We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
It’s very hard to tell whether you should keep going or to pack it in and give up, especially making art in the music industry or outside of it. The industry is usually a cold and unforgiving beast and without money it is very difficult and as a result I have asked myself this question many times. I usually ask myself this whenever a release falls flat or whenever I have some high profile article on the music blog I write and it gets little attention. Ultimately I always come to the same conclusion. That it’s good content, someone somewhere might see it someday and that I should just keep doing it for myself. Just keep plugging along releasing albums and album reviews and do my best to promote others when it’s warranted. So in conclusion I say just keep plugging along for yourself and if someone else likes what you do and takes notice and wants to vault you to a higher status than it’s in the cards and go from there.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First and foremost I am a musician. I create sample based Plunderphonics music. I operate within the experimental world but unlike the stuffiness of that world I try and make my experimental music fun/funny and I’m not afraid to rile up the art gallery crowd. I hope to be the antithesis of what people normally see experimental music as. I look up to sonic weirdos like Ween, Black Dice, The Residents and all other bands that blended humor with insanity to create a new voice. I try to sample things that most people don’t sample. I’m not looking for breakbeats or anything like that, I’m always on the lookout to find a great sample from not so obvious sources. My last project took a lot of inspiration and samples from 50s and 60s Exotica music. The laid back tropical nature of the music was very inspiring to me and my last release(Succulent EP) definitely had some tropical summer undertones to it. I wanted the listener to relax and maybe pour themselves a tropical drink at their house and let all the insanity of the world melt away for a little bit. In terms of where I am professionally. Well unfortunately doe to the current popular musical landscape there isn’t much room for experimental musicians so, professionally I have a day job. I do my best with the music and put it out there and promote it as much as I can but the industry is a relentless beast that doesn’t take kindly to handing out deals and such. It’s hard to really make it without dropping a lot of cash on a PR firm and letting them do the work for you. Hopefully that landscape will change and hopefully with the advantage of cheaper music equipment and sites like bandcamp the artists won’t be at the mercy of record labels to release their projects or to help them get noticed. Until that day happens I will be working a 9-5 and plugging away at music making and music writing whenever time permits. I want the world to know there is a lot to discover out there and there is nothing wrong with sharing and promoting your friends if they make art, hell the people you know SHOULD be doing that all the time. I know I like it and I do the same for a lot of people I know. So spread the people you know around!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First stop would be my house for drinks and some record listening. Next stop would be Bar Franca In DTLA, a wonderful little bar right next to the Regent with art deco design and private little tables to get lost at. After that might have to be The Wolves. They have some of the fanciest and most interesting drinks in Los Angeles and the setting is beautiful. Pineapple Hill in Sherman Oaks is excellent so long as you aren’t going on a night when the Vikings are playing, Pacific Seas, the secret room Tiki bar in the Clifton’s building and finally Angry Horse brewing in Montebello for beers. In terms of food I would definitely take them to the following: Petrillo’s in San Gabriel for Pizza, Don Cuco’s in Toluca Lake for a great sit down Mexican food environment, Pepe’s in Rosemead for takeout Mexican food, Brew Kitchen in Monterey Park is an excellent place for food and drinks and if you want to get real weird walk down the street later on in the night to check out The Venice Room for their excellent Karaoke setup and just sit back and people watch with some cheap stiff drinks. In terms of places to check out, well right now due to Covid me and my wife have been doing a lot of in city road trips to see sights. I have made a few Ghost/true crime tours of this nature and they are a lot of fun. I’ve made one for the San Gabriel Valley area and the San Fernando Valley. In terms of places to go, my favorites are always record stores. Here are some of the best: Freakbeat Records, CD Trader, Rockaway and Record Jungle. With those four you can pretty much cover all your bases across all genres and be set for a while.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to two musical acts and close friends that inspire me to create in spite of opposition. They would be OCD out of Vallejo, CA. He also happens to be my brother. He makes challenging and uncompromising experimental electronic music and is always pushing the boundaries of sound. The other inspiration is the band Quarter Rats out of New Orleans. They are also close friends who are playing blisteringly loud yet also catchy noise rock in a city that doesn’t have a lot of representation of that genre. Both these artists help inspire the courage and inspiration to create something against the norm and they fuel my creativity on a daily basis by simply knowing they exist.
Other: the website for my music review site: http://magicalmusicalwonder.blogspot.com/