Fourteen years, 7 albums and hundreds of thousands of miles traveled on tour later, they are a band of many fortunes. Bad fortunes such as lineup changes and losing record labels. Good fortunes including touring with Deftones, Incubus, Mudvayne as well as having multiple Top 20 singles off of various albums. Resilience is the name of the game when it comes to Taproot. Bassist Phil Lipscomb tells us a little about where he came from musically, and what sets Taproot and their fans apart.
Phil Lipscomb: Me personally, was with my brother. I got my first bass off of him and he had been playing guitar for years and I just got going from there, you know?
Manogue: You guys have been touring a lot in the past year or two. What do you do to stay sane when you’re on the road for months at a time?
Lipscomb: Well, my dad was in the Air Force so I’ve moved around all my life and stuff, so you know, I really enjoy traveling. I love being on the road. Two or three months is a long time to be on the road so by the end of the tour, you get that, “I need to be home and I need to be able to relax for a little bit,” feeling. For the most part, we’re all friends, we’ve been friends for years and we get along pretty well. So that helps tremendously, you know?
Manogue: So it’s a lot like being with friends and family when you’re on the road?
Lipscomb: Yeah, exactly.
Manogue: Taproot has had a lot of ups and downs since you’ve been on the scene. What is it that keeps you guys going because there’s so many bands that seem to be dropping of the map after years of being together?
Lipscomb: Well, I’d say two things. One, we’re hard workers and we’ve never really stopped doing what we do. And the other thing is we have a pretty strong fan base that always seems to be there. When we’re not doing as well on the radio or that kind of thing or we’re not as popular in the public eye, we can still go out there and play to our core fan base that never seems to miss a show.
Lipscomb: It’s hard to say. We have a pretty eclectic group of fans. It’s not, “Oh, we have our metal fans, “ or “Oh, we have our straight alternative rock people,” you know? We do have a fairly diverse crowd out there which is really cool. We’re not just heavy and we’re not just alt rock, we get into a little bit of everything. I think they connect with what we have to say and get something out of it.
Manogue: What’s it like touring with Absolution right now?
Lipscomb: They’re great man. They’re very helpful and their just having fun. This is their first real tour and for us to see, we’ve been doing this for shit, ten, eleven years now so it’s cool to see them get excited about every city we go to.
Manogue: Does that kind of take you back to the days when you were first getting tours and all that?
Manogue: What has been the highlight of your career? Was it a certain show or touring with a band you looked up to or anything like that?
Lipscomb: Honestly, we’ve been very lucky in that sense. I mean having toured two Ozzfests, having toured with Deftones when they released White Pony, and at the same time Incubus when they released Make Yourself, two of my favorite albums from those bands. We went out with Linkin Park when they were getting big, Papa Roach when they were getting big and turning out their first album. Disturbed, Mudvayne, the bands we’ve been out with has been a “who’s who” of modern rock really. Every year’s something new. Every year’s something different. Every year’s something exciting.
Manogue: Can you tell us if there’s any new music on the way or are you guys concentrating on touring?
Lipscomb: Just touring right now but we’re planning on taking a little break in June and July. Hopefully, we’ll get on another tour for the fall and then writing and recording by the winter and hopefully have an album out in the Spring of 2012.