Scene Point Blank: You had done a video for the single Song beneath a Song previously, have you got plans to do a shoot for the first single on this album?
Maria Taylor: Yeah. I'm doing one for A Good Start in Los Anglesâ?¦but I'm afraid to say too much about it because these things change. Hopefully it'll include some live footage because I really wanted the band that I'm touring with right now ( Author's note: The band includes Maria's sister Kate and brother Macey) in the video. To me, this album feels a lot more like a band, and I want it to sound like it does live.
Scene Point Blank: There seems to be a vast difference between your live acts from what you were doing with Azure Ray and even on previous tours, to what you're bringing to the stage now. Do you prefer rocking outâ?¦
Maria Taylor: Oh, we rock out!
Scene Point Blank: â?¦to the slower more mellow sets?
Maria Taylor: Definitely. I even find myself start talking when it's really mellow the whole time, even though I hate it when people do that. But if you're going to play bars where people are drinking, that happens. On this tour we play three or four quiet songs, but since it's only three or four, people can us that attention and be quiet. It hasn't even got anything to do with that, though, I just really like to rock out. I mean, it feels good. (laughs)
Scene Point Blank: You're easily one of the most honest song writers I listen to, but because of that most of your work comes off as intensely personal. Does that sort of exposure ever get to be too much, as so much of yourself is put into these tunes?
Maria Taylor: Yeah sometimes, but a lot of this record isn't about me. It's about friends, or it's about dreams, or my hypothesizing what things would like if I had made different decisions. It's not as directly about my life as some previous songs. It's weird; I read this one review which criticized the album for being too introspective and I was like wellâ?¦you didn't get it ( laughs). When I write a song, even if it's not in the lyrics, all the emotion I'm trying to exhibit leaves my body and my mind, so I can actually focus on something else. As long as I can identify with something in the song it becomes therapeutic.
Scene Point Blank: With such a long period of your life devoted to recording, from playing with Little Red Rocket to Azure Ray to now, how do you think your writing has evolved?
Maria Taylor: I feel like I'm only now really getting comfortable with myself. Before I would always try to make things a little more cryptic, and if I really felt strongly about something I would usually protect it instead of saying it. The only thing I think that's really changed is when I'm going back and listening to older songs the lyrics would be really negative or I'd be angry about something. Now I try to make sure there is some kind of positive element to everything I do, and even if it's sad, I want it to be somewhat uplifting. I try not to let anger play into my lyrics cause being angry or jealous are natural, but really ugly, characteristics of human nature. It wasn't until the first Azure Ray album that I thought about that stuff or really spent a lot of time with lyrics, writing and throwing them away, because I wanted to make sure I said something.
Scene Point Blank: This is always a hard question to answer, but I like to do it when someone's just put out an album. If you had to pick a favourite song or alternately a song to be representative of Lynn Teeter Flower, what would it be?
Maria Taylor: That is hard. I think I'd say A Good Start, but my favourite song is Clean Getawayâ?¦or maybe Lost Time. The slower songs are my favourites on the album, but I don't think they're representative as a whole, because it's more beat oriented â?¦is A Good Start the right answer?
Scene Point Blank: Maybe, my favourite is Small Part of Me. As a pet project I've been toying with for a little while now, I've been trying to find a concrete definition of what art is. At the risk of sounding too philosophical why do you create music and what does it do for you?
Maria Taylor: I've been making music since I was two or three. My Dad's a musicianâ?¦
Scene Point Blank: He's a jingle writer, right?
Maria Taylor: Mhmm. I've grown up with a recording studio in the house, and instruments everywhere. I'm one of those people that's annoying because I sing all the time, and I don't even know I'm doing it. It's not even something I have to consider in terms of why I'm making music. I really feel like I live and breath it.
As for what it does for me? I think I could only answer that if I knew what it was like if I didn't make music. I'd have to see what it was like being without it to know what it is for me, since it's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Photos: Jeff Gros