TASTE are an iconic Australian rock band who had their start in the 70’s, and on the cusp of their breaking into the bigtime they were forced to walk away. Now, 4 decades later, they are back with the big guitars, crashing drums and big harmonies.
They’ve just released a new album, the lead single is “I am God” and they’re out on tour. We got to find out a little about them.
Hi Ken, welcome to Beauty and Lace. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Can you tell us what brought about the reformation?
We have always kept in touch since we last toured with the “Rock is Dead” album in 2008 and I wrote a song I thought suited Taste so sent it to the boys. By the time they’d replied I’d written “I am God” and “Life on Earth” so we decided to record the album.
What did you all get up to in the decades between Taste?
Michael ran Bennetts Lane Jazz Club which became a world jazz icon (Prince, Harry Connick Jnr and Sting all did shows there). Joey became a guitar for hire working with Uncanny X Men, Russell Morris, Tina Arena and Moving Pictures and Ken became a successful corporate singer! Virgil Donati went to the US and became the world’s greatest polyrhythmic drummer. Our new drummer Damian is a Virgil protege and acclaimed in his own right.
The new album was recently released, can you tell us a little about Life on Earth?
Although we didn’t plan it to have a theme, lyrically it deals with the way we are slowly destroying the planet . There are the usual Taste traits: death, religion, sex and love.
Can you tell us about lead single I Am God?
I am God comes from a short story by Ken. It suggests that God isn’t quite the tolerant and benevolent figure that we imagine. The idea is that perhaps God is playing us like a Sims game.
“Let’s see how they deal with a tsunami this time…”
The film clip was directed by Clayton Jacobsen, how did you come to be working with him?
Clay was a fan of the band and we were a fan of his work. We wanted something that captured the epicness of the song and he got that from the word Go.
Songwriting inspirations and processes, how does it all come together for you? And who writes your songs?
Ken wrote 11 of the 13 songs on the album. Quite a few of the song ideas came from short stories he’d already written. Joey wrote Remedy, inspired by his lady love who’d helped him through a tough time and Michael wrote Sir Bob, which was inspired by the interview between Sir Bob and Emma Alberici on the ABC about the Occupy Movement.
How are you feeling about kicking off the tour after all these years?
The band live is a different monster. Some 5 minute songs can stretch out to 15 minutes live. It’s very theatrical musically.
How would you describe your sound?
Big guitars,big harmonies, crashing drums, rumbling bass topped off with great melodies!
What music are you loving listening to at the moment?
We all love the new Robot Child album.
The tour kicks off next week, what can audiences expect?
Noisy, sexy, loud, epic.
Thanks Ken and good luck with the tour it sounds like heaps of fun.
TASTE Life on Earth Tour Dates
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!