Surrounded by a carefree atmosphere, flying frisbees and the feint essence of beer on a college campus, I sat down with Tommy Putnam (bass guitar) of Moon Taxi to chat about the upcoming record, festivals and ‘mooning taxies’. Keep reading for the interview:
A Chat With Tommy Putnam of Moon Taxi:
M: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me! I really appreciate it.
TP: No problem!
M: You are in the process of finishing your new album, correct?
TP: We’re almost done.
M: Can you give us a hint on the release date?
TP: Um, we’re hoping for late summer. No promises.
M: I read that the ‘Mountains Beaches Cities’ album was an extension of ‘Caberet’s’ aesthetic as well as adding its own explorative and adventurous theme. Would you say that the new album is an extension of the previous album’s aesthetic as well as adding its own particular theme?
TP: That’s true. The songwriting just got a lot better as it did with ‘Mountains Beaches Cities’. Yeah, the songwriting got a lot better. A little bit more defined, a little more meaningful. Same thing that happened with ‘Mountains Beaches Cities’. It’s just a continuation of that, I think.
M: How was it like recording the new album? Were there a few different things from the recording process of the previous albums? New sounds and/or instruments?
TP: Mm, uh, yep. There are new sounds. We’re in a much nicer studio this time. It’s called ‘Blackbird’ and we just had access to a lot more instruments and pedals and you know, different tonal qualities. We could really make up anything we wanted to. It’s really cool.
M: What kind of elements inspired or influenced Moon Taxi during the writing process of this new album? Elements in your personal life or in the music world.
TP: Well, Wes got married in the process and he wrote a song called “Run Right Back” and it’s all about missing his wife. It’s really nice. Yeah, and Spencer wrote the other half of the lyrics and he just had a baby so he wrote the verses and Wes wrote the choruses and music and it’s all about missing your family. It’s really cool.
M: For touring, what cities are you excited to come back to? Any cities or countries that you would like to tour that you haven’t been to?
TP: I really want to go to Japan! Yeah! I’ve heard the music scene over there is really good. It’s just so foreign and I’ve never been. I’ve been to Europe, the band hasn’t been to Europe but I’d really want to go to Japan.
M: I attended one of your shows last year on your Animal Style Tour and I felt great. I felt carefree and alive and the energy moving through the crowd was incredible. From college days at Belmont University to hitting stages nationally, what is it like to have people belting out your lyrics?
TP: Wow, that’s awesome! What’s really fun is that we played a new song in Athens, Georgia recently and there’s NO WAY anybody knew the lyrics but they were trying to sing along anyways. It was really funny. There’s no better feeling in the world than seeing people sing your songs.
M: Where do you see Moon Taxi in the next few years?
TP: Just in bigger venues. Maybe some amphitheaters.
M: Do you have any particular venues in mind that you’d really like to play at?
TP: We opened at Red Rock in Denver before but I really want to headline there.
M: I have a few fan questions for you and Holly asked,”How was Moon Taxi discovered and signed?”
TP: Well, we have our own label. How were we discovered? No one really discovered. It was mainly the fans that did. We’ve been going out there and making fan after fan.
M: Samantha asked,”I noticed Moon Taxi is playing Bonnaroo this summer. What is the most memorable festival you’ve ever played?”
TP: We played Bonnaroo in 2012 and it was a big milestone for us. It was one of those times where we’ve been trying to play Bonnaroo for years and they’ve been saying “no”. Being patient, “just wait, just wait, just wait” and they finally let us play and gave us a really good slot. We were promised that there would be a lot of people there and the tent was completely packed and we played the best show we’ve ever played.
M: What festivals would you like to play in?
TP: Glastonbury and then Lollapalooza in South America!
M: Besides music, what do you like to do in your spare time?
TP: I see a lot of other bands. Visit friends, watch the NFL Draft all week.
M: Last question, Evan asked,”Where did the name ‘Moon Taxi’ come from?”
TP: Trevor ‘mooned a taxi’
If you have not heard of Moon Taxi, here is your chance. This Nashville-based Rock group is sure to make you roll down your windows and throw your hands in the air. Their latest album ‘Mountains Beaches Cities’ is available on iTunes HERE and be sure to keep a lookout for their NEW album releasing later on in the year.