Nashville is growing as the 3rd musical capitol of the United States behind LA and New York. Although the city is heavy on country music due to its location, it’s becoming a Mecca for all types of music with Bonnaroo down the road and Jack White setting up his 3rd Man Records in Nashville. Moon Taxi, made up of five Belmont University (in Nashville) graduates, is a product of that constantly evolving scene. I was able to chat with frontman Trevor Terndrup (vocals, guitar) about genre blurring, Quentin Tarantino, the New York subway system, and their upcoming show at the Bowery Ballroom. See the entire transcript here.
From first listen, you realize Moon Taxi has procured a unique sound. They “like the Americana movement, the Mumoford and the Avett [but] also like a lot of electronic music [...] along the MGMT, Phoenix lines” and mix the two to create a genre Trevor dubs as “Ameritronica.” He may just be mashing up the words, but their sound is more complex than a simply a dash of each genre.
On their sophomore LP Cabaret - released under the bands own 12th South Records – they explore the depths of where these two genres can take them. With guest spots from Matisyahu who “really dug the band [...] so he wrote a verse” for “Square Circle” and production from Hank Sullivan, a member of “MGMT’s touring band and one of the original members of The Wigs,” how could Moon Taxi go wrong?
Their previous studio endeavor, Melodica, is an impressive stop for Moon Taxi on the way to Cabaret. The hits aren’t quite as catchy, the music doesn’t fill the space in the same way, but it’s an obvious segway to where they were headed. In between their two studio albums, Moon Taxi released Live Ride - a “jump off with that momentum and word of mouth that had been going around from our live shows.” What you can hear on Live Ride that’s unique to the release isn’t just Electronic or Americana, but how much Moon Taxi loves the music they’re playing.
Starting with just “house parties and eventually playing small venues” to “taking the show on the road” to “playing the Mercury Lounge, Rockwood, Music Hall of Williamsburg” to now the Bowery Ballroom in New York, this Nashville band still has a lot of room to grow.