Monday, July 11, 2016

Taddy Porter make the Machine Shop their second home

Taddy Porter at the Machine Shop 10-16-10

10-19-10 Originally published on Examiner.com by Tracy Heck



It's always fun getting the chance to shadow a band but it was particularly exciting to get a chance to shadow Oklahoma rock band Taddy Porter on their latest visit to Flint's Machine Shop on Saturday.

Taddy Porter began to gain attention after being discovered by Overtone Music Group in 2009 and their subsequent two years as a opening act for Saving Abel.

The band consists of lead vocalist Andy Brewer, lead guitarist Joe Selby, drummer Doug Jones and bassist Kevin Jones.

The band met while they were in college when Andy randomly met Doug and then Andy introduced him to his guitar instructor Joe. The band rounded out with the addition of Doug's brother Kevin.

Earlier this year, Taddy Porter released their self-titled debut album and watched as the lead single “Shake Me” debuted as the #3 Most Added track at Active Rock radio.

After the release, the band had the honor of touring with famous guitarist Slash who was touring in support of his self-titled debut solo album.

After getting a short break back home after the Slash tour, Taddy Porter is back out on a tour with Finger Eleven who are promoting their latest album Life Turns Electric.

Saturday the Machine Shop was the site of the tour's opening date.

Taddy Porter has become such a regular act at the venue that they were even introduced on stage as the "house band".

The band actually began their trip to Michigan with a headlining stop at the Intersection in Grand Rapids on Thursday.

Saturday, after making their way to the venue, the band headed out to get gas leaving Kevin behind to greet my friend and I when we got there as Finger Eleven performed their sound check.

The band then made a quick trip across the street to Flint's Dort Mall, which is known for it's lack of business but entertaining decor filled with old memorabilia.

The band made the trip after a sick Andy decided to go in search of a pair of sunglasses.

The band then snuck out with a local photographer friend to find some key spots in Flint to take some pictures.

Due to the trip, they ended up missing their own sound check time so opener Tripp N' Dixie filled the spot until they returned.

They then ran through a quick sound check of their own before sitting down for a interview as Joe serenaded us on his guitar:

Q: So when I last spoke to you back in August you were just getting ready to head out on the Slash tour. How did that end up going?

Joe: It was awesome! Awesome!

Q: Did you get to hang out with Slash at all?

Doug: Yeah we did. We got to say hi and hung out a little bit. Myles [Kennedy, Slash's touring vocalist] was around a lot and he was really cool. Slash was pretty reserved.

Andy: He was pretty busy though. It was cool.

Kevin: It was amazing! He was super nice. So was Myles.

Q: How is this tour with Finger Eleven going?

Andy- This is actually our first night. We haven't even met them yet.

Doug- We're on tour with them for three weeks I think.

Andy- It's two I think.

Q: And then you're heading out with Evans Blue and playing the Machine Shop again in a couple of weeks on November 3?

Andy: Yeah that's two weeks also.

Q: Do you plan on doing a headlining tour anytime soon?

Kevin shakes his head yes as Andy indicates no.

Doug- We're waiting on that.

Kevin- Probably not!

Andy- If we did it would probably just be around back home.

Q: You got to go back home for a bit after the Slash tour.

Andy- Yeah I got to go back home and see all of my friends I hadn't seen in a long time so I didn't get any rest. I was out with them and there was no time to rest.

Q: Which is probably why you're sick now...

Andy- I think it is. That's exactly what it is!

Q: With all the different tours have you been changing up your set list?

Andy- We changed it up because we had some scattered shows where we headlined like the show in Grand Rapids the other night.

Doug- That was real cool.

Andy- Shows like here we only get 30 minutes.

Kevin and Doug chime in with 40 minutes.

Andy- 40 minutes. Is that what it is?

Q: Who else was on the Slash tour?

Andy: We played with a band called Tag The Band on a few dates.

Q: Do you find larger crowds back home when you play there? Does it usually sell out?

There is a chorus of sometimes by the entire band.

Doug- Sometimes in our hometown. There are definitely larger crowds there though.

Andy- We don't really sell out in Tulsa though.

Q: The Slash tour was in larger venues. How was that?

Andy- Yeah it was great.

Doug- Some of the crowds were unbelievable.

