An Interview with Tyler Ritter of Moon Taxi

0 0
Read Time:7 Minute, 44 Second

Tyler Ritter of Moon Taxi & his Mapex Saturn V Drum Kit - YouTube

Moon Taxi is an American Indie Rock band from Tennesee that has been around for around thirteen years. Today, I’ve got the band’s drummer, Tyler Ritter, with us for a chat. We talk about the band’s genesis, his thoughts on the music industry, some of his favorite records, and the band’s new record, Silver Dream, which you can learn more about via the band’s website here. Dig in.

Andrew:
Tyler, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. This last year has been rough, right? How are you holding up during this seemingly ever raging dumpster fire?

Tyler:
The last year has definitely been different, that’s for sure. Dumpster fire aside, I’ve been holding up well, as have my bandmates. My wife and I welcomed our first daughter back in April, right as all of this started, so we’ve been heavily occupied being new parents amidst a pandemic.  

Andrew:
Tell us about your backstory. What was your musical gateway?

Tyler:
I grew up in the suburbs of Birmingham, AL, played in garage bands all through middle school and high school, and drummed my way up to Nashville, TN, in 2004. That’s where I met my other four bandmates, and the rest is history.

Andrew:
As a band, who are some of your earliest and most important influences? How did Moon Taxi develop its signature sound?

Tyler:
Our listening tastes are pretty all over the place, but our common ground comes from all of the classic rock groups our parents raised us on. Couple a mutual love for The Beatles and the Allmans with doses of Rage Against The Machine, Wu-Tang Clan, and Vampire Weekend…eureka! It’s Moon Taxi!   

Moon Taxi Silver Dream LP

Andrew:
Let’s jump right in and talk about your new record Silver Dream. What was the inspiration for the new album? What more can you tell us about the recording? Where can we get your new album, and what formats will it be on?

Tyler:
We’ve had this record cut and ready to release since before COVID hit, so we are extremely excited to have it available to the world finally. You can find Silver Dream on all of the streaming platforms, as well as for digital purchases on iTunes and Amazon. We have a beautiful vinyl edition that you can pick up from our website at ridethemoontaxi.com.  

Andrew:
My understanding is you will be performing songs from your new record at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville. Tell us about the new live-stream event.

Tyler:
We just wrapped that Livestream show this past January, and it went incredibly well.  It was damn good to play all together in the same room again.  The event was held to raise a good chunk of money for Live Nation’s “Crew Natiprovidingvides financial assistance to out-of-work touring and production crew members. We debuted a few songs from Silver Dream, such as “The Beginning” and “One Step Away.” 

Andrew:
You also just got done performing during the halftime show of the Tennessee Titans playoff game. What was that like?

Tyler:
That was an awesome experience. We’re all big Titans fans, so it was an absolute blast to be a part of that game.  

An Interview with Moon Taxi - CLTure

Andrew:
Let’s talk about the production side of things. Do you work with outside producers, or do you self-produce your work? What goes into the decision either way?

Tyler:
A bit of both. Our lead guitarist, Spencer Thomson, has been at the producer’s helm for quite a while and does a stellar job. On Silver Dream, we were fortunate enough to collaborate with a few incredible songwriters and producers, and the results were fantastic.  Working with outside folks initially put us out of our comfort zone, but it proved to be a good thing. Sometimes it helps to have outside perspectives.  

Andrew:
As an artist, how do you feel you’ve evolved since your debut record? What’s changed. Conversely, what’s the through-line within your work?

Tyler:
I think the most obvious thing is our songwriting ability.  It’s just plain better overall after 11ish years of doing this. I think the “through-line” keeps that distinct Moon Taxi sound with the soaring guitar melodies complementing Trev’s vocals and the head-bobbing grooves of the rhythm section.

Andrew:
What is the artistic vision for your music going forward? How has it changed since you started? How have you evolved?

Tyler:
The vision is to keep evolving. It’s only changed for the better, but we constantly seek to outdo ourselves with each new record.

Andrew:
Tell us about your songwriting process. Do your lyrics come from a personal place, or are you merely telling stories, so to speak?

Tyler:
Most of our older lyrics were written about traveling and the things that go with it.  That’s mostly what we did back in the day, constantly on tour, so that’s what we knew.  Now, the focus is on telling a story that connects with the listener, and the best way to do that is to be honest, and share personal experiences.

Bio | Moon Taxi

Andrew:
Touring is usually a huge part of a working band’s proverbial machine, but as we know, COVID has disallowed it. What do you miss most about touring?

Tyler:
The fans, the clubs, the energy on stage… all of it.

Andrew:
On the subject of touring, indie venues were in trouble before COVID, and they definitely are now. I’ve seen and heard about places shutting down for good all over. With companies like Ticketmaster strangling the market and bands unable to tour and generate revenue for these places, what do you think the post-COVID landscape is going to be like out there?

Tyler:
Honestly, I don’t think anyone has a clue. I do have this feeling that once everything opens back up, there will be this surge of live music fans rushing back to shows, but we’re going to have to sit tight and wait and see. The most important thing to do right now is to support your favorite indie venue by donating to NIVA or buying merchandise. Every little thing counts.

Andrew:
One disturbing fact I’ve learned over time is that streaming services don’t pay artists well, if at all. What are your thoughts on that issue? How do we as fans do our part to help?

Tyler:
If you want to help out your favorite band or artist right now, stream their music like mad and buy their merch directly from their website.  

TYLER RITTER - B@D GUY Remix 4 Drumz - YouTube

Andrew:
Can artists truly get ahead in a world dominated by capitalism and social media? How do we keep the playing field level so that everyone has a chance to succeed?

Tyler:
I think so, but it just takes a lot of hard work to stay relevant when there’s so much noise out there.  The playing field is more level than you think, it’s just a, very very, VERY large field, and you have to work your ass off to be heard and stay heard.  

Andrew:
Are you into records? Tapes? CDs? Digital? Where do you like to shop for music?

Tyler:
I’m into listening to good music, no matter what the medium. I have a room filled with vinyl, so when I’m at home, I put records on, but I also listen to a lot of new music on DSPs to research what’s happening.

Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you, and why?

Tyler:
Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic and revisiting some favs that I haven’t listened to in quite a while. Stuff like Frank Zappa’s One Size Fits All, BRMC’s Spectre At The Feast, The Flaming Lips’ At War With The Mystics…I’ve been in a psychedelic sort of headspace.  

Andrew:
Who are some of your favorite artists? Ones that mean the most to you.

Tyler:
I tend to say my three favorite groups are The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, and Tool. I tend always to wind up listening to one of these groups daily. I also really like Celine Dion.

Andrew:
Last question. What advice would you have for young artists just starting? How do they stay afloat in a world that seems to be so abhorrent to creatives?

Tyler:
I think what the world needs most right now is creatives, so do just that…be creative! Don’t get discouraged, and if it’s your dream to be a musician/artist/songwriter, work on perfecting your craft, and you’ll find a way to be successful.  

TYLER RITTER - MOON TAXI

Interested in learning more about the work of Moon Taxi? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Social profiles
%d bloggers like this: