It's Tax Season with Taxpayer
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Boston band makes good on grade school claim.
It's an extreme rarity to loyally adhere to a plan made at the age of 13, not to mention one made at, say, 23. Life goals for males of this age usually range from "get to second base," to "make varsity soccer team," despite the occasional overachiever with dreams of becoming an astronaut or, even better, Tony Hawk. Yet adolescent plans are the root of Boston-based band Taxpayer.
The name Taxpayer has been splashed about in Boston and New York's music scenes over the past few months, and they recently released their first full-length album, Bones and Lungs (Lunch Records). It's unknown whether this newfound notoriety is due to relentless energy, or a willingness to play anywhere and with anyone (sort of performance promiscuity), but undoubtedly the word is spreading. At its core, their music is pure, uninhibited rock, though the group is still in the process of fully defining their sound. Their powerful guitar and vocal combinations sharply contrast with the nature of their laid-back personalities.
"I think I maybe learned meaning from listening to Fugazi," says Marsh, over pints with fellow band members Adams, Jones and Tim Peters, who joined the band during their college years, at Remington's across from Boston Common. "Then we heard Minor Threat and it just blew us away."
Taxpayer has only recently carved a notch for themselves in the indie music scene. But band members Jay Marsh, Rob Adams and Mike Jones first formed the band while huddled around a cassette player blasting a Minor Threat tape, in an old army tent that Marsh says, "smelled like World War II." The three friends had not yet conquered algebra when they hatched a late-night plan to form a band.
Since two of the three already owned guitars, Adams was immediately enlisted as the drummer and thus Taxpayer (though nameless at this point) was born. "I bought a drum set and I didn't play it for six months," says Adams, "I didn't even know the snare was the main drum you were supposed to play."
As high schoolers the trio began performing on the North Shore, which was home to hardcore bands such as Piebald and Cave In, and introduced the boys to the world of punk rock.
"We were just playing for ourselves in the first place--it just didn't matter that we weren't going anywhere and we weren't playing any shows," says Marsh, "We just always liked writing together." Though Marsh, Adams and Jones vaguely hoped to someday make it big--or at least perform somewhere outside of Marsh's West Newbury basement--Marsh says commercial success was never their goal. "That was always the dream," he says, "But it almost didn't matter if we ever got there."
This is a fairly common story,
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