Taproot began their tour with Hurt in Hartford’s Webster Theater last night in support of their latest release, ‘The Episodes’. Drummer Nick Fredell sat down with us before the show to discuss the new album and touring. Check out the interview below as well as shots from openers, Hurt, and Taproot’s awesome sets.
Where did the name Taproot come from?
I know it was Mike. The idea behind the name was to not have something that narrowed it in. They were huge fans of Metallica and Slayer and those types of metal bands and they really wanted to pick a name that didn’t pigeonhole us into the metal name, even pigeonhole us musically at all. Taproot is sort of everything.
So you wouldn’t put Taproot into any genre in particular?
It’s weird for us actually. A lot of really hardcore metal kids will say we’re not metal and we’re weak. I don’t wanna pick a band that’s not that hard (to compare us to) but we’re really right in the middle. That’s why our name fits too I guess.
Taproot released a new album, ‘The Episodes’ last month. How’s the tour for the record been going so far?
So far so good, it’s been hot. We’re just sweating it out.
‘The Episodes’ is a concept album; what’s it about?
It’s basically a story that revolves around three different characters and acts. At the end it basically winds together. I think it means something different to everybody, it’s definitely arguable what it means to each person.
Have you guys thought about turning it into a short movie?
Yeah, that was actually one of the ideas behind writing it. I don’t know if we will or not, but for the writing process we started out writing it like a script for a television show, essentially. We’ll see, it’d be cool.
You wrote the songs for the album years ago before you even released your previous album, ‘Plead the Fifth’. Was the recording process different going into the studio given that you’ve been sitting on those songs for years?
Yeah it was really different for all of us. When you think about something for 5 years and then you go in to track it you definitely know what the song is and where you wanna go with it so i think it helped us a lot, it let us really think about what we wanted to play.
What is it about producer Tim Patalan that brought you back to him for a third consecutive album?
Oh Timmy. You know it’s just great working there. The atmosphere at the loft where we record’s very homely. Its where we’re based so it definitely makes sense to go there, it’s in our comfort level.
How do you choose your singles? Do fans have a say or is it solely between the band and management?
Fans unfortunately don’t to say too much, I wish they did. honestly, but it’s usually between us and the record label.
How has it been switching between major and independent labels numerous times?
I can speak for Victory, theyve been really good to us. There are a lot of differences obviously but the main one is that we know the names and faces of all the people we’re working with, we have a good rapport with them. We actually work with our record label rather than having someone else make phone calls.
Tonight’s your first night with the guys in Hurt, I believe. What are your tour plans for the rest of the tour and the rest of 2012?
Yep its our first night with them. We’re gonna be on the road for the better part of the next six months, a lot to go into but we’ve definitely got some good shows planned.
Taproot have been around for 15 years now, what do you do to keep yourself sane on the road?
All of us in different ways, some times it involves a little bit of whiskey. Other times, like right now, I’m cutting a stencil to paint, I dunno, we always find something to do.
What kind of music are you guys listening to when you’re traveling?
Oh gosh. Right now we’re stuck in the van so we’re all listening to whatever our tour manager listens to while driving. We’ve been listening to metal of all sorts a lot of Emmure. It just depends on the day, a lot of Bon Jovi at night.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in a band?
I’d be landscaping. Just hanging out planting trees, speaking spanish.
You played at Rock on the Range a few years back to an insane, muddy, massive crowd. Do you prefer shows like that, or intimate shows like tonight’s at the Webster?
Every day’s sort of different and I actually like that as much as anything. You know. to play inside, like this place is cool. Outside is nice too. This years been really hot though. But whatever, make sure you’re drinking your water.
Any plans to release another single off of ‘The Episodes’?
We’ve talked about it. Whether we will or not I dunno. We’re still riding out this one cause it’s still pretty fresh. We’ll see how it goes.
Taproot’s ‘The Episodes’ and Hurt’s ‘The Crux’ are both available in stores and on ITunes.