Imagine if Keith Urban and Pearl Jam had a baby....
A 6 foot 2 inch, long haired baby who sings with a deep raw voice that
could make you jump and dance with joy or cry your heart out- or
sometimes both? Meet Jonny Taylor. Singer songwriter and relentless
touring machine. An emotionally charged musician who doesn't set out to
sound like anybody in particular, rather lets his love of grunge and
rock music fuse seamlessly with his passion for country story telling,
forming a unique country sub-genre dubbed "Gruntry". Taylor has seen
mainstream success following a stint on Australia's Got Talent in 2012
where he touched audiences around the world with his original song
"Young Man", written for a friend battling alcoholism. His subsequent
touring lifestyle and hours in front of the microphone have earned
Taylor a reputation as one of the hardest working and most powerful
young singer songwriters in the Australian music scene. Writing music to
empower and liberate people, Jonny Taylor is a man's man who isn't
afraid to get his hands dirty, but also isn't afraid to cry during a sad
movie. These character traits are directly reflected in his music. It's
tough, edgy and masculine, but there is a vulnerability that hits home
and connects with people far beyond the gruff exterior and rocky tones
of his music. As the saying goes, never judge a man by his earrings...
10 Qs with Jonny Taylor
is your earliest memory of music or being interested in music?
My older brother is a drummer
and was always in rock bands when I was a little boy. I wanted to be cool like
my big brother so I was exposed at a young age.
Who would you most like to sing a duet with?
Tough question! I’ll go with
Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden)
would you explain the music you write, play and sing?
I call it Gruntry. A cross
between grunge and country. Rocky and upbeat but with a slight hint of
darkness, and lyrical substance is extremely important to me. Words with
purpose and significance.
you have an embarrassing/funny musical experience you can share with us?
I once tried to sing 500
Miles by the Proclaimers without learning the words, so I made up the 2nd
verse with some crazy jibberish that sounds like a Polish/ German hybrid. I
played it cool and told the audience it was a reference to my Czechoslovakian
heritage (I’m not Czech). After the show, a lady came up to me and asked what
part of Czekoslovakia I’m from because she’s Chech didn’t recognize the words!
do you enjoy most about working in the music industry?
Just being able to be
creative. Being able to inspire or move people through my creations. I think
anybody who makes a living in the creative industries would say the same. Also,
I’m an ex plasterer so it’s beats working for a living.
there a particular artist that has had a musical influence on you?
I suppose Pearl Jam had a big
influence on me in the early days in terms of who I thought was cool and wanted
to be like when I grew up. The old rockstar dream. In later years I would say
that some of James Blundell’s songs opened my eyes to the significance of
writing with purpose, and writing about things that aren’t necessarily
‘country’ themed, but use the country style story-telling to paint a picture
and send a message.
music are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve just got on to Chris
Stapleton. I was a bit slow catching on! James Bay’s album ‘Chaos and the Calm’
has had a few runs too. Great production!
are some of your other interests away from music?
I’m a keen beer brewer! Our
laundry has turned into a full scale home brewery operation haha. I also have
an extensive crystal collection and enjoy flying kites- like all big tough men
you could invite any three people to dinner, who would they be and why?
Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)- my
teenage hero and nice man (I’ve met him)
Delta Goodrem- she’s got guts
and is very pretty haha
Nicole Taylor- my wife. I
really like her and she could protect me from myself around Delta
are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months?
2 big things.
Working on my next album and I have a cool team of people working with me on
it. Also completing renovation on our little cottage. Busy times ahead but a
couple big goals I’m really keen to achieve. Then it’ll be time to hit the road
and go on tour again :)