This week we’re lucky to be graced with another electronic band – the second one is this blog’s history. I’d like to introduce to Current Music Thoughts readers Devin Tait and the Traitors.
MW: Thanks for taking the time to talk.
DT&TT: Thank you for talking to us!
MW: So let’s dive right in, your new single “Now I Know What I Want” video was released in late July 2014 accompanied by a whimsical and charming video. Can you tell us how that all came together?
DT&TT: Devin wrote the song and we have been playing it live for a while now. Jarod helped come up with the idea and the locations for the video and it all came together from there, with help from and Rick Skrip, who have directed several projects that some of us have been involved with previously, doing the camera work and helping with set up and all.
MW: I see from your videos on YT that Devin is quite the Keytar fan – do you have a particular one that you are fond of?
DT&TT: Yes, my latest one is a Roland Lucina and it’s been great because it’s got the sounds on board rather than having to run through a sound module like my last couple had been. Actually, my last one was a Rock Band keytar that happened to be MIDI capable. I covered it in rhinestones.
MW: Many of the readers for this blog are production junkies, can you describe your creative process in regards to the tech you use?
DT&TT: Devin and Brandon do most of the recording. Devin uses Logic Pro X now to record his synth and vocal parts, as well as Jarod and Liana’s vocals. Brandon records his own bass and guitar tracks, and they work together to record the drums. For several songs, including “Now I Know”, we went to studio in Simi Valley and worked with Ryan Canestro. Brandon produces music for his own band, , so he’s always been very helpful with the technical aspects of the recording and live set-up.
MW: I wanted to give you some big kudos for having a live drummer in a genre where the drums are so often sampled or synthesized. I’m curious how Myles can to be in the band?
DT&TT: Well we love dance music and new wave music and the live drums are an important aspect of the sound that we like. So, around the time the Traitors formed, Myles obtained a drum kit. We always wanted Myles to be in the band but he had to get to the point of feeling comfortable and confident behind the kit. Once he was, he started performing with us and now we are starting to rely less on backing tracks and focusing more on playing totally live. Myles is a VJ / DJ so he has a vast musical knowledge that he can draw from when coming up with the beats.
MW: It was awesome hearing Liana sing the breakdown for “Now I Know What I Want” – do you think you will be employing her sassy alto more often?
DT&TT: Definitely! Liana joined after Devin’s debut album was already recorded, but we’ve been writing the new album together so that there’s room for Liana and Jarod to shine. There will be at least one song on the album for each of them to sing lead on.
MW: Are there any musicians/bands from the past that you find particularly inspirational?
DT&TT: We all have different influences and inspirations but in general most of us can all appreciate a good, catchy pop tune. Some classics are Prince, Spice Girls, Madonna, Duran Duran, Scritti Politti and Aqua.
MW: What about current acts?
DT&TT: Some current bands that some or most of us enjoy include The Naked & Famous, Capital Cities, Scissor Sisters, One Direction and Electric Six.
MW: I noticed that in the bio section of the page that Jarod Millsap is listed as “choreographer.” How elaborate do you plan on making your live performances?
DT&TT: He’s not only the choreographer but he’s also the director of visuals. Because he’s been a performer and has a theatre background, he helps to think about the way the show looks from a visual standpoint. He has done choreography for “Now I Know What I Want” and we plan on incorporating some easy dance moves into more of our songs, kind of like Bananarama.
MW: Of the live performances you’ve had so far, are there any moments that were especially memorable?
DT&TT: I think we’d all agree that the LA Marathon was the most memorable gig so far. We started so early in the morning, and for three hours we just kept playing and keeping the runners pumped up as they would pass by, as well as entertaining the spectators who were out to support the runners. Having an audience who only will see you for a few seconds but is relying on you for a little adrenaline boost meant that we had to make every moment count!
MW: What advice would you give to aspiring singers/performers?
DT&TT: Believe in yourself, support and collaborate with your peers, and make sure you develop other marketable qualities just in case.
MW: So, what’s next for Devin Tait and the Traitors?
DT&TT: We will be releasing new songs and videos in the coming months and will complete our album “Mixed Signals” possibly before the end of the year. And we’ll continue to play live as much as we can.
To learn more about Devin Tait and the Traitors, please visit their website here: http://www.devintait.com/