REFORMED 70s ROCK LEGENDS ‘TASTE’ ANNOUNCE ‘I AM GOD’ SINGLE AND VIDEO
+ ALBUM ‘LIFE ON EARTH’ OUT MAY 27 + NATIONAL TOUR
“If Queen and Metallica had a bastard baby it would be called TASTE” BRIAN MANNIX
“Their combination of seventies style lofty ambition with warts and all attitude is still effective” ROLLING STONE
“Timeless rawk vibe that will never go out of style” THE MUSIC NETWORK
Tour details below.
Reformed ’70s rock legends TASTE have revealed their epic new single I Am God, alongside an apocalyptic film clip by acclaimed Australian director Clayton Jacobson (Kenny, Animal Kingdom). The group has also announced that their highly anticipated new album Life On Earth will be released on May 27. The band will embark on a national tour to support the release, kicking off at Brisbane’s Crowbar on July 1, moving through Adelaide’s Fowlers Live on July 9, Sydney’s Frankie’s Pizzeria on July 14 and finishing up with a show at Melbourne’s iconic Corner Hotel on July 16.
The exhilarating and thunderous I Am God demonstrates a maturity that only 40 years in the industry can provide. The explosive vocals, stark guitar harmonies and head-banging solos are all informed by the bands’ combined experience in the hard rock and jazz worlds. While composing the fiery tune, lead vocalist and keyboardist Ken Murdoch drew inspiration from an imagined dystopia, “I wrote the song based on a short story I’d written imagining life on Earth as The Sims game, played out by a not-so-benevolent God using events and disasters as ways of amusement. He plays…we pay.”
Legendary Australian director Clayton Jacobson reflects this theme in the film clip for I Am God. The band plays on defiantly as the shreds of society surrounding them continue to go up in flames. Murdoch says, “When we first met Clay the director, he asked what I would like for the video and I said ‘just the band and an army of stalking robots’. He’s so literal! I was joking! Once we’d seen the first draft we all screamed in unison ‘More Robots!’ and there they are!”
I Am God is the first single from Taste’s exciting new album Life On Earth. The epic suite was conceived over the course of a few months, as Murdoch recalls, “The songs poured out of me…I knew where it was going. It’s a big album.” Dramatic and well crafted – the best of 70s progressive rock readymade for a 2016 audience – Life On Earth boasts intricate string arrangements, complex percussive sections, and the walls of harmony that rendered Taste a household name. Reflecting on the themes touched upon throughout the record, Murdoch mentions “religion, life, death, terror, murder and zombie love.”
It’s a welcome offering from these lost legends of Australian rock, whose tragic story of mismanagement and parental control is not commonly known. Fresh-faced and prodigious, the group was set to sign to Sire Records and tour America with Queen in 1977 when it all went wrong, and the group disbanded. But what’s past is past, and the group is ecstatic to be playing together once more in light of their progressive new album.
The seasoned band are looking forward to hitting the road in July, with Murdoch enthusing, “It’s a pretty full-on show that shows off the chemistry of the band, who’ve played together nearly all their lives. It’s pretty musically complex, heavy, and evokes some mighty vocals and guitar solos.”
Hi Ken, I remember you from the 70’s vaguely as I was pretty young, but watched Countdown every Sunday night of course! So after all that time, what prompted you to get creative again?
I’d written a short story called “The Doppelganger effect” which I thought might make an interesting lyric for a song. I did a demo and thought it sounded like it might suit TASTE so I asked the boys if they agreed and before you knew it an album started to take shape. “The Doppelganger effect” didn’t make it to the album alas.
Ken, I am intrigued by the concept of ‘I am God’. I like the whole idea of He plays…. We pay it’s something that I have often thought about over the years with some awesome things happening to me but then also some tragedies and hardship.
While writing this song, were the ups and downs that you have faced in your life on your mind? Are you religious at all?
I AM GOD is from another short story that questions stock vague answers we are given to why He allows such tragedies to exist, “He works in mysterious ways”, “He has a reason for this”. I took the idea that perhaps he isn’t as benevolent as everyone thinks. Maybe he’s playing us like a Sims game.
Interesting Concept! The video is EPIC! What was it like shooting this clip? Did it take long? Any funny stories you can share? Or anything that went wrong that you can laugh about now?
