Live & Direct With Hiss Golden Messenger


Hiss Golden Messenger in the WYEP Studios on January 31st, 2017 in support of the new album Heart Like a Levee. Frontman, MC Taylor, is originally from Irvine, CA. He talked about what kind of influence his musician father had on him, despite his dad's career as a public school teacher, "I took some aesthetic things from him. His sense of rhythm is quite similiar to mine. In terms of making a career out of it, I sort of learned inversely from him. I know he harbored a little bit of regret that he didn't keep going. Which is not something he ever really expressed to me, until recently in the last couple years when he actually saw that it was gonna work for me."

Taylor talked about playing in a hardcore punk band over 20 years ago in San Francisco and what made him want to make the change in style to Americana, "I was 18 when I decided I wanted to actually learn to play an instrument the way the way they were played on records that I love and grew up with." Taylor spent several years travelling the country playing abrasive music, but eventually grew out of that and moved to North Carolina for school. He studied to become a Folklorist. "For several years, I worked for the state of North Carolina because they knew I was a musician. I would travel around the Easern part of the state. I would record people playing "traditional" music- I say that in quotes because I would let the people define what traditional meant. I was very adament that I didn't want a top down definition of traditional music because that can be very exclusive to lots of beauftiul music that was being made that might not fit into that."

In a recent New Yorker article about Hiss Golden Messenger, Taylor stated that he aligns himself with marginalized people in this country; however, he does not call himself a protest singer. Asked if that might change, Taylor said "When someone says protest singer, I think of early Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. In some of their work, they were very clear about who it is they are protesting. They were naming names in a different way and I respect that. Those records are incredible, but that's not exactly what I do. That being said, this band is 100% anti-Trump. Nothing that he says resonates with us, I think he's a bully. However, I invite anyone that voted for Trump to come to our shows. We are not up there shaking our fists at Trump. We are bringing hopefulness to the stage. Our mission is to bring hope and light and love at a time when people need it. This music is uniquely suited to do that."

Set List: 

- Biloxi

- Happy Day

- Say It Like You Mean It

- Call Him Daylight