"If New York's music scene were summed up in two words, they would be BLACK TAXI. Kind of dirty, a little poppy, and VERY danceable, these Brooklynites fashion some of the most undeniably contagious music around." - The Deli
"Being afraid of cliche, this dirty hipster hesitates to call BLACK TAXI New York's best kept secret, but, sh*t, they just might be." - Dirty F*cking Hipster
"If The Clash and The Talking Heads were to have an offspring, it would be BLACK TAXI." - Performer Magazine
NYC's BLACK TAXI
Readies Second Album For January 2012 Release
Announces A Handful of Live Dates
The music of BLACK TAXI is a sound that's complex and unique yet universally instantaneous and immediate. Recalling the disjointed melodicism of Modest Mouse, the emotional catharsis of Coldplay, the animated theatricality of Franz Ferdinand and the dynamic beat-driven rock of The Strokes, BLACK TAXI goes beyond the standard line-up of drum, bass, guitar and vocals. Augmenting their instrumentals with carnival drums, glockenspiel, trumpet, keyboards and synths, these four musos bypass musical overload and craft their songwriting on the important backbone of rhythm and melody. "I'm a believer in physical embodiment of rhythm and music," Bill continues. "We dance and jump, gyrate or concentrate in stillness, inhale and exhale, just like the audience." Their much-buzzed about live shows are the perfect balance of exactly that - a give and take with the audience where the band shares the exhilaration of their live performance with everyone watching. "People who see live music like to feel something and express it. Our setlists have ups and downs like a good movie. It's a whole experience."
Revolving around the vocal interplay of Ezra and his equally fascinating foil Bill and firmly anchored by Krisana Soponpong (bass) and Jason Holmes (drums, vocals), BLACK TAXI was born in 2007 in Brooklyn, NY. Pulling together their vastly different musical backgrounds - Ezra studied jazz, Bill hiphop/R&B, Krisana 80s synthpop, and Jason orchestral/theater, the band combined their minds and created a style that's uniquely their own. "Our sound is informed by the different musical backgrounds we hail from," explains Ezra. "The catalyst for most of the songs I write is based on personal experience, but the finalized songs are definitely influenced by a balance of our collective skillset versus new ideas/sounds we want to try on."
"This album especially has a lot more electronic elements, which are no doubt inspired by all the electro stuff that's been going on the last decade, like LCD Soundsystem, The Knife, Passion Pit," Bill explains. "But I still listen to Nirvana and Soundgarden." These rather polar influences can be best seen in their first single, "Tightrope", a twitchy and jangly pop gem that showcases the band's artful musicality, something that they don't take for granted. "Part biographical, part talltale, 'Tightrope' works well as a song because it juxtaposes opposites; a sweet bass line with a dark melody, jittery guitar with hard, straight ahead drums," adds Ezra. "I've always had feelings of love/hate toward 'stability' and a skewed idea of what 'home,' means. 'Tightrope' sums up those relationships."
"It's hard to say what we actually sound like. Some say they hear The Clash in our music, some say Radiohead, some say Talking Heads," Bill explains of their hard to pin-down sound. "Bands just want their music heard by lots of people. As long as each record is better than the last, I'm happy. If we stop progressing, I'll be wicked annoyed. The quantifiable "success" of an album, like if people enjoy it or we make a couple of bucks, is out of our control. You have to measure your accomplishments against your own artistic goals, not by accolades."
BLACK TAXI is Ezra Huleatt (vocals/keys/trumpet), Bill Mayo (guitar/vocals), Krisana Soponpong (bass), and Jason Holmes (drums/vocals). We Don't Know Any Better was produced by Aaron Nevezie (The Black Keys, Danger Mouse) and will be released on January 14, 2012.