Chris Meyer

Hailing from Long Island, TAUK is at the center of our latest Up and Coming Band feature.  Since forming in middle school, band members Matt Jalbert (Guitar), Charlie Dolan (Bass), and Alric “A.C.” Carter (Keyboards/Organ) have remained together, despite each of them going off to different colleges.  Having finished their commitments, and playing the occasional shows during breaks, TAUK has been on a tear since putting their full efforts into the band since 2010.  With the key addition of monster drummer Isaac Teel earlier this year, the band is stronger than it has ever been, and ready to take things to the next level.

Delivering a unique blend of rock, jazz, and funk, TAUK writes unique compositions that they so skillfully take into the experimental and improvisational realm.  Since the release of their EP Pull Factors, the band has garnered the respect of many of their contemporaries in the music scene.  Having opened for acts like Robert Randolph & the Family Band, moe., O.A.R., 311, and Tea Leaf Green among others, and playing sets at festivals such as Gathering of the Vibes, Bonnaroo, Hangout Music Fest, Summer Camp, The Peach Festival, and Great South Bay Music Fest, TAUK is the band that we think is set to blow up in 2013.

With a new single that they just recorded with The Shady Horns (Lettuce, Soulive), and preparing to hit the studio to record a new full-length album, L4LM had the opportunity to sit down with the band recently after their set at Brooklyn Bowl while on tour with Perpetual Groove, and discuss a few topics of interest.  Check out our interview here:

L4LM: You guys are on tour with Perpetual Groove right now.  How has that been going for you?

Charlie:  This is our third show so far with them.  It’s been going great; they are an awesome bunch of guys.  We are very fortunate to be in this position, as they usually don’t have openers.  They made an exception for us, and it’s been pretty awesome.

L4LM: So what do you think of Brooklyn Bowl and the experience of playing here?  Are these your first shows here?

Isaac:  No, we played here before on Cinco de Mayo with Toubab Krewe and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad.  It’s just an awesome venue, a place where it sounds good.  They have a great sound system.  You can feed off the crowd’s energy, and they can feed off you.  And it’s personal; everyone is having a great time….and the beer is great!

Charlie : They have great fried chicken and honey too. (everyone laughs).

Isaac: (in an old southern black man’s voice) I love me some fried chicken!  You gonna eat yo’ cornbread? (band laughs hysterically).

L4LM:  It’s been a pretty breakout summer for you guys.  You have played at some major festivals like Bonnaroo, SummerCamp, Hangout Festival, and played in front of some huge crowds.  How has that experience been for all of you?

Isaac: It was great to just get our music out there, to people that haven’t heard our music before.  Just to spread that same kind of energy and love that we have in our rehearsal space, and send it out to the masses of music lovers.  People out in the middle of America haven’t exactly heard of this band from Long Island, so it’s good to be able to just get it out there and have people check us out.

L4LM: And did you feel like you got a good response out on the road?

AC: I say that we are relatively young, so we have to tour these circuits over and over.  But it’s exactly where we want to be in terms of playing to the demographic; we all love and support live music, so we want to play to people that enjoy that, like people at Bonnaroo and Hangout.  We want to be a part of it.

Charlie: It’s good to get in front of people that are actively getting into new music and discovering new bands, and want an experience.  You go to this festival and you think “Alright, I want a new experience”, and as a band you hope to provide that.  We think we give them something that they aren’t expecting, and they are surprised about.  As an opening band, people are like “Opening band?  When does the headliner go on?”

IsaacYeah, like “Opening band?  I’m gonna go get another beer” (laughs) 

Charlie (laughs) I’m going to hang out in the lot.

L4LM: So three of you (AC, Charlie, and Matt) started playing together when you were in middle school, right?

Matt:  It was during 7th grade; we actually played a talent show together.

L4LM: And throughout high school you played together, but then went off to separate colleges.  How did you guys make that work?  Did you play during breaks together?

AC:  After breaks, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s we would just get together and play.  It was cool because we were all doing different things at school, music-related, but you know Charlie would be doing Music Tech, I was doing Music History/Theory, and Matt was Performance.  So it was completely different aspects of music, and we would come back, meet up, and show each other the things that we were learning.  It was a good dynamic.

L4LM:  At what point did you guys just say this is it?  Let’s go full-throttle with this.