Kevin- A lot of them were selling out. It was pretty cool.

Q: The larger venues have a different feel to them...

Andy- It is. You get used to playing with a whole lot of people and there's a whole lot of enthusiasm in a big group of people. I like playing in both types of venues. We've been here at the Machine Shop like 20 times.

Doug and Joe say six or seven times.

Kevin- One thousand times and in two more weeks!

Andy- Six or seven times. We have people who come out and check us out now all the time. That's the business you know? You travel and come back and see your crowd grow and have more friends in the city. With this city that has happened quite a bit. That's a great feeling to know you can come and see a bunch of familiar faces and to know you've made more and more friends. That's really cool.

Q: It definitely seems like the crowds and the recognition is growing.

Andy- What was really great at the time was when we went out on tour with Saving Abel. But then we toured with them for two years so we didn't really get out of that crowd. We played in front of them for years. The tour with Slash and this tour and the next one are great because we get out and see more people. We had a date with Buckcherry in Atlanta and they're a great rock and roll band. We started meeting people and making new friends because of that. We made friends with Buckcherry and we're talking about possibly touring with them.

Kevin- Nothing official.

Andy- We'd love to tour with them though. Their crowds are good. They're a great band with a great show and they play in front of people who want to see a great rock show.

Q: Before this show after saying I was coming out to cover it I had tons of people leaving me messages saying, "Have them play this or that song". People are definitely listening to the album.

Andy- Yeah tonight they want us to play "Long Slow Drag".

Q: That was actually something I heard a lot!

Kevin- That'll be when we headline.

Andy- Yeah the next time we come through. Well not this next time with Evans Blue but sometime after that.

Kevin- In another two weeks.

There is a chorus of laughs.

Kevin- We'll come back and work that song up. We will.

Andy- Next time we go back home we'll get it together. We got a piano. That was the hardest thing. That was the whole reason we couldn't play it because we didn't have a piano. When we went into the studio in Tennesee there was a piano there so we recorded me playing that. As soon as we get some wiring on our own piano done we'll do it. It's gonna be fun. I'm excited to just play it on tour.

Q: Have you performed most of the album live now?

Doug- Oh yeah.

Andy- Yeah there's only a few songs left. We haven't played "Bringin' Me Down" and of course "Long Slow Drag". Yeah haven't played those live yet.

Joe bursts in to the riff from "Bringin' Me Down" and everyone laughs as Andy points and says yeah that one.

Andy- There's constantly new songs so that's good. Always working on new stuff.

Kevin- Yeah we'll probably start throwing those in there for the conversation. You know, previews.

Andy- That way you can get the rhythm set before the studio.

Kevin- That and you can test it out to see how people like it and respond to it.

Q: Will you be playing anything new tonight?

Andy- No. We're working on a new set though.

Q: What keeps you coming back to a place like the Machine Shop? Is it the fact that you have gotten to know the people?

Andy- That's why we play here more because we know Kevin [Zink, Machine Shop owner] and everyone here at the Machine Shop is the best.

Doug- We came last night for the Hank Williams III show. I sent Kevin a text message and was like hey can we get in and he was just like sure. We came up the street and George [Slater, Machine Shop sound technician] was out there waiting and guided us in to the bus parking and then took us in through the back way and gave us pizza. It was awesome! It's definitely cool to come to a venue where people like you and know you and you know them.

Q: You said you've been working on new music. Any idea on when a new album will be out?

Andy- That's a good question because I was thinking earlier rather than later but that is just what I think our band should do. After our cycle here in the U.S. we're gonna go to Europe and restart the album over there.

Kevin- Maybe even re-release it over here a second time too. Their music scene really seems to pick up things and increase your visibility.

Andy- I would imagine if that goes well we would probably stay over there for awhile.

Kevin- Do the whole Hendrix thing!

Andy- Exactly. Live there for a few years and then everyone will be going what happened to Taddy Porter? They used to play around so much. Then it's just gonna be like bam! We're gonna come back brand new with all new songs and they're gonna go oh my god!

Kevin- Taddy Porter....I love that band!

Q: We'll be seeing a Machine Shop poster spouting Back By Popular Demand!

Andy- Exactly. That's it right there.

Q: When do you plan out the night's set list?

Doug- 20 minutes beforehand.

