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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Taylor Locke and The Roughs “Grain and Grape”

Take note of this name: Taylor Locke. Say it again: Taylor Locke. Locke is the next big name that should rise to prominence in the domain of melodic rock and power pop.

Some of you may already know the name through another band – Locke plays guitar and supplies vocals for the awesome power pop outfit Rooney (reviewed here). Locke’s solo effort with his own backing band called The Roughs (Chris Price on guitar & keyboards, Charlotte Froom on bass, and Mikey McCormack on drums), is not a quantum leap away from the Rooney sound and spirit. In other words, Taylor Locke and The Roughs deliver plenty guitar-driven melodies, often surrounded by harmonies that conjure up the ghost of the Beatles or Queen.

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Features

You may know him from Rooney, but now Taylor Locke reveals his alter ego that rocks out with The Roughs

You may know him as the guitarist and vocalist from power pop / rock band Rooney, but Taylor Locke has also just released “Grain and Grape”; a solo project featuring his own backing band, The Roughs.  The Rock and Roll Report recently had the opportunity to ask Taylor a few questions:

Q:  Most people have their hands full being in just one band, but you manage to succeed being in two! What is it like to live this “double-life” as a musician?

A: It’s quite fun and interesting to live this double-life, as you say.  My roles in each band are quite different from one another. Also, one group has lots of history and a loyal following, while the other is just beginning on a grass roots level. As far as making time, I just look at the calendar and fill in the holes.

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Artists and Bands

Crash Kings on fear of guitars, touring with Stone Temple Pilots and, most importantly, eating your vegetables!

Brothers Tony (vocals and keyboard) and Mike Beliveau (bass), along with drummer Jason Morris, are the trio behind Los Angeles’ Crash Kings. Although they’ve just released their self-titled debut, Crash Kings have already scored tours with the likes of Chris Cornell, Stone Temple Pilots, The Bravery, and Rooney and next on the bill is a tour with Australian rockers, Jet. Mike took some time out of their action-packed schedule to answer some of our questions.

Q: I’m loving the blend of big, classic rock sounds with modern rock sensibility on the new album – what sort of musical influences led you to create this sound?

A: We are pretty rooted in classic rock, as well as some jazz and grunge. The Beatles, Zeppelin, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Brad Meldau, Buddy Rich, Soundgarden, STP, Supergrass …

Q: Even more amazing to me is that there’s no guitar on this record. You’ve somehow made an arena rock record with just keyboards, bass, and drums – how did you do it?

A: The piano is a huge instrument with an enormous sound, if you play it a certain way.  The goal was to have the piano sound as big as two guitars, but with more clarity. Add in some bi-amped bass with fuzz and you can cover a wide frequency spectrum. Then sprinkle some massive hard-hitting drums in the mix and you get a lot of sound. Then it’s all about trying to write some good songs and rocking out on stage.