If you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ll appreciate knowing that LIVE is coming to House Of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat on October 5th. Yes, the same LIVE whose hit “Lightening Crashes” chilled at the top of the top of the Billboard charts for ten weeks straight and whose most popular album, Throwing Copper, gained tremendous popularity and took the number one spot on the Billboard 200 52 weeks after its release date. And here’s the best part…LIVE’s upcoming performance at House Of Blues will be ONE NIGHT ONLY OF THROWING COPPER! Front to back!
This is a historical event, people. Chances are you may never have this opportunity again. If you are any kind of LIVE fan you HAVE to be here, no if and or buts about it. And we’re serious.
We’re also serious about the fact that guitarist Chad Taylor is an awesome dude. He knows how special the world of LIVE is and he works hard to keep it that way. We recently chatted with him about all this and more. Check out the interview, below.
TAC: The majority of you guys were brought together in a talent show back in your middle school days. When did you realize that this band was something that you were going to go all the way with?
Chad Taylor: The 10-year-old version of myself long before there was the band really did believe that I would be in a successful rock band. In fact, I wrote Gene Simmons in green crayon telling him that I was going to be in one of the world’s biggest rock bands and that he should just sign me now. I told him that I was in the chorus, I played trumpet and I was learning how to play guitar! But probably in the real part of it is that there was a guy named Hilly Kristal who was the owner of CBGB in New York City. Hilly is basically the guy that discovered LIVE in terms of a bigger city. We have some small town clubs that we played around here that were really important, but we were still in high school and we were starting to do really well in terms of playing in New York City and selling tickets. Hilly would have us back to play about every two weeks. CBGB is one of the more seminal rock and roll clubs in the world and we knew that once we were in there, we were good and of course LIVE playing at CBGB would lead to the guy that was the manager of The Ramones and The Talking Heads signing our band to a record deal and then Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads producing the band, so really the direct lineage to our success started from CBGB.
TAC: How long after did it take for that first moment where you knew you made it? What moment was that?
Chad Taylor: There are two ways that I can go with this. One is Mental Jewelry had LIVE on MTV and there was a tremendous amount of video play going on for the album. In light of that video play, one of my parents’ friends had asked, ‘when is Chad going to buy you a house?’ and my mom said ‘well, probably after he moves out of mine!’. So there was a perception of ‘made it’ that is the public acceptance of ‘made it’. Probably when I realized that my life had changed was when I bought a house with cash. I realized at that point, that was something that most people weren’t going to be able to do. Just knowing that I had that fortitude in my life, like I wouldn’t struggle to pay for my next meal anymore, that was when I really started to feel like I made it and I was probably in my early 20’s. We were extremely successful very young. And then as part C to this, I still don’t feel like I really made it! I’m still excited to make new music and to play in front of people and do things. I’ve never looked at myself in the mirror and said well now you’ve done it, patted myself on the back and laid it down. We’re still going at it.
TAC: How did the idea come about of doing Throwing Copper live onstage for one night at House Of Blues on 10/5?
Chad Taylor: Next year is the 20th anniversary of Throwing Copper. Some discussions started about picking a special moment to go out and play the record to celebrate it. We just completed a nine week tour of North America and during that tour we got into the discussion that we probably wouldn’t do any lengthy touring before the end of the year. As it turns out, the House Of Blues show is our last show for the year and all the guys said that would be the perfect show to play Throwing Copper. So the internal debate was, do we just show up and play Throwing Copper and not tell anyone, or do we let the cat out of the bag and tell people what it’s gonna be? We decided that with LIVE’s international fan base, we wanted to give everyone a chance to get tickets and give everyone a chance to be able to get there. There’s a social media post on our Facebook right now that says we have people flying as far away as New Zealand to come in and see the show. LIVE also has a very long lineage of coming down and playing the shore and in light of Hurricane Sandy and now the boardwalk fire in Seaside, I think that Atlantic City needs a little extra, special love, so we’re awfully excited to come down and deliver it.
TAC: You are from Pennsylvania, not too terribly far away from here. Does performing in Atlantic City always hold special memories for you?
Chad Taylor: We’re Pennsylvania guys. We would always go to the Jersey Shore. We were always there at the beaches. When we were still in high school, we would always try to get summer gigs down at the beach just so that we could go to the ocean and enjoy ourselves, so it’s a big part of what we’ve done. I’ll be checking out White House Subs. I have a whole list of favorite stuff to do in Atlantic City. I love to gamble and hang out in the casino and have fun. Rock and roll coupled with that environment is just magical. Everyone comes there to have a good time. It seems like the perfect place to celebrate Throwing Copper.
TAC: How does playing this music feel to you now opposed to back in the early ’90s?
