We get to know five-piece rock band, 21 Taras.
So, who are you?
We are 21 Taras. We are a five-piece rock band from Littleton, Colorado. Our new album Change will take you on a journey through some of our favorite periods of music from past to present. With influences from early 50s jazz to mid-60s and 70s rock, the album will keep you guessing from track to track. Covered in layers from head to toe, Change serves as an audiophile’s dream and is just the beginning of what is to come for 21 Taras.
Where are you from?
Four of the five members, James (lead guitar), Alec (drums), Jim (bass), and Austin (rhythm guitar), all grew up and shared classes together in Littleton, Colorado; where we all currently reside. I (Julian – vocals/keys) grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and bounced between there and Southeast Texas. After I graduated high school, I moved to Colorado. I met James online with a common goal of forming a band. He had already recorded a few demos of songs with the other guys that would later be re-recorded for our debut album Seize The Ocean. I joined them after a few rehearsals and we played our first show soon after.
How long have you been together?
Since the forming of 21 Taras, it has been about four years now. James and Alec have known each other longer than that and were playing in a different band together years prior. Once they began recruiting for a new band in early 2014, Jimmy soon joined who was followed by Austin. The time between Jimmy joining and the final piece in myself was only a time period of about six months or so I believe. So the band formed rather quickly once it became a focus.
How long have you been playing music?
We all began playing at an early age in different facets. Alec began playing when he was really young; like five or six. He would play with his dad’s band, and still continues that trend to this day. The rest of us started early as well, just learning songs by our favorite bands as a budding musician tends to do. I remember receiving my first guitar when I was about 10 years old I think. I would play that thing every day, it didn’t matter that it was a cheap hunk of junk. It evoked so many new feelings within me that I didn’t know I could be in control of. I imagine this was a similar thing that the rest of the guys experienced.
Why should people listen to your band?
Well, we try to give the listener something new every song. Something unexpected. But we also want to make them think. There can be times for a simple joyous feeling throughout the music, but we also want to give off a sense of general anxiety with some of the tracks. Whatever we can do to give a true sense of how we view the world and our current mindsets at any given time. We will keep you on your toes.
What is your ideal touring line-up?
It would actually be really cool to expand upon our live show in the form of additional members. It would be sweet to have some backup singers, as well as some room for a horn section. But that is just me, always looking for ways to crowd the stage with more gear and sounds. In terms of bands to tour with, I’m not really sure. We’d be open to anything really, as long as we all get along there would be plenty of fun to be had.
What does music mean to you?
I’m not a great speaker, but music as an outlet allows me to tell stories so dear to me that I would not be able to do otherwise. It evokes confidence and a sense of pride that would not otherwise be there. It is only rivalled by silence in terms of being a superior form of communication. Without it, we would probably be killing each other right now. How’s that for doom and gloom?
What was the first record you bought when you were younger?
Some of my first experience with music that I truly felt was mine and not my parents would be Metallica. I remember the first time I heard Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning; both killer albums. I think even with its lack of bass I still preferred …And Justice For All, however. It felt surreal, like something I had never felt before; just sitting down and doing nothing else than listening to that album.
What artists first inspired you to start playing music?
Going back from the last question, it would have to be Metallica. They somehow made me feel like I could do what they were doing. Even when I had no idea how to play music, I was determined to get to their level. I just knew that was what I wanted to do.
What’s the most aesthetically pleasing album cover that you have in your collection?
Austin just showed me a pretty cool album just the other night actually. It was a Beach House album called Depression Cherry. The outside cover to that vinyl is entirely made of red velvet. I’m sure something similar had been done before, but that was my first experience seeing something like that. Very creative stuff.
What kind of movie genre do you think your music would best be the soundtrack for?
I’m not sure. I think it would be a lot of fun to work the other way round and write some music for a movie. I’ve always wanted to score a film, or better yet make the music for a video game. A game like Cuphead was honestly all I could ask for in terms of a soundtrack. I would love to do some similar things in the future.
Recommend us a record, a book, and a movie…
Awaken, My Love by Childish Gambino is a nice album that I’m late to the party on. Very retro feel with a lot of 70s funkadelic and soul influences. For a book, check out Alan Watts’ The Book. A very insightful read on the taboo of knowing who you are. I haven’t seen a lot of films lately, but a lot of people have told me that Suspiria was a really good horror flick. I’ve heard that it gets very baffling.
Any last words for the readers of Highwire Magazine?
Stay tuned for some new music on the way as well; we’ll keep you up to date on our website at 21tarasband.com. Thanks for listening to the music!