Formed in Brooklyn in 2007, BLACK TAXI, comprised of Ezra Huleatt (vocals/keys/trumpet), Bill Mayo (guitar/vocals/triangle), Krisanan Soponpong (bass), and Jason Holmes (drums/vocals), has drawn comparisons to the Talking Heads, Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse, but their “grit-pop” sound and energetic style are entirely their own.”People who see live music like to feel something and express it. Our setlists have ups and downs like a good movie. It’s a whole experience,” explains Bill about the band’s frenetic live shows. They’ve been touring the states in support of We Don’t Know Any Better, but they’re back in the city this Saturday for their official album release show at the Bowery Ballroom. In preparation, listen to their first single, “Tightrope,” off the new album, and find out who’s a fan of “Bored to Death,” how “Words with Friends” has influenced the band, and where to get really good fish tacos.
Tell us about your name?
Ezra: It came to us after an intense game of ["Words with Friends"].
Jason: It’s true, someone played “xi” first, and it went from there…
How would you describe your sound in one sentence?
Ezra: Frying bacon and ambulance sirens.
What do you want people to take from your music?
Krisana: That they really had a great time going to all of our shows!
What’s your favorite makeshift instrument?
Ezra: My other (unsuspecting) band-mates.
Who are you listening to right now?
Jason: No Way Josie, Justice, and Billy Idol.
Ezra: M83 and Tune-Yards.
How would you describe your relationship with NYC?
Jason: Complicated and always stimulating.
Ezra: I would not throw her out of bed.
What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
Jason: East Williamsburg/Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s edgy.
Ezra: Dumbo…I’m a sucker for bridges.
Krisana: Any coffee shop that’s been filmed in the show, “Bored to Death”
Your favorite cheap bar in the city?
Ezra: Destination…I also happen to work there, so this probably classifies as a conflict of interest…
Krisana: Welcome to the Johnson’s, Rudy’s or Freddy’s Backyard.
Your favorite cheap go-to meal?
Jason: Street-Meat – eat drink and be wary. Snack Dragon for fish tacos, or Tiny’s next to our old studio in the Lower East Side for a sandwich and coffee.
Ezra: Lots of grilled cheese. And waffles.
Krisana: Mamoun’s falafel on Macdougal street. It’s been there since the 70′s and the Comedy Cellar isn’t to far from there. I once drunkenly ate a shawarma next to Judah Friedlander.
What was one of your brokest moments as a band?
Ezra: When Jason’s car broke down in the back-woods of Massachusets, and we had to hitch-hike home.
Jason: Yea, that sucked, my car and heart were broken. It was a good reason for a long walk, though.
Krisana: When I had to start becoming a pool boy for rich sugar mommas in the Upper West Side.
How do you save money on the road?
Ezra: Crashing with friends. Frequenting the New Hampshire liquor & lottery store.
Jason: We mostly just SPEND money on the road…
What’s your pre-show ritual?
Jason: Rushing to get there on time from dinner with friends…
Ezra: Body paint and whiskey.
Krisana: A Manhattan special. Look it up!
What do you refuse to spend money on?
Jason: Things I can build instead of buy…Currently: road cases.
Krisana: Drinks from the bar!!
What do you think any musician/band should spend money on?
Jason: Spend money on lessons early on in your career, future band-mates will love you for it, and you’ll never regret that investment of time, money and effort.
Ezra: A good vehicle.
What was the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and why did you make the purchase?
Krisana: My 4001 Rickebachker bass. Worth every nugget of crack I sold to kids. (Rickenbacker)
Jason: My Bachelor degree… it’s invaluable
What’s up next for the band?
Ezra: CD release, national tour.
Any parting words/wisdom/advice?
Krisana: Don’t do drugs unless you need inspiration.
Jason: ” You can go your own waaaaayyyy ( go your own waaa-aaaay-aaay)”