I am very excited about this chance to have sat down with Canadian musician Gerald Taylor of This Mad Desire. I recently got to talk to one of my favorite bass players and here’s what I learned.
Q: When did you get into music? What instruments do you play? Who are your biggest influences?
A: I guess it all started with a stack of KISS records when I was a kid. Someone gave them to the family and my brother and I soon became little rockers. My father was always hunting for bargains at yard sales and one day he brought home a copy of a 1950s Fender Precision bass, which had no strings and all the electronics were hanging out of it. It collected dust for a number of years.
In grade eight band, I started the flute, which continued into high school, then in grade nine, I got that old bass repaired, stringed, and joined my high school jazz band and was forced to learn the instrument very quickly. Throughout high school, I played bass in a number of other ensembles including a jazz quartet when I was seventeen. My biggest influence was Jaco Pastorius and I ripped the frets off of every bass I’ve since owned (and usually seriously botched it in the process).
Q: How many bands have you been in over the years and what style of music were they?
A: As I mentioned before, my first bands were primarily jazz but have also played in a country band, a number of rock bands, and a folk/rock/jazz thing in the late 90s. I guess I’m a versatile player but these days I really enjoy indie rock stuff.
Q: The band you are in now, what is it? Where do you see it heading?
A: This Mad Desire  is the name of my current project and it in itself has a neat history. The singer, Mac Attack, and I have known each other since high school and we played together in a band even back then. Over the years, we seem to have been pulled back together a number of times and I am very happy to be working with him today. We are an indie rock band and have an extensive catalog of songs that’ll make you dance and cry and everything in between. We are doing our damnedest to get ourselves in front of as many people as possible and have had a number of small successes recently. If I have anything to say about it, it’ll be my career and last musical project. I really believe in the music we’re making.
Q: The cities you lived in, you are originally from Thunder Bay, how did moving improve or hinder things for your first band? How did living in Europe color your music? Would you ever return there?
A: Yeah, I’ve moved around quite a lot over the years. The folk/rock band I was in was the vehicle to get me out of Thunder Bay and into a larger market. We moved to Guelph and after I left that band, I moved to Toronto. There are just so many more opportunities here and more clubs to play. I moved to Europe as a career break that was originally only supposed to last a year. I guess I had too much fun over there and ended up staying for six years. During that time, I didn’t play as much but instead got more into different indie bands from around the world. I would love to return there to visit or play shows but don’t plan on relocating any time soon.
Q: You have released CDs with different bands you have worked with, how was each experience differ?
A: Well, the folk/rock band recorded a six-song EP and we were heavily funded by a family member and recorded in some of the best studios in the GTA. That was a great experience and I learned so much from it. The Karma Repair and Deathstyle recordings (precursors to This Mad Desire) were done with a much smaller budget and since we couldn’t afford a producer we were much more hands-on with the recording and mixing process. Again, lots learned. I have to say I’m really looking forward to the next trip into the studio. I really want to meet and work with more people in the industry.
Q: Your personal Web site is a detour from that side of you. What made you choose to call it that?
A: Um, well. I love coffee and was trying to register coffee.com or coffeepot.com and Network Solutions suggested mycoffeepot and I went with .org for the hell of it. Yeah. Not that interesting but that’s how it worked out. I tried to make it a blog while I was overseas but usually ignored it. Since I set it up with Wordpress and picture blogging from my phone, the content has been much more regularly updated.
Q: Any hobbies outside of music?
A: I collect fountain pens and I like New York Times crosswords. I’m a true geek at heart. I also enjoy tinkering with my home network and *NIX.
Q: Favorite places to hang out?
A: At home. Nobody makes better coffee than I do.
Q: I remember seeing you play live back in the early 1990s. How would you compare the venues you have played in since then?
A: Oh wow. Hard question. I’ve played everything from bars with three people in the audience and packed soft-seat auditoriums and everything in-between. No stadiums yet though—that’s next.
Q: What are your other goals outside of music?
A: I want to learn how to cook. Honestly, I suck. God help you if you ever have to eat anything I’ve prepared.
Q: What career would you have settled on if you were not a musician?
A: Probably a Barista or teacher. I love working with people.
Q: Which of your heroes have you had the chance to meet over the years?
A: I met Michael Moriarty and it was a big deal because I’m a huge Law & Order fan. That’s about it I guess.
Q: Do you have a new CD due for release any time soon?
A: Have been in the studios a bit recently but nothing is planned for certain. Best thing is to check out This Mad Desire homepage and from there you can get to our Facebook page. We’ll update you when something is coming.