I remember being in a car with a friend and hearing this entrancing music and both of us having the "Who is this? And why the hell don't I know it yet?" moment. We looked at the display screen and saw the name TAUK and instantly devoted ourselves as new fans.
It seems to be the common reaction. When I play it in any new group, someone's bound to ask the same questions. And the answer is, TAUK is a four-piece instrumental postrock, electronic, funk, jam band hailing from New York that is currently taking the jam scene by storm.
It's a well-oiled machine that packed Funky Biscuit last night. The foursome demonstrated an astounding set of skills. It manages to stay tight while taking its sound into insane directions. The audience pretty much hung on every note.
As good as its original songs were, and damn, were they ever, some covers the band did kind of knocked me on my ass, like Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" (from the movie Kill Bill and everything that parodies it). The band also did an amazing version of "Immigrant Song" that had the entire place nonstop movin' and groovin'. It was one of the best jams shows I've ever attended.
I spoke with bassist Charlie Dolan about the formation of the band, what they've learned, and some things he's looking forward to in TAUK's Florida run.
The band is playing the 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville tonight with the Fritz and Herd of Watts, Dunedin Brewery in Tampa on November 8, Davinci's Café in Deland on November 13, and finally two sets at the Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak which takes place November 13 to 16.
New Times: How did you guys form TAUK?
Charlie Dolan: This group we have right now has been together for three years in January. Matt Jalbert [guitar], A.C. Carter [keyboards], and I have been playing for about 14 years, since middle school.
That's really how we started out. It's only been in the past four years that we've been doing this instrumental thing, and it's really where we've found ourselves. It's been working out for us perfectly. It's what we've been shooting for, a sound that we want to commit to.
In the four years you guys have been a group, you've been pretty successful. You've been touring rigorously, released two albums -- Homunculus and Collisions -- and have been getting tons of play on Sirius XM. What's this whirlwind experience been like for you guys?
It's been great! It's been these past two years where we've seen most of this progress. We have been at it for quite a while, and we've had projects that didn't work. It's been a learning experience.
Now we feel like we've figured out how to run our business, our band, and ourselves. The opportunity to get on Sirius and to tour almost nationally is what we've been striving for. The progress being made makes us feel good and keeps us wanting to do it, to try harder.
What's it like recording these albums as opposed to playing live? Especially while working with producer Robert Carranza? How do you guy's approach recording an album?
It's a whole other thing in the studio, a completely different mindset. Live, you're really just trying to put on the best performance and get the right amount of energy, so if you flub a section, you can just move on and keep going.
In the studio, especially with Robert, he put all the music under a microscope, and there was a standard it had to meet on every level. With Homunculus, we stayed honed in on song writing and structure, but on Collisions, we tried to focus on bringing our live energy to a studio recording.
TAUK is going to be in Florida for almost a month run, playing in Miami, Boca, Jacksonville, and more. What are you guys most looking forward to?
I'm just excited to be playing in a new market. Also there have been a bunch of people reaching out to us, either by Facebook or email, telling us to come to Florida. Almost every post is: "Come to Florida!"
I really like getting in front of people who haven't seen us before, who are fans of ours; we want to give them a great show. I'm really excited about Bear Creek; that's shaping up to be the highlight of the whole run. There are so many great bands there, bands that our friends are in, artists we look up to. Hopefully we can get a few good sit-ins on our two sets. It's going to be fun.
Anything major coming up for you guys in the near future?
We've just announced a bunch of dates coming up with Umphrey's McGee; we've announced about six or seven shows, and there should be more coming. We have a handful of shows with Dopapod to end out the year. Also we'll be doing a show with the Disco Biscuits in New York.
TAUK with the Fritz and Herd of Watts, Friday, November 7, at 1904 Music Hall, Jacksonville. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Visit taukband.com.
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