Written by Amy Hackett.
Craving some acoustic, lyrics-driven melodies? Or maybe some rollicking, gritty rock-and-roll? Then look no further than my most recent interviewee and talented musician, Taylor Skelton. He’s got the acoustic covered on his own, and the rock and roll with his band WhiskyJack. And lucky for you, he’s working on a full length album that is due out later this year. So read on to learn more about Taylor, and why you should be in the line-up when his album is finally released!
How did you get into music? Is it something you’ve always done, or was it something you started more recently?
When I was 5 years old my dad turned over his massive cassette collection to my sisters and I (he unfortunately and ignorantly traded in his vinyl for CDs, something that he would regret years later). The La Bamba original soundtrack, Eric Clapton’s No Reason to Cry and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA made such an impression; I would sit in my room for hours flipping over the tapes. Particularly Born in the USA, which is in my car’s CD player right now.
I didn’t understand all the subtleties, the desperate lyrics, the sheer scope of despair and disgust that Bruce was singing about. I didn’t know the story of the loner “Dancing in the Dark.” I didn’t understand any of that that. All I knew was that I liked what I heard. The voice, the delivery, the energy, it all made sense to me. My love for rock-and-roll was really birthed when I inherited those 3 tapes. I started learning to play piano at age 6 and I moved to guitar at age 12.
Can you give me a brief history of Whiskyjack?
I applied to Tom Lee Music for the sole purpose of finding musicians to recruit for a band. Jesse Mackle was the assistant manager and I approached him on my first day on the job. He said no. A couple weeks later though, he invited me out for a jam with about 6 or 7 musicians, and this is where I met AJ. Jesse and him had known each other for years and had played in the local band Tongue. The essence of WhiskyJack really started at that jam.
After about 4 years of gigging and writing Jesse left the band for personal reasons, and soon after Zedd came in and has been our man on bass ever since. His playing is very different. More raw power and drive replaced Jesse’s finesse, and the band took on a new direction with our songs. The shows came more rapidly, and the venues went from shitty little pubs in Surrey to the Roxy and the Red Room down town. The band sounds stronger now than at any point in the past.