Moon Taxi drummer Tyler Ritter recently chatted with Alternative Addiction about the band's upcoming performance on Conan (1/15) and the division between rock and country in Nashville.
Nashville-based Moon Taxi has been around since 2006 and they’ve established a following in Nashville that’s enviable for a lot of other bands in that scene. They’ve established that following but had yet to truly get the attention of people across the country until just recently with their album, Mountains Beaches Cities. Things started to pick up steam for Moon Taxi when they started to view themselves as a complete band – one capable of performing live and doing great work in the studio – rather than just being a band that made music in the studio so they could tour. That started with their 2012 release, Cabaret and the experience with that album made the band that much better for Mountains Beaches Cities. So, now that everybody is paying attention after seven years of hard work, Moon Taxi is getting to do things that they’ve never done before. Among the new experiences for the band, national TV appearances. They made their TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman and now they’re set to appear on Conan coming up tomorrow night on TBS. Talking with Alternative Addiction, Moon Taxi drummer Tyler Ritter expressed his excitement to meet the late night TV personality. “Our first TV experience was in November with Letterman. It was surreal but it was very fun and just kind of a cool learning experience,” said Ritter. “Now, I’m looking forward to meeting Conan. I think he has a special place in his heart for all things Nashville, and that’s exciting. We need to see if he wants to jam. He’s a great guitar player. I’m not sure how it’s going to go, but we are really looking forward to it.” Letterman and Conan aren’t the only TV connections that Moon Taxi has had recently. Last month Moon Taxi released an acoustic EP titled Acoustic on West 56th and to go along with that release, CMT.com -yes Country Music Television – debuted the video for Moon Taxi’s acoustic version of “River Water. This drew a mixed reaction from Moon Taxi fans and put the group in a tough spot thanks to some unfortunate divisions in the Nashville music community. The band opened up themselves for some interesting reactions to the video when Tyler himself posted on the band’s official site that ‘Moon Taxi has finally gone country.’ Ritter discussed the video debuting on CMT and the reaction that it got thanks to the music division in Nashville. “I wrote the caption that Moon Taxi has gone country. We got a mixed reaction from that and I don’t think that I probably should have wrote that because that’s a loaded thing here in Nashville. There’s a distinct line between country and rock. It’s divided. I don’t think that song is very country at all, but CMT debuted it for us and that was great. It reached some people we weren’t reaching before. But yeah, Nashville, there’s people that discriminate against country and everything related to it and then it’s reversed too, there’s people who discriminate against rock. Sometimes when you label things it gets complicated and I think that’s kind of a problem in Nashville.” For more on Moon Taxi, visit www.RideTheMoonTaxi.com. The band’s acoustic EP, Acoustic on West 56th is available now, as is Mountains Beaches Cities. You can catch the band live on Conan this Wednesday, January 15th.