Moon Taxi’s Spencer Thomson Discusses Playing in Brooklyn and What You Can Expect on Sunday Night

Posted on Thursday January 28th in

Moon Taxi, the jam-friendly Nashville, Tenn., five-piece, are as equally known for their recorded material as they are for their energetic live performances. And touring behind their fourth studio album, the engaging Daybreaker, Moon Taxi play Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday night. Ahead of their arrival, guitarist Spencer Thomson spoke to Knockdown Alley about Nashville vs. Brooklyn and his disparate musical influences.

When some bands tour behind their newest album, that material makes up the majority of what they play each night, while others just play a few new songs at each show. What can we expect at Brooklyn Bowl? We’ve been playing a pretty even mix of the last several albums each night. We also usually throw in a cover or two. Some songs can vary pretty greatly from the studio versions and take on a life of their own each night.

Do you agree with Rolling Stone’s comparisons to the Allman Brothers, Vampire Weekend and Kings of Leon — in their review of Daybreaker? And who are some of your other influences? I am a fan of all those bands, so it is very possible that some of their vibes have found their way into our music. We’re happy to be mentioned with them. The Beatles and Kanye West are some other personal influences of mine.

How have songs like “Year Zero” and “All Day All Night” evolved from their recorded versions since you’ve been playing them live? One thing that separates this album from the last two for us is that we recorded this one in a much more live manner. As a result, we found that there was a little less of a challenge in adapting them for the live setting. The more we play them, though, the more comfortable we get, and we start to come up with alterations that enhance the song for a concert setting.

Thanks to festivals and national tours, Moon Taxi have become know as a live band with energetic crowds. How does the audience ever affect what you play that night? We take things like the venue, crowd, and time of day into consideration when deciding what to play. A daytime outdoor show is going to be different than a nighttime club show, which will be different from a seated theater show. We love playing them all and take pride in the fact that our music seems to be able to translate in a multitude of different environments.

Recently it seems like Nashville’s been increasingly compared to Brooklyn. Does that ring true for you at all? And do you ever feel at home at when you play here? Certain things happening in Nashville could be compared to Brooklyn I suppose, but they seem like pretty different places to me. Nashville doesn’t have any of the underlying urban grit that Brooklyn has. Nashville also seems far less worldly and diverse to me. Nashville has plenty of Southern charm and appeal, but the energy and feel of Brooklyn and New York City could never be attained outside of the five boroughs. We’ve played Brooklyn Bowl enough times now that it is always a nice, familiar place to spend a night on tour.

What are your favorite memories of playing Brooklyn Bowl?
Last time we were here, I believe we played two nights in a row. Camping out here for a couple days was a nice treat. It’s always nice to get to spend a little time in one place and not have to rush off to the next city.

And what do you like most about playing here? Brooklyn Lager

Who’s the best bowler in the band, and will you bowl here on the 31st? Tommy, our bass player, once bowled a perfect game on Wii Bowling, so I’m pretty sure that means he is the best.  


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