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Blog interview: Julian Taylor

Hello, Julian, how are you?

Doing very well, thank you. I was travelling a lot this year, but it’s nice to be home now.

Congratulations on the release of “Anthology Vol. 1.” How does it feel?

Thank you. It feels a little strange. Never thought I’d get this far so soon, at least that’s how it feels. I know two decades isn’t so soon, but, boy, does time fly.

It’s a retrospective body of work. What have you learned putting it together?

I’ve actually gone back and learned how to play some old songs that I hadn’t played for a while. It felt refreshing, and it kind of takes you back in time. It’s almost like being in a time machine. I’m grateful that so much of what I have created has been recorded, so I can go back and take stock of who I was and when.

What’s been a standout memory of recording it?

To be honest, I would say it’s when I dusted off the three new tracks, which actually happen to be tracks I wrote a long time ago, and got to finally and officially record them

What was your favourite track?

Carry Me Home. It’s a song I wrote for my grandfather when he passed and transcended to the stars.

You added three new tracks to the project. Has your method of writing changed between the old songs and the new ones?

It hasn’t really changed all too much. I would say that the biggest difference is lived experience. Back then, I hadn’t really lived as much as I have now. When I’m writing now, things I speak about are just more personal as a result of that.

You’re an artist from Canada. How did it all begin for you?

It began heading to open stages and getting up to perform. I would frequent the Yonge and Eglinton area in Toronto and head to places like Broadway Bob’s, Kokomos, The Rose & Crown, Cheers, and Scruffy Murphy’s. Every one of those places was in walking distance and had an open jam on Sundays.

What did you listen to growing up?

I’m still growing up and listening to as much music as I possibly can. I love it all, and every artist who’s brave enough to create and release stuff into the world inspires me.

You’re touring. Tell us a funny story from the road.

There’s so many, and I honestly don’t have the greatest recollection, but just this January I did end up touring Europe on the train system with one of my friends. It was impossibly difficult to do, but we did it. We took 17 trains to get to six shows in four different countries. It was a lot of running up and down platforms and streets to get to these shows. When we got to the hotel in Berlin, we where just beat up and needed rest, but there was no lift at the hotel, and we climbed eight floors of stairs to get to our rooms only to have to turn around and head to soundcheck. Sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying, you know?

You’ve also got your own radio show. How did that come to be?

By accident, really. I was head hunted and became the afternoon drive host of a radio station called ELMNT FM in Toronto. I did that for awhile and then started up my own show called Julian Taylor’s Jukebox,” where I play music that I love to listen to. I also make sure to play a ton of music by artists like myself who are BIPOC and indie. There’s not enough colour on the radio here in Canada, and I have been trying to change that for years.  

Post covid, what have you learned about yourself in the last three years?

That I love people but that I also love my own time and space as well.

Did you pick up any new skills?

I chopped a lot of wood. Is that considered a new skill?

What are you listening to at the moment?

I am actually talking piano lessons again. My daughter started, and I decided that we should take lessons together so that I could help support her and vice versa. It’s been awhile since I actually read music. Most of the time, because I play guitar, it’s been notation. I am also slowly learning some Mohawk. It was my grandfather’s wish for my sister and me.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been working on another record of brandnew, original material. I was in Nashville not too long ago and Six Nations as well, tracking new songs, which I hope will get released in the spring of 2024.

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