre this night and they would come see this genre this next night. So it was easy for people to get to know you and get to know your music.
Mel: What do you like best, when you perform live?
Andy: Well, the best thing, is whenever a crowd is either singing your lyrics, or they respond to you. If I were to ask one of those provoking questions, like how are you feeling? Everyone just screams, that gives me goose bumps. That is by far the best thing I've come across thus far on this planet. (laughs) It's better than sex, it's better than food, it's whenever they are with you and they see you, they sing your lyrics, or even if they don't and are just there and have a good time, that's the best thing.
Mel: Which artist would you like to record a song with and why?
Andy: I have to say I'm a big Led Zeppelin fan. They are still living and I love what they are doing, what they did with blues music and rock n' roll. And there is a guy now, Jack White in The White Stripes and The Dead Weather. I would love to record with Jack White, he puts a modern spin on blues music and he puts a modern spin on rock n' roll music. It is probably going to be Jack White.
Mel: You and your family have a history in baseball and your song SHAKE ME is Mike Pelfrey's [pitcher for the New York Mets] introduction music, could you tell us about this?
Andy: I played baseball all through college and high school and as a kid. Baseball has been in our family for a really long time - my father is a baseball coach for the New York Mets - naturally my dad was going to raise me as a baseball player. I was drafted out of high school to go play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But instead of going to do that I decided to go to college … I didn't even tell my coach that I was drafted. … And Mike Pelfrey, I met Mike before he went to the major league, when he was still in the minor league. I became friends with him and I found out that he was looking for a song to come out to, introduction music. My dad was talking to him and said to him, you should check out Taddy Porter. Mike started listening to it and immediately picked SHAKE ME as the song he wanted to be played. I was blown away, because the field will gather 30,000 to 40,000 people a night and that's just instant publicity. …
Mel: Where do you see Taddy Porter in five years?
Andy: Hopefully still playing and writing music, hopefully we'll be three or four albums deep. I would love to do this for the rest of our lives. Even if Taddy Porter doesn't last five years, I know that all of us will still be playing music. Just as long, in five years, we will still be happy playing music that will be a great goal.
Mel: Are you already writing new material or a new album?
Andy: Yes, we actually have about twelve or fourteen songs ready to start to record. It's funny, because the songs that are on the first album were written when I was probably 20 or 21 years old, and I'm 24 now. So these songs that we are playing had been written when I would consider us a young band, immature in ways and not as polished as we are now. Definitely the songs that you will hear on the second album will be more mature, more thought were put into these songs, I'm more excited for the second album honestly, just because I want people to be able to see the transformation or the evolution of our band.
September 10th, 2010 by Mel in Toronto [Melanie Schade]
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