Chad Taylor: The songs take on a life of their own. What I tell people is that when you go out and tour like we have, and play the same songs night after night; there are so many variables that make it new. If you played the song and executed it perfectly night after night, the audience is different, the room is different, the way people feel, the way the sun and the moon and the stars align on a given night are different. Some people have alcohol, some don’t, people react differently, so for me, it’s never gotten old to play the songs that put LIVE on the map. In fact, Billboard Magazine just announced LIVE as number 20 of the top 50 bands of the last 25 years. And our song “Lightening Crashes”, they listed at number 13 of the 100 greatest rock and roll songs for the last 20 years. I see that stuff and I’m honored to be recognized, but I’m probably more deeply moved by the fact that we still have the opportunity and the chance to go out and play these songs and our fans have stuck by us and we’ve stuck by them.
TAC: And how would you say that your role in the group has changed since then?
Chad Taylor: I was always some sort of leader, but a reluctant leader in the band. At this age, I see my leadership role more directly tied with legacy of the band and making sure that we have continued to evolve, but also not lose track of who we are. So there’s some curation in what I do. Whether it’s writing new songs or being involved with the band in a creative standpoint, after 28 years of history, I basically know what LIVE fans want. I make sure that the band delivers that and through a system of empowerment like I’m empowering Patrick, Chad and Chris and myself at some level too.
TAC: You guys were recently selected as the recipient of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts. Is your progression as an artist something that you’ve measured through the years or are aware of, or do you just do what feels right?
Chad Taylor: For the first time in my career, I have made more musical references to our past and our legacy than I do outside sources. For example when we were kids and we were working on a song, I would say ‘like the bridge in that U2 song’. Now there’s enough of a legacy and heritage for LIVE that my references are LIVE itself. That’s brand new for me and what I’ve recognized is that if I want to hear ACDC, I don’t want to hear the dance remixes. I want to hear “Back In Black”, I want to hear “Big Balls” and guitars in my face and that’s what fans expect from LIVE. I’ve stopped searching for the next big evolution of the band. Just like adulthood, I’ve come into being me and I feel that the band feels exactly the same way. We’re comfortable in that skin.
TAC: What about being a part of this band makes you the most proud?
Chad Taylor: Our friendship. Without question, I can answer that right away. It’s the friendship of each of the guys that I value much more than the music. I think that there is a strong sense of community amongst the fans also because we’ve done this together for so long. Every show in its own weird way is a reunion of sorts. We’ll be going into our fourth decade of making music, that’s four generations of people. When I was 17, our fan base was probably in their 20s and now that I’m 42, I look out and see that there are new, young kids finding out about LIVE and at the same time now there are doctors and lawyers in the audience and they’re bringing their kids. It’s a trip. We’ve really grown together. In the midst of Throwing Copper, I just thought that we would eventually burn out or self-destruct or something like that, so the fact that it’s lived on for such a long time even surprises me.
TAC: You guys will have a new album out early next year. How is this one shaping up to be so far?
Chad Taylor: The brand new material of the band is a fascinating evolution of long term musical experience and knowledge. It’s hard to describe in words because by nature, I want to describe everything with music, but it feels like a spiritual roller coaster. I get on it and I’m scared to ride it at first just like any good thrill ride and you ride the ride and the second it’ s done, my gut instinct is let’s hurry up and get back in line, I want to ride it again. I can say the moment that I don’t feel the music is dangerous and that it’s not taking risks, I won’t do it. I don’t want to create safety rock and roll. I want to create music that still can inspire me and inspire our fans. This is a different type of rock and roll than what I made when I was 18. It was still dangerous, but it’s a different type of danger now. It does change.
TAC: What else is in the works for you guys as a band?
Chad Taylor: We have two very seminal events coming up which is next year is the 20th anniversary of Throwing Copper and following that is the 30th anniversary of the band. So I think it’s new music with really celebrating the legacy and heritage of the band and then beyond that I always tell the fans to come out and see the shows now because there are no promises that we will keep on doing this forever and ever. As long as the spirit moves us and we’re doing it for the right reasons, we’ll do it. The years and years of touring on the road have worn us down so much, so I know there won’t be as many shows in our future as there were in our past. The Atlantic City show will be a special moment because I don’t know if we’ll ever perform Throwing Copper from front to back ever again. LIVE has actually never performed any album front to back, let alone Throwing Copper.
So if we haven’t made it clear enough already, moral of the story is that you NEED to be at House Of Blues at Showboat Atlantic City on 10/5. Get your tickets here OR CLICK HERE to enter to win a VIP Getaway Prize Pack that includes two tickets to the show, overnight accommodations at Showboat and a $100 food and beverage credit. A runner-up will also win a pair of free tix. This sweepstakes ends TOMORROW, September 20th, so get those entries in now and we’ll see you at House Of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat on October 5th at 9 p.m.! It’s going to be epic!