AC:  For me there has always been a special connection with this group.  There is a certain trust, and a certain comfort, musically, that I always kind of knew that this was something I wanted to pursue with these guys.  It just feels good, and we have Isaac on board now and he gels and blends right in.

Charlie:  Ever since we got out of high school, we knew this is what we wanted to do.  The band has gone through some changes, but it still has always been the same goal.  This is where it’s at right now, and we definitely feel like this is where we are supposed to be musically.  

L4LM:  And you just worked on a song with the Shady Horns section of Lettuce.  That must have been amazing!  How was that experience?


Matt: They got right in the studio and just KILLED it.

Charlie: We were trying to write horns parts for them, and figured they would probably come up with something on their own, but we should still come up with something on our own.  And then on the first take they just played something and we were like, “Okkkk….we don’t really need to work on that for them.”  (everyone busts out laughing)

Matt: Yeah, the last song we played tonight was the song we did with them.  We had some ideas for them, but they just came into the studio and were like “ba-da-dup-dup-dup-da-dup”.  They are so tight, you can just tell that they have been playing together forever, and it was great to bounce ideas around with them.  It was a great experience.

L4LM:  And what’s the name of the track?

Charlie:  It’s up for debate, in my mind, but we are going with “Carpentino’s Rebirth” right now.

Matt:  I like it, I’m sticking to it.

Isaac: I like it, that’s what I want.

Charlie:  I like “One is Everywhere”, we’ll see what happens.

Isaac:  Yeah, I do like that too.

L4LM:  As far as your sound, how would you describe your sound to a first time listener?

Charlie:  Instrumental/Rock/Fusion, we incorporate every kind of music that we can.

L4LM:  The first time I saw you at Great South Bay, I noticed some definite jazz influences, with complex changes in time signatures.  Is that accurate?

AC:  It’s definitely something that finds itself in our music, without a doubt.  I wouldn’t say it’s something that we set out for; it’s just how we create music.  We will start out something in 11, or 7, something a bit complicated, but it just happens like that.  It just finds itself in our compositions, depending on how we feel.

Charlie: It’s like if you are singing the melody, or anything like that, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is a melody that the listener can latch on to, that is the important part.

Isaac: I went to school for drumming, but I never played in a band that played in different time signatures like this.  It’s coming from a straight-ahead, back-beat kind of background.  It’s interesting to see how I can infiltrate the same back-beat feel, but play it in different times, and hopefully make it feel the same as a 4-4.

L4LM:  Who would you say are your major musical influences?

Matt:  I definitely grew up on Classic Rock, like Hendrix, Zeppelin, Zappa…

Isaac:  I am completely opposite, straight Gospel and Soul.

AC:  Definitely a lot of Reggae, Hip-Hop, and R&B, like D’Angelo.

Charlie:  When we first started we were playing a lot of Phish and Hendrix.

L4LM: With the new track and Pull Factors, are you guys planning on writing more new material and recording any time soon?

Matt:  Yeah, definitely.  We are trying to get into a studio. We have a bunch of new material that is coming together; trying to get into the studio in late-November and attempt to record a full-length album.  That’s where our heads are at right now.

Isaac: We are on track to make that happen.  Really looking forward to sometime in the studio.

Charlie: We are going to record it with the guy that recorded our last album, Robert Carranza, a very good friend of ours who has produced albums for Jack Johnson and Mars Volta.

L4LM – Is there anything else you guys would like to add for your fans and L4LM readers?

Isaac – Watch out for “THE BOX!!!!” (band laughs at the inside joke)

AC – Just thanks for taking the time to check us out and we love being out there and playing for everyone.  We love sitting on stage and playing and getting to play for everyone out there.  It’s a privilege.

Thanks to TAUK for sitting down with L4LM and taking the time to answer some questions.  This is a band that should be on everyone’s radar.  Not only is every member of this band super talented, but they are incredibly humble and motivated to go out there every night and bring their A-game to the stage.  TAUK is currently on tour in the Southeast, but keep an eye out for some more shows soon.

Check out TAUK and download Pull Factors for free here.

TAUK Tour Dates:

October 26th – Workplay Theater – Birmingham, AL

October 27th – George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR

October 31st – The Nick – Birmingham, AL

November 1st – Stickys Chicken Shack – Little Rock, AR

November 2nd – Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS

November 3rd – Valarium – Knoxville, TN

Check out a video of TAUK performing here:

Listen to “We Hope Your Exorcism Was Successful” here: