10Qs with Zak Taillon of Superorder

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Photo by Joel Desmond

Could you tell me about any current projects, performances, or recordings?
As far as projects go, I am working on training a new bassist for my band, Superorder. Once he is ready, we will be planning a CD/DVD release show for our visual album, Ten Cities, which is currently only available in digital format. In the meantime, I am composing our next album and practicing synthesizer for an embarrassing Clash of the Titans performance on March 18th*.

Where were you born?
Born in Methuen, Massachusetts. Raised in the Seacoast Region, New Hampshire.

How long have you lived in Maine?
Nine and a half years. I moved to Portland, Maine in 2005 for college and have lived here since, except for a year I lived in Portland, Oregon in 2010.

What was your most memorable non-musical job?
All things considered I’d say that I’m currently working at what will one day be my most memorable non-musical job: bartending and serving at Boda. Really bizarre things happen there like clockwork. Example: just last week I caught a guy eating cat treats at the bar on his birthday.

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Photo by Ben McCanna

What was your most memorable gig?
Every opportunity I’ve have to perform music over the last seven years is memorable and special to me, though there are probably two gigs tied for first place: one was my first show playing guitar for Picnic Casket in February 2008 at Dos Amigos Burritos in Dover, New Hampshire. We opened for Transistor Transistor’s 7’’ release party during a massive snowstorm but surprisingly the turnout was so good that they had to turn people away at the door because there was like 60 people stuffed into this tiny burrito shop. The other gig was a couple years ago with my band, Superorder, at Waranimal’s Winter Beach Ball at Space Gallery. After playing a 40 minute set of all instrumental prog-rock/electronic music, Kyle Scofield and I performed a very faithful cover of Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” to a sold out crowd of thrash metal kids who were mostly wearing bathing suits.

What album or artist has most influenced you as a musician?
It’s impossible for me to chose any one above all others, since being a musician, for me at least, is being a cumulative byproduct of all the influential albums and soundtracks and weird little noises that have made their way into my life at pinnacle moments. That being said, some albums definitely worth mentioning are The Second Stage Turbine Blade by Coheed and Cambria, Before the Dawn Heals Us by M83, Focus by Cynic, Surface to Air by Zombi, Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution, Thriller by Michael Jackson, and Ride the Lightning by Metallica. The common denominator between these albums is genre-hopping and inconsistent display of moods. Each of these albums played a part in helping me discover how to transform my fears and pains of life into something sonically epic and conceptually plot driven.

What’s the one piece of musical equipment you can’t live without?
An Apple computer with Logic 9 installed. I compose 90% of the music I write with virtual synthesizers in midi draw mode with just a mouse and keyboard. But if I was more concerned with this answer not being super nerdy, I would say my 2001 Ibanez UV777.

Any advice for a musician starting out?
Listen critically. Draw as much inspiration as you can from many diverse sources. Get out of your comfort zone. Practice meditation. Adapt meditation into your music practice. Experiment. Try harder.

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
R. Kelly. Especially Trapped in the Closet.

What was the first album/recording you owned?
Weird Al’s Bad Hair Day.

What are you listening to at the moment?
Currently listening to Prince’s Art Official Age as I answer these questions, but recently I’ve been listening to Falls of Rauros, Blut Aus Nord, Nothing, Oneohtrix Point Never, Majeure, An Autumn for Crippled Children, The Fucking Champs, and Steve Hauschildt.

What was the best concert/musical performance you’ve attended?
Yet again, I cannot name just one. It’s a close tie between seeing Goblin and Zombi performing together at the Sinclair in 2013 or My Bloody Valentine at House of Blues in Boston last November. I dig on all three of those acts so much and I still can’t believe I got to see them all perform within six months of each other. Also, seeing the Star Wars Symphony Orchestra is up there.

*We’re not sure if he’ll be performing as Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus

Stephen Quirk

Prior to landing his dream job at Automattic, Stephen served as Associate Director of a Boston-based non-profit overseeing the organization's technology, visual design, social networking, and event planning. For twelve years, he worked in the Technology Department at his alma mater, Maine College or Art.

Additionally, Stephen has exhibited his photography in Portland, Maine, Boston, and California. He lives just outside of Portland with his wife and two children.

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