Thanks to Taylor of the pop group, Exnations, for coming by the studio this week!
^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^
FROM TODAY'S SHOW
- Never About The Money, by EXNATIONS (Pop, Alternative Pop)
- Balance it all, by Night Train 357 (Hip Hop)
- High Class Girl, by Spencer Joyce (Indie/Indie Rock)
- Daylight, by Color Palette (Pop/Rock)
- Burn Blue, by Flasher (Rock)
- Voodoo Dollhouse, by Catscan! (Indie/Electronic Rock)
Parklife DC article about DC Music Rocks Festival:
The DC Mayor’s 202Creates September celebration of the creative economy is here. All September, there’s going to be events all over the city! Go attend an event! Events are listed on the website, and if you know of an event that’s not listed, certainly contact them through the website.
Edjacated Phools - Check Out The Vibes (13 Song Full Album)
Sub-Radio - Steady (Single)
Pleasure Train - Pleasure Train Vol II (4 Song EP)
The Electric Grandmother - Cancelled (17 Song Full Album)
Caustic Casanova - Pantheon, Vol. 2 (2 song Single)
Lionize - Nuclear Soul (11 Song Full Album)
Soldiers of Suburbia - Rollercoasters (Single)
More Am Than FM - Oh The Places I've Been (5 Song EP)
Surprise Attack - Live At Groove (4 Song Live EP)
The Woodshedders - Talisman (11 Song Full Album
THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE
Fri Sep 15
Nelly’s Echo @ Rockville Town Square in Rockville MD
Sat Sep 16
Christos DC & Many More @ H Street NE Festival in H St in NE DC
Sun Sep 17
Drive TFC on Boomerang Pirate Ship in Georgetown in NW DC
Wed Sep 20
Human Country Jukebox @ Madam’s Organ in Adams Morgan in NW DC
Thurs Sep 21
Backbeat Underground @ Gypsy Sallys in Georgetown in NW DC
Vintage #18 @ Backyard BBQ at the National Building Museum in Chinatown in DC
VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT
It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS’ love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally case. Sal Mastrocola (vocals/guitar/synth) resides in Brooklyn, just a few state boundaries away from Dan Ciarrocchi (guitar) and Taylor Hughes (drums, synth) in the DMV . Through the miracles of file sharing, home-recording software and caffeine, they present “Never About the Money," their latest single that came to life from multiple East Coast cities. Drummer, Taylor Hughes says, “We were never all in the same room during this process, Sal recorded vocals in his bedroom, Dan recorded guitars with Chris Freeland(Future Islands, Wye Oak) and drums were done with JK Royston out of his studio in Richmond, VA. We’re literally all over the place”. The band plans to release an EP in the coming months in addition to playing shows throughout the East Coast to support its release.
All your links/URLs:
Brian: On DC Music Rocks, we are shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. EXNATIONS is a pop trio with connections to northwest DC. It sounds exaggerated to say that EXNATIONS' love of creating music knows no bounds, but that is quite literally the case. While Sal resides in Brooklyn, Dan and Taylor are in the DMV region. And through the miracle of file-sharing, home recording software, and caffeine-
Taylor: So much caffeine.
Brian: So much caffeine, they present their latest single that you just heard, Never About the Money. I first stumbled across these guys back, last year, I just, I became an EXNATIONS fan, and I've been following them ever since. And it is such a treat to now have you hear live with me. Taylor, this is awesome, thanks for being here.
Taylor: I feel like I've known you forever, but through the internet.
Brian: Right? I was gonna ...
Taylor: Internet is a weird place.
Brian: It really is, but it's an amazing place, I love it, very cool. Alright so, right off the bat, talk about EXNATIONS. It's a three state deal, like how did EXNATIONS come together?
Taylor: Okay, well, I had met Dan, the guitar player, long time ago on the internet of all places.
Taylor: We've been Facebook friends for forever, we've been kind of in the same circle. He was in a band called Parks Landing a while back, and I'd always liked the work he'd done. And when I was going through a line up change, Dan was one of the first people that came to mind.
