For most of my early to mid 20’s, I was a huge Staggered Crossing fan. I went to as many shows with my friends as we could. It was just what we did. If Staggered played, we were there. And well, I loved it. They were great. They would always put on a good show for everyone, and I’d be the hot sweaty mess in the front singing every word with my friend and sister of the bass player, Jocelyn. If one could be a groupie without ever putting out than that’s what I was. I think though if you don’t put out your name shouldn’t be groupie, but mega fan or droupie or something of the like. What’s that all about?
Anyway, since then Staggered has gone in their individual directions. And since the bands separation, JT or Julian Taylor, as his new band’s name indicates, has done very well. With major festivals getting lined up all the time, and opening for big players in the Canadian music scene, Julian Taylor Band continues to grow and grow. The band has a soulful, bluesy, rock and roll edge that is great to listen to. Plus JT has the voice of an angel, so that helps too.
So without further ado, here is the interview that JT and I had:
JTTM: Julian or JT? Being a Staggered fan, I’m pro JT, but I’ll follow your lead?
JT: I really am cool with both. JT was my nickname growing up so every one from that period of time calls me that. I made terrific friends and most of them I have kept. Now that the band is named after me I kind of wish we were known as JTB. Lol
JTTM: When you decided to venture out on your own, was there a song that helped you through the transition? Were their many songs?
JT: I think it was two songs that did it. Zero to Eleven and Never Gonna Give You Up. They were the first and both came to light in very different ways. It is probably why the band has an organic meets modern sound.
JTTM: Did you always know that you were born to bestow on the world your beautiful voice?
JT: LOL. I guess so. I mean I think that I always knew what I wanted to do. I enjoy singing and always have.
JTTM: I’m always so envious of people on stage. The courage, and yet, how for some, it doesn’t seem like courage, it seems like that’s where they’re meant to me. You’re like that. How’d you get like that? Inquiring minds who dream of performing are very interested (me):
JT: Oh my… I don’t know but I feel like it’s not me a lot of the time there on stage. After the show is done I am still amazed at what transpired in me and with the audience. It’s quite magical and I think that every one on the planet has a particular calling. It’s what heals them and others. I think that’s what a calling is meant to be.
JTTM: Do you have any favourite comedy movies that you watch on repeat?
JT: YES! I love The Three Amigos, and Club Paradise. We were all really lucky to have had Robin Williams in our lives.
JTTM: How has being a rockstar changed since you became a father?
JT: That’s easy. Not much. There’s still little girls running around my house screaming and partying. They just happen to be three.
JTTM: Groupies. Do they actually exist or are they made up just so that every little boy will dream of becoming a musician.
JT: If you have to ask? They are real.
JTTM: Be Good to Your Woman project. Can you tell us a little bit about it? How can we get involved?
JT: It started from being a dad and hearing a lot about violence all over our community. It hits home when it’s so close. It’s not right anywhere but I think you catch my drift. The song was also written for my partner.
JTTM: Living with a musician, I’m constantly being bombarded with diatribes about how Pop music is ruining everything. But being a dancer, I will always have place in my heart for Pop. Do you actually think we’re getting brainwashed into liking music we hate by the Pop industry? Do you now like Shake it Off by Taylor Swift?
JT: I know that song all too well. It’s on repeat at my house. My kid loves it so… I think pop is fine and I like it. I just think it’s interesting that some music get pushed really hard while other music doesn’t. But in the end it’s a business and that’s what it’s like in every business. It’s just hard to except in the arts.
JTTM: Who have you been able to work with over the years where you could barely contain you fandom?
JT: Lots of people.. Gordon Lightfoot, Blue Rodeo, Jay Bennett, and those are just people that are general known by the public. The list goes on. I love my musician friends. We’re awesome!
JTTM: What’s your favourite venue in Toronto to play (festivals included)? The Horseshoe Tavern has been a home away from home.
JTTM: Ok, I wouldn’t be a true Staggered Crossing fan if I didn’t ask, is a reunion in the cards soon?www.juliantaylorband.com
As you can see, JT is funny, charming and clearly a talent. And, as you can also see, I’m really really really good at being a fan. I think fandom should become a skill that one can include on their CV.