Taylor Locke has long been a fixture on the SoCal power-pop scene, first as lead guitarist for the band Rooney and later with his own '70s-influenced group, Taylor Locke and the Roughs. Now he's working on his first proper solo album, Time Stands Still — and when L.A. Weekly saw the video for the first single, "Running Away From Love," we just knew we had to feature it.
Not only is "Running Away From Love" a ray of Big Star/Rundgren-inspired power-pop sunshine, the video features Locke cruising around the streets of Los Feliz is his very own motorized Couch Car. Yes, it's a couch that's also a car. And it's real. We'll let Taylor explain.
L.A. Weekly: So the Couch Car is a real thing? How did you find out about it?
Taylor Locke: The Couch Car is real . I found out about when my neighbor drove by on it. I knew at that moment that it would be the only mode of transportation that I'd ever need to plan a music video around.
Did you have to buy a Couch Car for the video, or were you able to get one on loan?
I am not at liberty to discuss my relationship with Couch Car Industries. Let's just say I have an artist agreement with their team.
What was the funniest reaction you got to the Couch Car from random people on the street?
I think the funniest reaction is well-documented in the video... a large, undulating woman, with an ample breast endowment, chased me down the street wearing only Nike Air running shoes. It was later determined that she was on vodka.
Is "Running Away from Love" pretty representative of what the rest of Time Stands Still sounds like?
Not necessarily across the board. The record has sparse, intimate acoustic moments, where it sounds like the band took a break. Solo artist territory is new for me, so I wanted to be sure that the lyrics were personal, and forward in the mix. I avoided the trend of reverb-drenched or overtly lo-fi sounds. I'm generally working with a fairly classic '60s/'70s preservationist palette, although my next record will probably be an EDM meets spoken word feminist slam poetry meets Germanic beatboxing meets jock rock affair. Anyone who knows me knows I'm always trying to nail that whole "techno meets Korn" thing.
Who have you been working with on the album?
The impetus of the project was a folder of lyrics given to me by the infamous Kim Fowley. I was pretending to be Elton John, and he was pretending to be Bernie Taupin, which lasted for two songs.
My main right hand man became co-producer/engineer/mixer/multi-instrumentalist Kyle Fredrickson. He and I were the main midnight oil burners. I did a ton of cowriting with my good friend, the fantastic singer-songwriter Kelly Jones. Her last record Alta Loma is spectacular. One of my comrades Chris Price appears as a writer and player on a few songs. We've worked together a ton, and have very similar taste. The exceptional drummer in my live band, Ben Lecourt, plays on most of the album.
I'm sure the ladies will want to know: Did you already own a pair of lime-green briefs, or were those purchased especially for the video?
No new wardrobe was purchased for the video. I was already the proud owner of those Borat briefs.
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