JULIAN TAYLOR ist seit über zwei Jahrzehnten eine feste Größe in der kanadischen Musiklandschaft, der immer wieder für Aufsehen gesorgt hat. Jetzt kam er zum ersten Mal nach Europa und auch drei Shows in Deutschland standen auf dem Spielplan. Nach seinen Auftritten am 15.02.2023 in Köln und am 16.02.2023 in Hamburg, steht er heute Abend in Berlin auf der Bühne. Zwischen Tourstress und Auftritten nahm sich der sympathische Singer/Songwriter die Zeit, und beantwortete mir auf dem Weg nach Deutschland ein paar Fragen.
SI: Julian – I am very pleased to be able to ask you a few questions. And I’ll start right away.
You have been working on your musical career for 25 years and have made a name for yourself in the Canadian music landscape. But your big international breakthrough came in 2020 with the solo album „The Ridge. “ After so many years, did you still expect this international breakthrough?
JULIAN: I can honestly say that I was surprised that The Ridge broke through around the world. I had originally thought that it would be the song ‘Just A Little Bit” from the album Desert Star that would be the big break through back in 2016 and when that didn’t happen I kind of stopped wishing and hoping that I’d have a break through and just focused on the music. Maybe that’s why it happened?
SI: You have published a lot of material and have been nominated for a number of awards. But it’s only since the last two albums that you’ve been showered with awards. Do you have an explanation of why you are so successful right now? What’s the difference in your opinion to the music you published before?
JULIAN: I think that it’s the international attention that’s really changed things. I do wish that I had promoted my music abroad sooner, but it’s not too late. With such a vast back catalog I think people will be able to discover so much of what I have done already. The music that I’ve produced in previous years isn’t really all that different, in my personal opinion. Most of my songs can be translated and performed acoustically, which is what I am doing on this tour. Perhaps listeners may say that my previous albums are more pop/rock but to me it’s all about the writing. Even my first album with my old band Staggered Crossing has elements of roots music in it.
SI: What has success done to you, and what has it changed for you personally? Can you not go out shopping without being recognized now?
JULIAN: I most certainly can go shopping on my own. I can do most things in public without being recognized. Thank god I am not that famous back home. I really do enjoy living an everyday kind of life. One thing that has changed is that more people attend some of my shows and sing along with the songs than before, so that’s nice.
Fotocredit: Midnight Mango
SI: After the success of “The Ridge”, was there more pressure for you to get another successful album out there, or did you just take it easy afterward?
JULIAN: Yes. Very much so. I felt that pressure for sure and also put that pressure on myself. I am glad that I did because it made me really dig down deep when I went into the studio to write and record ‘Beyond The Reservoir’ which is my most in depth and important record to date. I am so proud of it and think the more that people listen to it, they will see just how important a record it is. I am proud of all my albums, to be honest, and I am excited to keep writing and recording. I may take it easy on myself moving forward though, cause I think it’s really important to try and have fun making music and the more pressure we put on ourselves can take away from that.
SI: You are a spiritual person, and you deal with very serious topics in your songs. Do you feel the need to make your audience think?
JULIAN: Absolutely. It’s part of the job description, I think. My job is to write and sing about the human condition, and spirituality is a huge part of that. My dad’s father was a Pastor, and he was an excellent communicator, as was my mom’s dad. He was a Mohawk man who truly had a very kind and gentle way about him. They both did, so I think that I may come by it honestly.
SI: You’re coming to Europe for the first time, and you’re also playing three shows in Germany. Here you are still a kind of insider tip. What expectations do you have of the concerts you will play here?
JULIAN: Well, I really hope that folks come out to see the shows and enjoy the performances. All the shows in the UK were fantastic, and the crowds have come away from the shows and have really loved them, so that makes me happy. I hope for much of the same in Germany. It does feel a little like I’m starting all over again, which is daunting, but at the same time really quite exciting when you look at it that way. I hope to build a beautiful dedicated fan base in Germany and in the UK.
SI: What are your musical goals and plans? Are you working on new material?
JULIAN: I have been writing some new material and now this tour is giving me much more to write about, which is great. We are also working on a documentary and I will be releasing some new videos too. I am also going to go back into my catalog and re-record some old songs. I think it might be cool to expose Germany and the UK to some of my older albums as well, since I am relatively unknown here at this time. I think people would really enjoy them, to be honest. They are quite good, but I am a little bias. 🙂
SI: Do you have a special message for your fans in Germany?
JULIAN: Hmmm… Well, like the soul classic group Sam & Dave might say. “Hold, I’m Coming” – and I can’t wait.
SI: Thank you for the interview, have fun and above all good luck on tour!
Interview: Sandra Baumgartl