So I met up with Dan and we clicked right off the bat. And we're like, "We need to find a singer." And he hit up an old college friend, Sal, to see if he'd be interested, or know anybody who'd be interested in doing this project. And Sal was interested, so the next week probably, I went up to Brooklyn, I met him in a record shop in Brooklyn.
Taylor: And about an hour of just chatting and looking at records together, I was like, "I want him in my band. I'm not gonna meet with anybody else while I'm here," because I was supposed to meet up with someone. I went over my time with Sal, and I was like, "This is the man, I want him," so that's kind of how it started.
Brian: Wow, very cool. And now, the name EXNATIONS, where does that come from?
Taylor: Well originally, we were going to be called Nations, and we realized that was a really hard name to pull off, because when you Google Nations ...
Brian: So true, you would never win the SEO or the search engine optimization battle on Google to find your band in the keyword, Nations. This is so true.
Taylor: Yeah. So we thought the EX was cool we had all come from different bands before, so it was kind of all these ex band members making one new thing, I.e., nation, so it just kind of rolled into the same name, and that's how it was born.
Brian: Nice. So the exes were your influence on your name, that's really ... It's sort of, there are so many ways to take that, but I really dig it. That's fun.
Alright, and now, you're DC, where are you from? You're local here.
Taylor: I am local. I was actually born in Baltimore. I spent the shortest stint of time in Georgetown, I was working at Madewell in Georgetown. But I actually moved back to Baltimore, but I still frequent this area because I love it so much.
Brian: And then more about the DC connection then ... Well okay, so a little bit of time in Georgetown, and then here quite often?
Taylor: Yeah, and my previous members of EXNATIONS, who I originally met you with, they are actually from DC. So that was kind of like the big DC connection. I was here with them.
Brian: Cool, so it's a whole generation of DC going on here, in a way.
Brian: Wow. Alright, and now, talk about you on the personal side now, outside of the music thing, what's life like for you outside of that?
Taylor: I have a poodle who's named Poodle.
Brian: No, no, you have a poodle named Poodle, for real?
Taylor: Yes, yes I do.
You guys can check him out on Instagram. His username is Poodell
Brian: And that way you can never forget what type of dog he is.
Brian: Because if you're wondering, Poodle is a poodle. Oh my god, that's funny.
Taylor: In a bow tie.
Brian: Oh no, alright, I'm gonna go stalk you on Instagram for that, that's really funny. Alright, and what else, so there's a poodle.
Taylor: There is the Poodle.
Taylor: I like to skateboard, I like to just generally goof off. I watch a lot of really really bad TV on purpose.
Brian: Okay, like what? When you say really bad TV, what does that mean?
Taylor: I just finished the new version of 90210 the other day.
Taylor: I put myself thought the trauma of terrible TV. One Tree Hill? Been watching it nonstop since 2004. And I love it, it's like something comforting about how horrible it is, I love it.
Brian: Oh, man. And to every body out there who loves those shows, we show appreciate you too, but that's really funny.
Taylor: We should talk about it, like I do love it.
Brian: Reach out and talk to her about 90210 and One Tree Hill for sure. Oh, man, that's funny.
Alright, so now back to you as a performer then, talk about the funniest moment that comes to mind when you think about performances and EXNATIONS.
Taylor: Yes, okay. So this is a fairly new story, it happened over the weekend. I was at Shadow of the City in New Jersey, it's a festival that Jack Antonoff from Bleachers put together, and since we're super close in sound, I thought it'd be a good idea to promote the band there. So I grabbed a bunch of postcards and went in there, and we were right up front on the stage, and I was passing out some postcards or whatever. And this girl just came up to me after I gave her a postcard, right then and there, she came out to me, number one ...
Brian: Came out to you meaning, so she's a lesbian? Came out to you.
Taylor: She's a lesbian. I guess I just scream lesbian because ...
Brian: That's something important that people want to tell you, okay, that's funny.
Taylor: Yeah, so she came up to me, and she just came out to me, grabbed my face, and kissed me. Like tried to kiss me, and I backed away, I was like, "Ah!" I backed away really quickly. And when she could tell that I was visibly uncomfortable, she tried to give me $6. That's really weird.
Brian: I don't know whether to take that as a complement because she even almost wanted to pay you for the kiss, or whether that's an insult because it's only freaking six bucks, what the heck.