Andy- Yeah usually it's off the top of our heads. We go back and forth. We usually have a set one or two songs that we always play. We like to usually play our most rocking songs so it's just getting them together in a order and then it's just here you go. You know you don't really get a chance if you play 30 or 20 minutes to naturally let your set unfold so it's pretty much just rock really hard and have the audience go oh that's great. So we play it that way but when we have a chance to make it longer that's when we'll be able to play "Long Slow Drag". It'll be great.

Kevin- The movement will be good.

Andy- Oh we should do that!

The rest of the band stares blankly at him.

Andy- It's a good idea. When we go to Europe we can record a EP and release it in the U.S. after our album is done here. We'll get people listening to our new stuff so when we come back they'll be ready for the second album.

Q: A career path is born!

Andy- Yeah. It changes everyday.

Doug- It changes all the time.

Kevin- That's hilarious.

Andy- Our lives are constantly scattered. We're not real grounded. I haven't been grounded for a long time. It's like okay you're going this way now. If you can imagine us like floating along aimlessly but with a goal. Whenever someone were to be in love or something and like they stop to take in something. You know floating along and then stopping to smell. That's kind of how I imagine us right now.

Kevin- But with our eyes closed.

Q: But drinking Taddy Porter beer?

Kevin- No we never do.

Doug- It's the best beer that we've never had.

A discussion ensues about the fact that Kevin turned 21 the week before.

Q: Happy Birthday! Must make things easier for you now.

Kevin- Actually it wasn't too bad. I was still able to go everywhere you know?

Q: Isn't it kind of crazy to jump from tour to tour?

Andy- I like playing with a lot of different bands. I found out that it's cool to play with a bunch of different bands because it's a different perspective on music. Like I said earlier touring with Saving Abel I'd be talking to somebody and someone would be on stage in the back and I would just start singing along because I knew exactly where he was at and knew exactly where they were going. I like to hear something new all the time. Change is good.

Kevin- Change it up!

Q: How was the Hank Williams show last night?

Kevin- It was ridiculous!

Doug- I'm glad we called because we've been here the night before a show in the past and not come to the Machine Shop and missed a great band. So I was like I'm calling tonight and seeing who it is and found out he was playing. He's sort of been around following us. You know we hear about him at venues we are playing and always seems to be the night before or after he is there. Everyone kept saying you have to see him.

Joe- It was pretty crazy watching him.

Kevin- Good time.

Doug- I downloaded some of their songs.

Q: Do you get a chance to get out and see many shows?

Doug- Not a lot.

Kevin- It's kind of weird like to be baseball player all day and to go see a game, you know? But on the other hand you still want to see your favorite teams play. It's the same thing with our favorite bands.

Doug- When we have a opportunity we do.

Kevin- Last night was something where we didn't even know any of his songs but it was like holy crap that was pretty cool. Something totally different that kind of mixes it up.

Andy- It is definitely fun to do.

Kevin- Yeah watching that slide guitar man!

Joe- The slide band was riveting. It was incredible with a double bass like metal riff and then the wailing.

Doug- It reminded me of White Zombie in a way but more crazy. Even more impressive.

Kevin- He had like turn tables. All of them were good.

Q: The Machine Shop is one of those great rock venues.

Andy- Yeah you can see anything here. It's funny because we used to hear about it and we see the shirts everywhere.

Everyone stops to listen as Joe begins playing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love".

Q: So now that you've had this new country experience will we be seeing that in your music?

There is a chorus of nos.

Kevin- There will be a new direction but not that far out. Not in that direction.

The interview ends as everyone takes off outside to get ready for the show.

The rest of the night the members of Taddy Porter spent a lot of time hanging out with their fans before their impressive set which included many of the crowd's favorite songs like "Shake Me", "Big Enough" and "In The Morning".

After the show some Machine Shop regulars presented Kevin with a birthday cake and the band spent some time posing for photos and signing autographs before Andy headed out to get some rest.

Taddy Porter will be back at the Machine Shop on Wednesday, November 3 with Rains and Evans Blue. Doors for the event open at 7 p.m.. Tickets for the show can be purchased online at www.etix.com, Paradise Express in the Dort Mall, Strange Daze Tattoos in Davison, High Octane in Fenton or at the club during business hours.