Tax The Heat
21/04/2017 | The Slade Rooms
THESE WICKED RIVERS
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Forming in Bristol, a chance meeting between old friends Alex Veale and Jack Taylor led them to start working together as a duo, before Antonio Angotti and JP Jacyshyn completed the line-up and Tax The Heat was formed. The friendship between Veale and Taylor dates back to their school days in a West Country village. "We loved the idea of those great blues-rock bands playing in small, sweaty clubs in the '60s," Veale says. "That was the blueprint for the songs we were writing. But we wanted to be a little more riffy and raucous."
Tax The Heat played their first gig in January 2013. Later that year, the band's self-recorded demos gained the interest of Chris Goss, leader of legendary rock band Masters Of Reality and producer of Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Cult. "Our management asked us for a shortlist of producers," Veale says, "and Chris was number one on the list. He produced 'Rated R' for Queens Of The Stone Age, and that album is a massive influence on us." After hearing Tax The Heat's demos, Goss agreed to produce an E.P. for the band. It was recorded in Bath following a UK tour with Masters Of Reality, and engineered by Tom Dalgety, who went on to produce the Mercury Prize nominated debut album by Royal Blood.
2014 saw the band taking their music to some of the biggest stages in the UK. The summer saw them on Download Festival, Calling Festival (with Aerosmith) and many other shows. The rest of the year they toured extensively with the likes of Thunder, Reef, Black Star Riders, The Graveltones, The Virginmarys & The Cadillac Three.
In 2015, the band signed to Nuclear Blast Entertainment via their A&R guru Monte Connor. April 2016 saw the band's debut Album "Fed To The Lions" released to rave reviews. UK Radio giant Planet Rock were strong, early supporters of the band, championing numerous Tax The Heat
singles and adding them to the station's 'A' list.
"A distinctly cool proposition with equal measures classic rock, rock riffs and plain old class" - 4/5 Kerrang! album review of "Fed To Lions"
On their powerful debut album 'Fed To The Lions' is a sound inspired by the great bands of the '60s - The Kinks, The Beatles, the Stones, the Yardbirds, The Who - but comparable to contemporary artists such as Jack White, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Black Keys.
As guitarist/vocalist Alex Veale says: "We love the energy of those '60s bands. Maximum R&B - that's the basis for Tax The Heat. But we're taking it somewhere else, bridging the gap between old and new, creating something that has that raw energy but is also original."
"It was all about capturing that live energy on the record," says Taylor. "We didn't want to go fully old-school with it - we used modern technology. But what you hear on the album is the four of us playing together, no overdubs. A lot of live takes."
"Rhythm-and-blues rock'n'roll is the root of it," Veale says. "But when you listen to the album, it's more than that. There's a lot of depth to these songs, a lot of melodic content. And yet, there's something from the old school that still remains. The way we play, it's like all those great old bands that we love. Tight but loose."
Fed To The Lions was produced and mixed by Evansson, who has previously worked with Siouxsie Sioux, Goldfrapp and Robert Plant on his 2005 album 'Mighty ReArranger'. "Evansson is the perfect guy for us," Veale says. "His approach to songs and sounds is kind of odd and quirky, and that really fits what we're going for." As drummer Jack Taylor explains: "We didn't want to make an album that was too retro. We wanted something that's our own."
With the release of Fed To The Lions, the band headed back out on the road playing headline tours of the UK plus guest slots with Europe (in mainland Europe), Ash and Terrorvision (UK). The band also appeared at several UK festivals including Truck Festival, Ramblin' Man Fair, Steelhouse Festival and also playing their first festival headline slot on the opening night of Planet Rockstock 2016.
The end of 2016 saw the band nominated in Best New Band category at the Classic Rock Awards. With 2017 in full swing, the band will continue to tour extensively as well as entering the studio to record the follow up to 'Fed To The Lions'.