Ahead of the release of their debut album Sweet Mortality next month, we had a chat with grunge-psych-pop quartet Annie Taylor. Named after the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, the band are fast making a name of their own with their energy filled tunes and performances; get to know them better here…
Introduce us to Annie Taylor, who’s involved in the band?
We are a four-piece band from Zurich, Switzerland. There is Tobi on the guitar, Michael on the bass, Jan on the drums and I (Gini) am singing and playing guitar.
How are things with you, is lockdown still easing in Zurich?
Currently, it seems like people are getting aware again, that we are still in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. I guess everyone is longing to get back to their usual nightlife habits, but at the moment it looks like there will be no big events taking place anytime soon. But who knows? Could all be different by tomorrow…
And musically how have you managed to keep things going this year?
It was like being on a rollercoaster! We had so many plans in the beginning of 2020 that we were looking forward to: US tour, shows in the UK and festivals in Switzerland. Having the whole US tour and basically all festivals cancelled was a real bummer. And on top of that we also had to reschedule the release of our first album, which was not an easy decision… But on the other hand we suddenly had so much time again to spend with loved ones, writing music or just hanging around. It was a pretty busy time for us in the past year, so this ‘just hanging around’ phase was actually also pretty cool.
Your album Sweet Mortality is due for release in September – tell us about it, what have been the highlights of making the LP?
This was the first time that we actually recorded in a proper studio, where the sole focus was the making of this album. In the beginning of the band it was hard to pay for a studio, so on the previous recordings we got lucky to work with sound-engineering students, that needed some projects to work on in order to improve their skill set. This time, it was completely different. We recorded with engineer and producer David Langhard the first single of the album (17 Days) and it just instantly clicked. Spending time with him and recording at Dala Studios was a blast and I can’t wait to return! The whole production of the album recordings, artwork, music video and so on was really exciting and we also had a lot of support from very talented friends who helped us out wherever they could.
You have a vinyl option for the album, why do you think vinyl’s so popular again?
In our digital world, we are able to listen to whatever we want at any time. But I think it rocks when you go to a concert and buy a vinyl so you can actually hold the music in your hands. I guess it’s also a reminder of the good old times – vinyl forever!
Which other artists have been on your lockdown playlist?
We actually made a lockdown playlist and it turned out as a wild mix of everything! There’s songs of our favourite artists like Wolf Alice, Bleached or Amyl and the Sniffers on it, but also we discovered a lot of unknown artists during the lockdown, which made it on the playlist (I am very happy about getting introduced to Jessica Lea Mayfield!). You can listen to the playlist here:
And what’s your local music scene like, where have you rehearsed and played since the band started and who’s helped you along the way?
There are a lot of really nice venues in Zurich which are hosting a lot of amazing artists. So we are actually very spoiled, when it comes to listening to live music. A lot of touring bands make a quick stop in Zurich, which is awesome! We were lucky to open for bands that we are looking up to, like Sugar Candy Mountain or Sunflower Bean.
Thanks to the lockdown we finally cleaned out our rehearsal space, where we are practicing A LOT. It’s a shelter without windows, in an industrial basement. It’s not the nicest place to hang out, but it’s comfy. Sometimes we also have friends over and every once in a while our label daddy Piet (Taxi Gauche Records) or our booking and MGMT team from Young and Aspiring are popping round with some refreshments, i.e. cold beers.
Any album, any film and any book – what do you choose?
Jan’s pick: The movie Hidden Figures – it’s a very powerful movie about kick ass women and black community power.
Michael’s pick: Motörhead –1916, favorite album ever.
Tobi’s pick: The Ozzy Book. Why? I think this is the only book he ever read, lol.
Gini’s pick: I am hooked on the crime podcasts by GEO Epoche – it’s about historical crimes from the past.
Lastly, what are your hopes and plans for Annie Taylor over the coming year?
Right now, all we are hoping for is that the venues are surviving the pandemic and we can go play shows again.
Interview by Siobhan
Band photo © Piet Alder
13th August 2020