The video shoot went on for two long days. Obviously mainly green screen. I can’t recall anything funny about it. Damien did his back on the day we shot so he soldiered on and I do remember having very sore legs from trying to keep balance on the carousel (for a very long time) but it was worth it to see the incredible final product.
What was it like working with Clayton Jacobson? He is a legend.
Clayton is a legend. I didn’t realize he directed “Kenny” although there was an outdoor toilet at the studio that should have given it away. He was very methodical and had his vision in his head, which was very much in line with ours. Wait till you see what he’s done with “Is It Just a Dream”, the video for our next single.
I will look forward to that! How does your writing process go? You said that it has flowed out of you, was there a moment that it started or was it gradual?
After the band heard “The Doppelganger effect” I sent them I AM GOD and then we realized there was an album there. The rest of the songs came very quickly. Especially once I’d written LIFE ON EARTH and we decided that should be the album title. The more songs I wrote, I noticed there was a theme emerging. The complicated, messy and destructive way we treat the planet and each other. So LIFE ON EARTH became the title song. Lyrically it asks “Why do we act like animals” (Which is a bit insulting to the animals now that I think of it).
Your album ‘Life On Earth’ has intricate string arrangements, complex percussive sections and perfect harmonies. Can you pick one song and describe how you wrote it and then added the musical touches to make that song so unique?
“Is it Just a Dream” was the song we decided to incorporate strings and brass on. Michael who has a long jazz background and played bowed double bass with the MSO wrote and arranged the charts. We added French horn and flutes later. It really was the benchmark for the rest of the album. Angus Davidson who mixed the album was not a fan of my love for timpani. But I always said this was a dictatorship, not a democracy!
I think the song I connect to the most is ‘A Room Full of Angels’. To be honest, it was a song I needed to hear today. However, that might change the more I listen to the album! Do you have one song that you are most proud of?
I love “A room full of Angels “ too. I was thinking of times when maybe we need someone to look after us and the idea of falling down drunk in sadness and pain and being rescued by a your own savior “In a room full of angels”. Biographically I love “Blood”. It’s about the love you have for people that aren’t your biological family. “Blood is NOT thicker at all” (My wife in my case).
Going back to your roots, and the bands demise, have you reflected on what could have been or has that chapter in your life been closed and all forgiven?
When we were still quite young I was at the meeting with Seymour Stein from Sire when he heard the Taste albums and decided to sign us. Unfortunately our parents had other plans. They had been approached by a wealthy wine merchant who had promised to pay us a wage, buy us new equipment, flu us everywhere and put us in the best hotels etc. Although some of that was true he knew nothing of the music business (He once referred to Cold Chisel as “Cold Cheezel”) and record labels sign managers as well as the bands. I did not agree with going with the new management and eventually he broke up the band by the way. In retrospect I think Taste would have had a good shot at breaking the US. We had the experience of playing to pub crowds 6 nights a week and learnt to handle them which the American bands didn’t. I think with the right producer we could have done something good.
What for you was the highlight of your early years? From what I read there is a lot to choose from?
It was all good. Imagine being 16 or 17 and being on TV every other week, your songs played on radio and lots of young girls eager to meet you. It was quite easy to keep us happy. We never worried about the monies and workings of the machinations of the band so were led blindly off into the abyss. But Highlights include playing to 13,000 people on the Yarra, touring with Skyhooks, Sweet TMG etc across the country and having deep and meaningfuls at Molly Meldrum’s while looking for the elusive Ziggy, who always seemed to be escaping. Drinking with Bon Scott, backstage at Countdown was a nice memory too.
Great memories. I loved Countdown!
Thanks for your time, I wish you all the best with your new album.
TASTE are Ken Murdoch (lead vocals, guitar), Joey Amenta (lead guitar, vocals), Damian Corniola (drums), Michael Tortoni (bass).
Life On Earth is out May 27. Tickets to the national LIFE ON EARTH tour are available now
TASTE NATIONAL ‘LIFE ON EARTH’ TOUR
FRI 1 JUL | CROWBAR | BRISBANE, QLD | http://www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545
SAT 9 JUL | FOWLERS LIVE | ADELAIDE, SA | http://www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 438 849
THU 14 JUL | FRANKIE’S PIZZERIA | SYDNEY, NSW | FREE ENTRY
SAT 16 JUL | THE CORNER | MELB, VIC | www.ticketscout.com.au | 1300 724 867
Remastered versions of the band’s classic 70s albums, Tickle Your Fancy and Knights of Love were released in late 2015