Taxi Violence talk new music video, July tour

Photo by Vetman Design & Photography

Photo by Vetman Design & Photography

Capetonian rock veterans Taxi Violence are known for releasing epic music videos. Their latest video release for their track “Stuck in a Rut” from their 2014 album Tenfold is bold and creative. We spoke to vocalist George van der Spuy and guitarist Rian Zietsman about the new video and their mini tour this weekend.

Your new video for the track “Stuck in a Rut” is very visually descriptive. Where did the idea for the video’s concept come from?

George van der Spuy: Craig Parker from Motif Studios approached Jason [Ling, manager] to do a video for us, originally for another song, but we really wanted to release “Stuck In a Rut” so we gave him that song instead. Cheeky! Craig listened to the song and gave us some picture references (like The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo) of what he thought would be a cool concept and we unanimously agreed it would suit the song perfectly. He sent us some of his previous work and we were blown away by his talent, so it was a no-brainer for us. He can be credited completely for the concept of the video and we are super stoked with the outcome. He did it in record time as well, [it was] very impressive. We thought it would take at least 6 months with all the graphic content, but he knows his stuff and works fast.

Rian Zietsman: It came from the producer/director. Craig Parker is the man and I think he did a fantastic job.

Would you say that “Stuck in a Rut” is different from some of your previous releases when it comes to its musical style?

George: I would agree with that, but then I’d also say Taxi has always had that kind of emotional side to us too, besides the hard rock or blues material. It’s never a bad thing to be diverse as long as you still end up sounding like You (Taxi Violence).  Many people have mentioned to us that they hear some Radiohead influence in the song and [they] would be totally correct, we love that band, but we made the song our own of course. We aren’t ashamed of our influences and wear them on our sleeves.

Rian: I would say so, yes. For a start, the piano is quite a prominent aspect of the tune. The song is also quite slow, compared to most of our other music.

Will the band be releasing any more video accompaniments for the tracks on Tenfold?

George: We will be releasing a 360 Live video and recording that was shot at Kill City recently for “Stuck In a Rut”, and another song off Tenfold called “F*ck Off and Fry”, which is completely the opposite to the chilled vibe of “Stuck in a Rut”, and a return to some of [the] more hard rock material that people often associate with Taxi.

Was there anything particularly memorable regarding the video’s shooting process?

Rian: It was quite strange imagining the end result while we were filming. The concept involved a lot of space and people, whereas there wasn’t much of either when we filmed.

George: Well, we had about 30 extras booked and confirmed for the shoot and about 7 people pitched up. Typical Cape Town, no offence. I had to call people last minute and ask for favours and [I am] very thankful [that] a lot of them pulled through to help us out. Champions! Craig worked his magic and it looks like about 50 people! It was only the second time in our career that we did a green screen shoot, which was pretty cool, as you have no idea how it will look in the end beside for the reference and you feel pretty silly acting  to ‘nothing’. The last music video we did like that was off our very first self-titled EP and was called “Nothing Left To Lose”. We’ve come a long way since then.

What can fans expect from your upcoming tour this July?

Rian: Fans can expect a band that is ready to entertain and show them a good time.

George: Taxi is working on some new material at the moment but only recently started writing and we will try to fit in a new song. Otherwise, we now officially have Loedi [van Renen], our original bassist on board again and he brings a totally different, chaotic energy to the band. We will also be performing some other tracks off Tenfold like “Hit Me Up” and “Beaten by the Gun” (our first single off Tenfold), and a few golden oldies. Our set at Smugglers [on 2 July] will be a full-plugged set and then [this] Sunday [3 July] at the Good Luck Bar, which we are very excited about, will be a more stripped down, unplugged set, but with a little edge.

What inspired the image that serves as Tenfold’s album cover?

George: We asked an old school friend of Rian and Louis [Nel, drummer], Sven Kristian, [who] did our Soul Shake album cover, to come up with a cover for us. At the time we didn’t have a name for the album yet so it was hard to come up with a concept but then eventually [we] settled on Tenfold because we wanted it to represent our 10 year anniversary, so it tied in nicely. We went through some of Sven’s artwork and he already did a [shoot] of the paper folded on the hill and it immediately resonated with us, so that’s what we went with.

Taxi Violence will be at the Innibos Festival in Nelspruit on 1 July, at Smugglers Pub in Johannesburg on 2 July, and at the Good Luck Bar in Johannesburg on 3 July.

Watch the video for “Stuck in a Rut” below: