ALABAMA indie rock band Moon Taxi spent years as a completely independent, largely DIY band that did it the right way—releasing albums and growing a fanbase organically through relentless touring and gradual momentum. After being on their own label for many years, the band signed with RCA Records in 2017 and released Let The Record Play the following year—raising their profile and kicking their hard work into high gear.
The band is coming to Victory North on Thurs., August 29, and we caught up with the group’s Spencer Thomson ahead of the show.
Looking back on the early days of the band, did you have an idea of what sort of band you wanted to be musically? What were some of the shared influences or musical commonalities between you all early on?
Thomson: We started as a looser, more improved-based band. I think a lot of that came from the fact that when we formed as a band, we started playing shows pretty much right away. We had to start filling our sets with music before we’d had much time to hone the writing and production side of things, so we stretched things out quite a bit.
We all appreciated musicianship so we were comfortable working in that realm. Over time, we’ve become more focused on songwriting and recording, which has only made the live show stronger and tighter.
Especially in those first few years, the band was extremely DIY. What were some of the biggest challenges of growing and running something like this from the ground up?
Thomson: The main challenge is dedicating years to grinding and figuring things out. We spent years and years touring, gaining a fanbase and learning how to turn the band into an entity that could sustain. Keeping perspective and being persistent is the key to everything.
Is there a particularly rewarding or gratifying moment that stands out from those years of running the band and the label independently?
Thomson: We started the band and didn’t make money initially. To have turned it into something that is a real livelihood is extremely gratifying. The music business is tricky and doesn’t always make sense, but I feel extremely lucky to work in it.
Nowadays, what does the writing process look like for you guys? Do you tend to have a concept in mind for a record before you start writing, or do you just collect ideas and songs over time and then convene in the studio?
Thomson: I feel like we’ve gotten more efficient with our writing process as time has gone on. I think a lot of that just comes with experience. We’ve written a fair amount of songs at this point. When we start working on songs, there becomes a point where a collection of songs starts revealing itself to be a unit, and something that could take shape into an album.
If you could identify one way that you think the band has evolved—musically or otherwise—over the years, what would that be?
Thomson: I’m just happy that we have evolved. The world and the music landscape is constantly changing and it’s fascinating to watch. I’m happy that we have continued to find our way through the maze and carve out a little spot where our music can live.
You’re a band that has become regarded for their live shows. What can Savannah fans expect from a show on the current tour?
Thomson: The live show is constantly improving. We have new songs to play, new lights, new video screens, and new mildly humorous banter. It’s just getting better and better.