Friends Forever and Foot Village
Drum kit metal, bikinis and fireworks
By Simon McCormack
At a certain point, it might be better to just stop asking Josh Taylor questions.
The more info he provides about his percussion-based metal-rock group, Foot Village, and his bikini-clad, firework-toting band that performs in and around a van, Friends Forever, the more insane his projects sound.
Here's a typical slice of dialogue from our conversation:
What do you do in Friends Forever?
I'm the coach.
What does the coach do?
I set up the fireworks on the equipment and the band's helmets.
How do you set off fireworks in a van?
The van has a lot of burn marks.
While both bands are markedly different from one another, they share the same commitment to joyful madness and flashy theatrics. Taylor fell in love with Foot Village when he saw the "power and passion" behind four drummers playing their kits as though each were a different instrument in a Van Halen anthem. When the band needed a new member, Taylor tried out, and now he's one of the screaming, pounding mayhem-makers.
"I've always loved bands with a lot of percussion, and this is pure drums," Taylor says. "It's got all the force without the hippie-dippy drum circle thing."
Before the female performers and pyrotechnics, Friends Forever (which initially consisted of Taylor and two male friends) traveled the country playing on whatever sidewalk would have them. "One time in Tucson we were too shy to go up to the venue and ask to play, so we just played across the street in our van," Taylor recalls. Since then, the band has added the aforementioned scantily clad women, who perform the songs, while the "coach" makes sure each lady is armed with explosives. "Friends Forever plays songs you want to hear at sporting events to boost your spirit and morale," Taylor explains.
Both groups prefer the outdoors, even if it means braving the elements. A lack of electrical equipment means Foot Village can play anywhere, and neither frostbite nor the fear of being struck by lightning can stop the gals in Friends Forever. "The girls have been awesome about playing in whatever weather," Taylor says. "They just love performing so much that, as long as they’re playing, they don't care."
Taylor has surrounded himself with like-minded people and he's not sure if he'll ever join the ranks of a more straightforward ensemble. "There are so many traditional bands out there that suck," Taylor says. "I'd hate to add to that."
Friends Forever and Foot Village will park their vans/drum kits outside Stove Gallery (114 Morningside NE) on Wednesday, March 12, at 8 p.m. for a $5 all-ages show. Kevin Shields and local acts Death Convention Singers (a mouth-generated offshoot of cobra//group) and GunSafe will whip things into a frenzy.
For their seventh studio album, Lift a Sail, Yellowcard had a simple but ambitious goal: to outdo everything they’d ever done before. The guitars and drums had to hit harder; the songwriting had to cut deeper; the choruses had to reach heights only hinted at on their previous outings. Frontman Ryan Key believes he and his bandmates—guitarist Ryan Mendez, violinist Sean Mackin, bassist Josh Portman and guest drummer Nate Young (Anberlin)—succeeded on all those fronts. “We really feel like we got where we wanted to be, and made a proper rock ‘n’ roll record,” Key says proudly.
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