Maria Taylor Doesn't Even Care About This Interview...

ALLSTON, Mass.—The last time Maria Taylor came to the Boston area she brought a completely different band, she had a completely different record to promote and she played at a very different venue. While so much has changed since her visit last June, one thing has stayed the same the entire time: it is, and always has been all about the music.

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter played to a hefty crowd at the Great Scott in Allston last Tuesday night on a tour that will take her through New York City before she heads back home to Los Angeles. In a quick interview before her headlining performance, Taylor spoke about how this tour has been fun, how the economy has changed the music industry, and how, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than the music she makes.

“There’s just this different thing,” Taylor started off, with a smile on her face and a vodka and soda water in her hand. “Usually I have fun on tour but there’s a side of me that gets stressed out. There has been no
stress and no tension,” she said.
Much of the added relief this time around is due to the company she has with her on this tour. Whispertown2000, also from Los Angeles, are an indie-band with whom Taylor has a long history. The two bands share several band members, making for a very tightly knit group. Among them are Morgan Nagler, Whispertown2000 lead singer, who affirmed, “We are all in love with each other.”

Taylor brings different people on tour every time. She says that if she is going to play music as a solo musician she sees no reason to keep herself around the same people all the time. “For one, I have so many friends that don’t get to travel like I do. I want them to see what I get to see. And for me it just makes it more fun so I’m not around the same people,” she explains.

The mixing of members also does something for the music. “Every tour sounds different because people add their personalities [to the songs],” Taylor said. It also helps to keep things fresh to a young woman who has been playing some of the same songs since the release of her first solo album, “11:11,” in 2005. “When it came to ‘Song Beneath the Song,’ I was like, ‘we have to change it.’ So we changed the key and I told people to play whatever they want during the interlude,” she said.

Despite the need for a mix-up every now and then, the music still holds a personal connection with the Birmingham, Alabama native. “I have my babies,” she says, speaking of her favorite songs, “and I’m so emotionally attached to them.”

She wastes no time writing music, immediately tossing out ideas for songs that she doesn’t like. “There are some people who have 20 songs [on a record] and they don’t care for some of them. Pretty much every song I have I put on a record,” she said.

It’s this kind of love for her music that keeps Taylor writing music, going on tour, and playing the “game” she calls the music industry. In a tough economy, Taylor maintains that there is nothing else for her to do, despite that she expects to make less money on this tour than on past tours. “It’s weird,” she says. “’Cause you want to progress in your career, you know?”
Taylor’s manager insisted that she take a tour manager along with her on this tour. She says that she has so much fun on tour that she often forgets to get paid.

“This is absolutely what I would do for fun and that still amazes me. And sometimes I feel like I don’t take it as seriously as I need to ‘cause it’s my job and my career and I don’t have a family to fall back on. I need to grow up,” she confesses.

Not every day is a walk in the park, though. There is an aspect of her career that she has no taste for: the music industry. “My whole thing with this industry is that I love music and I want to be a part of it but the industry grosses me out. I have to play the game a little bit but I don’t want to,” she says. Little attention is paid to album sales, profits made, or ranks on billboard charts. “I don’t give a shit,” she says with a smirk on her face. “I don’t even care about this interview.”

Just before it’s time for Taylor to take her place on the stage, she pauses for a picture with two fans—a debacle in which Taylor insisted that the picture be taken several times. “I look so drunk!” she says. “We have to do it again.”

As the lights dim and the house music is cut any signs of inebriation are far from noticeable. The small room is filled with cheers and screams while camera flashes light up the air previously lit by only the neon beer signs that line the rustic brick walls. Drunk or not, Taylor affirms what she said in the interview: she is overcome by an honest look of pure contentment. The night ends with a Whispertown2000-Maria Taylor collaboration and a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” to Casey Wisenbaker, who played drums for the majority of the night.

There is a definitive atmosphere in the room that Taylor predicted before taking up her spot behind the microphone. “People come in and you feel the energy and then every song is like a different song every time.” Even without such an atmosphere, though, it’s clear that she would be set back only very little. “Even if no one was here, though, we would be having a great time,” she says. “That’s how you know it’s going to be a great tour: even if no one comes, we just have fun with each other.”