I think Cold Reading was the last Swiss band I featured here…
but I always knew, without much pause, another would come along. The growing Swiss music scene is something that is rather unexpected and fascinating. With that in mind; it was great discovering the guys of Annie Taylor. I ask them about that name and its incredible backstory; how the members got together through time and what Switzerland is like for music – since it is a small country and, traditionally, has not produced a lot of stars.
The band discusses the forthcoming single, Wasted Youth – it is not released until Monday – and the story behind it. I ask how it differs from their previous track, Partner in Crime, and whether there are more recordings in the future. They reveal their touring plans and whether we might see them in the U.K.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. We are feeling great!
Just returned from France - where we played some shows. It was our first time over there, and wow, is was a lot of fun: music, wine; the sea, my birthday party (Gini’s); new friends and a huge police control (not so much fun).
The dog was really cute, though…
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
We are a four-piece band from Zurich, Switzerland - who likes to play Girl-Grunge; Psychedelic-Rock (and some kind of Garage).
We released our first single, Partner in Crime, at the beginning of this year. Cyril is the guy who loves to play Psychedelic tunes on his twelve-string guitar; Michael is a good dancer while playing the bass; Adrian spanks his drums (harder than his girlfriend) and I sing and play guitar.
The reason we formed a band was friendship - which Adrian, Michael and I had before we met Cyril.
I believe the reason you have ‘Annie Taylor’ as your band-name is down to the woman who jumped Niagara Falls, in a barrel, in 1901. What was the reason behind that inspiration? Does her feat symbolise and signify a similar leap of bravery from the band?
Yeah, that’s right!
We were looking for a strong name which encourages ‘Girl Power‘. There are a lot of impressive women around! I really liked the stories and history behind Marie Curie, the female Pope; Sophie Scholl and so on - but their names didn’t sound like a band…
Also, there was this story from ‘Lawchair Larry‘ (Larry Walters) who flew with his lawn chair and a bunch of balloons through the L.A. sky. But, then we found the ridiculous biography of Annie Taylor; jumping in a barrel off the Niagara Falls. When we read that she sent her cat down first - in another barrel - is was clear we had to honour her!
Wasted Youth is the new single. What is the story behind that one?
Don’t you ever feel like you're wasting your time while working in a full-time job; paying rent for a flat; forgetting about things you love - cause you’re so caught up in stuff which is automatically encircling you?!
Well, during the past few years, I think all of us figured out, in their own personal way, that this is not how we want to spend our youth. So, by saying ‘wasted youth‘; I am not talking about partying all the time or getting fuc*ed-up: it’s more about finding what you love and live your life the way you want to live it - without anyone telling you if it’s right or wrong.
I guess, in Switzerland, it’s very common to live this way (you learn it) growing up - the whole thing about a full-time job and having a successful career. So, this is why, maybe, some people could see this way of spending time - or our generation-goals as a ‘waste of time‘…
How would you say the song differs to the previous release, Partner in Crime? To me, you sound more confident. Is that something you have noticed with your music?
Partner in Crime has a totally different subject: it’s about this (kind of) friendship you can’t find with everyone. You know, it’s about this person you can fully trust in whatever you are doing - and just feel real, honest and comfortable with. So, I guess that why it has a different vibe...
We wanted Wasted Youth to have a bit more ‘drive‘. Also, when we were rehearsing this song, it got more and more angry. I suppose we wrote it with a bit more piss off attitude - which made the reverbs and fuzz work together, as if to say, "Do what you love!“.
When Wasted Youth arrives, on 11th September; you share the stage with L.A. Witch. How excited are you guys about that?
You can’t imagine how great it is to play with one of your favorite bands, twice in a row - while (also) your new single is released! IT’S AWESOME!
L.A. Witch is one of our favorite bands and they stand for a lot of things we want to achieve with our music. It’s great we got the chance to play with them in our hometown too - I am sure this is gonna be a lot of fun!
There is an album approaching, too. What can you reveal about its songs and the sort of themes explored throughout?
We haven’t decided, yet, if there is gonna be the release of our first album or (only an) E.P. There is still room for new songs – we want to produce a diverse album without losing our style. I think none of the songs sound the same: this is probably because they were written in different time periods and moods.
Some of them are really dreamy and mellow and have this space-Psychedelic touch which definitely comes from Cyril. Others are more Grunge or Garage - which make you move your feet.
I believe you spent time in an air-raid shelter this year. Was that so you could close off distraction and retune your music? What is the reason for the band changing your sound and starting again?
This air-raid shelter is the perfect place to disconnect from the world and just dive into music.
We recorded parts of our album there and, after spending weeks in this dark-hole, we felt sometimes like zombies who survived an apocalypse. The air-shelter itself wasn’t really giving us something unknown to figure out...how we gonna write songs? I feel more like the mood I was in, while writing the skeleton of the song, pushed the ambience (of a track) in its direction…
Hailing from Switzerland; is there a big music scene where you are? How easy is it to get noticed in the country?
Actually; there are some really cool bands coming from this tiny place.
We are, also, really lucky with the bands passing through, while touring Europe. It’s not hard to get to know people, and make friends with, someone who works in a bar - which hosts bands from time to time. So we were very lucky and grateful that we could play at some cool places after we just formed.
Switzerland is a town! This is probably why it’s easier to get noticed than in other places - everybody knows everyone.
Can you tell me how you all got together in the first place? What was it about one another that led to the formation of Annie Taylor?
Well, I just told you: Switzerland is a town!
BUT, the funny thing is, Cyril and I met in Miami when were around twelve-years-old. His and my family were waiting for the flight back home to Zurich - where we got to know each other. Of course, being near-puberting teenagers; we had shared MySpace contacts and, later, Facebook. From time to time, one of us would 'like' the other‘s picture...but we never talked, wrote or met ever since…
It took me by surprise when he contacted me while I was diving in the Indian Ocean! As soon I was back in town, we met and started to play togethee. Adi kind of had no choice but join the band – 'cause he was (and still is) one of my closest friends, who shared the flat by that time. So, all we needed now was a bass player!
Michi is one of the funniest guys I know and I really wanted him to be in the band. The only problem was, he already was playing in a band (King Zebra) and he didn’t wanted to start again from the beginning. Luckily, after a few evenings in a bar, I could convince him to listen into one of the demo. songs.
Since then, he is full-on!
Are there any tour dates approaching? We can we come see you play?
There are some shows coming up in Switzerland before we start touring Europe in March. Right now, the bookings for the tour are in progress - so I can’t give you any 'save dates'…
Any plans for the band to come and do a few U.K. dates?
Playing in the U.K. is definitely something we are planing for 2018.
While touring Europe in March; we won’t be able to play some shows in the U.K. It seems like England is a great place to play - so we are very excited to get some more time over there.
IN THIS PHOTO: Voodoo Beach
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
When we were recording and shooting the material for our first single in Berlin; we went to a few shows in town.
There was this band Voodoo Beach playing - who all of us really liked.
If you each had to select the album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Gini: Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Cyril: The Doors - The Soft Parade
Michael: Motörhead - 1916
Adrian: Bill Evans - Explorations
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Be who you are: do what you do.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Las Robertas - Not Enough
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