Taylor: Well the way that I took it, I was worth more than $5, and worth more than $1, so she combined them and gave me the most ultimate gift that she possibly could put together in her inebriated state.
Brian: Oh, alcohol was involved, now I get it.
Taylor: Oh yeah.
Brian: Okay. Oh man, I love that. Alright, so now, so what's something in your music collection that might surprise us?
Taylor: I am a huge, huge pop fan. Buried beneath all of the Sonic Youth and ...
Brian: Wait a minute, but you are a pop artist?
Taylor: But I mean like pop pop, like Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, yes.
Brian: Yes, okay.
Taylor: Yes, I love, love, love top 40s pop. And I'm so open about it. I used to have it as like a guilty pleasure kind of thing, but now I'm so open and honest about the pop that I hold dear to my heart.
Brian: So favorite Spice Girl's song, it's time to admit it.
Taylor: Am I gonna basic if I say, If You Wanna Be My Lover?
Brian: You gotta be with my friends.
Taylor: Yeah, I had all the Spice Girl Barbie dolls as a child. Still have them, still have them, guys.
Brian: Oh, that is excellent, I love it.
Alright, so now, go back to the beginning now. When you started performing then, what's your first memory with music? How did music enter your life?
Taylor: I was five, and I actually asked for a drum kit. I always knew that I wanted to play drums, and my parents hated that. They're like, "We cannot give this rambunctious five year old a drum kit, like we cannot do it." So they took me to the music store and got me an electric guitar with no amplifier, and closed the door.
Brian: And how old were you when this happened?
Taylor: I was five.
Brian: Wow, okay.
Taylor: So I had this Fender Strat that I would take to elementary school with me, that was pretty much the same size of me, because we had show and tell at school.
Brian: Right. Oh, excellent.
Taylor: So I would always take my guitar that was bigger than me, and play them, I think Mary Had a Little Lamb was my strong suit at the time.
Brian: Oh my goodness.
Taylor: Yeah, it was pretty long.
Brian: So it started with guitar. And now ... and you know I realized we didn't even mention, so what do you play in the band? And what does everybody else play in the band? Who are the members now?
Taylor: I'm the drummer. I also play synth and dabble in bass in the studio, I don't play bass live or anything.
Taylor: Dan is the guitarist, and he does vocals. And Sal is the singer, guitarist, and he also does some synth.
Brian: Got it. And so it's three pieces going on?
Brian: That's it, and you're the drummer, nice. Along with synth and some other things.
Well so then your earliest ... I'm gonna switch gears. If you could offer, and this is just my favorite question, and I just want to jump to it because I'm excited about it. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?
Taylor: This is geared towards all the ladies that are playing music, and it's something that you'll experience time and time again, especially when you go to a music store, stand your ground. Don't let people try and school you on something you already know. Does that make sense? I feel like I get the ...
Brian: Yeah, what's an example? It seems like you have experience with this. What comes to mind?
Taylor: Oh yeah. I almost feel like I'm being tested sometimes with the guys in the industry. They don't really believe that you know what you're talking about, or that you can play, you always kind of have prove yourself time and time again. So when you're at the music shop, and you're going in there for something specific, and they try and explain to you what you're looking for ...
Brian: Don't take that.
Taylor: Don't take it.
Brian: Tell them you already know. I love it. Alright, all the ladies out there, you heard it, stand your ground in the music store.
Taylor: Do it.
Brian: I love it. That is really cool. And for those folks who liked the song and want to follow you and the upcoming EP you said that's gonna be released, where do they go to follow EXNATIONS?
Taylor: You can find everything at exnations.com. We're on Spotify, Apple Music, super easy to find.
Brian: Fantastic. And exnations.com, and then are you social media as well?
Taylor: Oh yeah, you can find all of that right on EXNATIONS. And more importantly, for social media, you have to go to instagram.com/poodell.
Brian: Spell that, what is that, P ...
Taylor: It's P-O-O-D-E-L-L, that's my poodle's Instagram.
Brian: Oh my god, your poodle has an Instagram. Oh god, I don't know what to say, I don't know whether to be really excited or just laugh hysterically.