Talia talks with Brian (Interview)
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
I recently had very entertaining conversation with the band Talia. The band talks about their beginning, a near downfall and end of the band and so much more. Be sure to check these guys out and give them a listen.
Inside The Setlist: How did you come up with the band name and does it have any significant meaning? Nick: I named the band after Talia Shire. I saw Rocky when I was ten and I thought it sounded nice. When I started the band we were 3 guys so I thought it’d be funny, people expecting a hot chick to come on stage and then 3 ugly dudes would show up!
Inside The Setlist: How long have you all known each other and how did you all meet? Nick: Alice has been in the band for 6 1/2 years now and Axel 1. Alice: Nick and I met in November 2012. It could never have happened because at that time, another girl was supposed to play bass in the band but in the end she changed her mind and gave my contact to Nick. I was lucky. We met Axel last summer after we had a fight with the former drummer and had a tour planned with Tantric, Wayland and Paralandra. Axel: I've known these assholes for about a year now!
Inside The Setlist: Can you tell us when and how the band formed? Axel: I can't. Nick can. The band formed approximatively when I was born, so Nick knows more than me about that. I think Nick has known dinosaurs since he's way older than Alice and I. Nick: I started the band in 2001 and had like 10 different drummers and 4 bass players since. In the beginning it was more partying and fun than hard work but we managed to play some cool shows in our hometown Paris.
Inside The Setlist: What genre do you feel you fall into? Nick: Alternative rock I’d say. Axel: Grunge.
Inside The Setlist: Who are some of your major musical influences and why? Nick: I started with Iron Maiden when I was about 10, then more classic rock and then a lot of “hair metal” like Guns n Roses, Skid Row, etc. Then Nirvana came out. I bought Nevermind, then Bleach, later on the Foo Fighters, Hole, etc. Axel: I listen to a lot of different music genres, but I'd say my main influences are rock/hard rock/and progressive metal.
Inside The Setlist: Do you have a record label? Axel: Yes, Pavement (Chicago)
Inside The Setlist: Are you brand loyal when it comes to your instruments? Nick: My all time favorite guitar is a made by James Trussart. He’s a french guy who’s been living and working in the states for about 15 years now I guess. It’s a Telecaster made of steel and it’s got a rusty look. It sounds amazing and plays amazing too! On the last tour I bought a Jazzmaster and fell in love with it. I play both guitars on stage, one is tuned in drop C and the other in E flat.
Inside The Setlist: What is your favorite venue to play? What venue do you hope to play? Alice: I'd say my favourite remains the Whisky A Go Go in LA because it's the very first venue we played in America and it was amazing. But I really like playing in clubs in suburbs or small towns. People are so friendly. I'd like to play The Tree's in Dallas. We were supposed to last year when we toured with Smile and Flaw but we couldn't make it. Nick: None in particular. I like playing in America more than in France though. Hoping to do more of that! Axel: So far for me I think it was the Music Factory in Battle Creek, MI. last June. We all had a shitty day and the gig was so great it made us forget we were pissed. I'd like to play the Whisky A Go Go some day.
Inside The Setlist: Who writes your songs? Axel: Nick, unfortunately! Nick: I heard Janis Joplin said she didn’t write songs, she made them up and I really like that. So I make up the songs.
Inside The Setlist: What are some topics your songs tend to be inspired from? Nick: In the beginning I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics. That’s one of the reasons why we don’t play a lot of stuff from the early records. Now I work more on the words. I usually try to describe things happening to me but not make it too obvious. It’s usually about things that piss me off! Or some misadventures I’ve had. I talk about the city a lot too for some reason.
Inside The Setlist: How has your music evolved over the years and where do you see it evolving in the future? Nick: Tough to say really. The songs changed a little when I started playing in drop C. I started singing less high notes. We try and have a sound that’s less sophisticated than on the 2 first records. Especially the second record that I think we overproduced. Some of the songs on the next record are gonna be more aggressive and/or heavier. That’s probably where we’re going.
Inside The Setlist: Do you feel music and major world topics are good mix or do you feel music should be the place for someone to get away from that all? Alice: As long as I like a song, I mean the music, I don't really mind the topic. But I usually don't like bands that are only about political or social commitment. We met bands like that in France and they are so full of themselves just because they wrote three chords with stupid lyrics about the president or minimum wages. It's like being committed gives them an excuse to write shitty music and look down on other musicians. Nick: Depends on how it’s done. If it’s just cliches it bores me but some people do it pretty well.
Inside The Setlist: Describe a typical rehearsal with the band? Alice: We arrive, lose 10 minutes chatting with the crew and lose 10 more minutes getting ready! Then the drummer realises he forgot something in the car and we lose more time. So then we play for an hour, go outside for a smoke, play another 40 minutes and congratulate ourselves on how good we are! After that we chat a little more with the crew and leave. Busy afternoon. Axel: I have a 5 hour drive to Paris, then an hour to their place and then 15 minutes to the studio. We generally play 45 minutes on a 2 hour time slot because Nick has to change his strings. Nick: As far as I’m concerned it’s yelling in the mike for 2 hours trying to hear myself, watching axel sweat his butt off and Alice trying to find a spot where she’s comfortable. Fun times!
Inside The Setlist: Who would be the band's joker and who would be the one reeling it all back in? Nick: We take turns!
Inside The Setlist: What has been the biggest challenge the band has faced and how did you overcome it? Nick: There’s a new one every now and then. Alice: Since we started what we call “The American adventure”, there's been a few. But the biggest one happened last year during the tour we did with Smile and Flaw. Our drummer left 4 shows before the end of the tour. We had a fight and he just flew back to France. We really thought it was the end of the band that night. But Nick and I talked this through and then we found Axel and here we are.
Inside The Setlist: What advice do you have for those just starting out? Axel: Never give up! Nick: Don’t listen to anyone!
Inside The Setlist: Who would you like to give special thanks to? Alice and Nick: Tim King from Pavement, Jim and Evan at M7Agency, the bands we toured with and each person who came to one of our shows. Steve Albini, Mark Haliday and the guys at our rehearsal studios. The list is too long! Family for supporting us, willingly or not. Axel: Everyone that supported me, especially food.
Inside The Setlist: What is next for Talia? Nick: A new record next year and hopefully more touring America.
Inside The Setlist: Any last words? Axel: Milkshake Nick: Axel, shut up!