Escorted back behind the Rockstar Energy Drink Stage at Beale Street Music Festival by the amiable Oklahoma native and manager to Moon Taxi, Matt Eldridge, I found myself at the table with four of the five members of the band. The Nashville natives were eager for their first year at Beale Street and ready for sound check, so we hit the interview hard.

Electric Sloth: How does it feel performing in your home state at Beale Street this year, while playing alongside Neil Young and Paul Simon ?

Moon Taxi: The lineup is great this year. Trevor tells me. Though we haven’t made our way west in Tennessee very often; we’ve played the Minglewood a few times. We’re really excited to be here. The guys are a bunch of jokers, making reference to an obscure 3 hour porno film called “Pirate” and eyeing one another in that bromance type of way that pervades bands that have been together for so long.

ES: In light of Prince’s recent death, what was your reaction? Did he inspire any of you in any way?

MT: I had deep respect for Prince as a musician. His musicality, depth of knowledge, it’s all a massive legacy he’s leaving behind. Like, how many more legends can we lose this year? Tommy chimes in, seriously, it’s like one of those things where you’ll always remember what you were doing at that moment. When Michael Jackson died, I remembered where I was. Wes jokes that Tommy doesn’t remember where he was when Bowie died – well maybe I’m a little forgetful. They laugh.

ES: What’s the most difficult song for you to perform live?

MT: Definitely our older stuff, melodica, real technical. Who’s to say, though, it’s very different for all of us because of the tonal changes throughout all of our pieces. I ask, do the simple songs get the crowd more energized than perhaps the fancier, more technical songs? Does that bother you? Spencer and Trevor laugh at each other when they both begin to speak. Here’s the thing about music. If it has feeling and it’s shitty, it’s going to be alright. If it has feeling and it’s good, it’s going to be great. Yeah, Spencer agrees. You should make a Venn diagram of that: quality and feeling and in the middle good shit. (Sorry guys, couldn’t find the Venn diagram button).

ES: Rolling Stone has described you as a novel sound, a “cross-bred rock, a little indie, a little proggy, kinda poppy, Southern and jammy in a way that might be unrecognizable to oldsters,” what do you make of that?

MT: One of the worst questions we get is “what kind of music do you play?” We just play what we feel is best. We’re very eclectic and tend to draw a young crowd. We don’t want to limit ourselves to Indie Rock or some other genre. We want to play what makes us and our fans excited.

ES: One of the things you’re famous for as a band is the amount of gigs you play. You’ve clocked in well over 1,000 live shows. How do you think that has helped you as a band?

MT: Name recognition. Half of the battle is just showing up. If there’s one modicum of success it’s that you just need to show up to gigs and play. That’s what everyone came for. We have fans that have seen our shows 8, 9, 10 times. It helps keep us on our toes and change up the sets for the audiences when we aren’t playing the exact set every single time, too. Have there been times when the venue made it really difficult to play but you just kept charging on? All the guys laugh. Absolutely. We did a show at Houston Free Press and our gear was literally melting and turning off. This one time in New Orleans the mics failed so we just started climbing the equipment. We are going to give the people a show no matter what. We’ll turn any difficulty into a unique opportunity. Wes remembers a time in Boulder when there was a blackout, so Tyler just played a 10 minute drum solo. The show must go on!

ES: I’m sure everyone loves that. Well, you guys have been together for 10+ years. Is there any large icon of growth for you as a band? A moment where you thought, wow this is it?

MT: We’ve grown up together: musically, personally, coming of age really. There have been a lot of changes and growth in the course of a decade. Of course there are milestones. We got to play some huge spots at ACL, Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza; playing on late night TV, that was amazing. But it’s hard to quantify how we’ve changed as a band. Ultimately we’re still the same guys from 10 years ago. I see the memories dance in everyone’s heads when Trevor says, all the moments have been great moments. The shitty  drunk moments at 2AM are still as equally as important as the big serious moments like playing late night TV. You’ve got to enjoy the ups and downs and the turns of the road. Everyone nods in agreement.

ES: Right on guys. Thank you so much for the interview. See you at the show. Good luck with sound check.

And just like that my time with Moon Taxi was at an end. A humble, mature group of guys who play great music. It was a neat and unique opportunity to meet the band that’s responsible for some of today’s biggest hits. Who knows what they’ll do next? Oh, wait. I know. Check out their new live album exclusively on Spotify May 6th.

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PC: Jamie Gilliam