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Q&A with New York City’s Black Taxi

Ezra Huleatt, lead singer of Black Taxi, describes their music as: “grit-pop, Brooklyn-sass-stomp, big-wave-dance-rock.  Basically, dash music.” For those who have no idea what dash music is (ahem, us) the band can best be described as a mix of rock, soul and lots of funk. Named as one of CMJ’s 50 Best Bets, the group is making a name for themselves. The eccentric New York City band  is set to play after CHVRCHES at Stubbs Indoors on Nov. 22. As they make their way to Austin, the band took a break from the tour to answer a few questions from Orange.

Q&A by Madison Hamilton

Black Taxi Bowery Ballroom 6.13 60

ORANGE: Did you always know you wanted to do music?

BLACK TAXI: I grew up on a commune where rock music was considered from the devil. Naturally, I gravitated towards it.

ORANGE: Who is your biggest musical influence?

BLACK TAXI: My biggest influences are chicken potpie, E.E Cummings and waves.  Musically [my influences] vary day to day, and today it is Talking Heads and Rafael Mendez day.

ORANGE: Tell me a little about how Black Taxi got started.

BLACK TAXI: Black Taxi’s roots began on a beach in Thailand, the day before an August full moon rave. Serendipity caused Kris and Ezra to meet over mushroom shakes and old-band reminiscing commenced. They agreed to start a project when they returned to NYC. The others joined via friendships, Craigslist and JDate.

ORANGE: What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on tour?

BLACK TAXI: Every tour has its crazy stories. This one happened a week ago. Our transporter, Tony Vanza, died in “Walking Dead” territory south of Atlanta at nightfall. We ended up in a nearby abandoned lunatic asylum while waiting for help. The results will be premiered in a video post-tour.  It was horrifying and epic.

ORANGE: You play in Austin a lot. What are your favorite things to do here when you aren’t performing?

BLACK TAXI: We like Austin because of the two-stepping at White Horse, the Greenbelt, the beautiful women and the rocking BBQ. We do all these things when we are not performing.  Blenders and Bowls is also enough of a reason to travel to Austin. In fact, we co-wrote a song with the lovely ladies that run that place.

ORANGE: If you could give any advice to someone just starting in the music business, what would it be?

BLACK TAXI: Shit takes time; nothing happens overnight. I don’t care how talented you are. So when/if you pick band mates, make sure that beyond their talent and dashing looks you are capable of drinking beer together, sharing crappy hotel beds together, enjoy (or at least deal with) each other’s ticks, imperfections, and farts … that is what it will take to get to the next level.  Writing good songs is the easy part. Catch Black Taxi with CHVRCHES at Stubb’s Indoors on Friday, Nov. 22. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or check their website to learn more.

ORANGE PICK: “Shoeshine” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im2nXD0Uxnk

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