Interview With Taylor Madison of Superheaven!

After grabbing a quick bite at Twisted Root in Deep Ellum, I obliviously marched into the ever-familiar Club Dada before the doors were officially open. The first person I spotted was the long-haired Taylor Madison of the newly renamed band Superheaven. After realizing that his PR rep hadn’t informed him of our interview, I expressed an understanding to his possible reluctance to conduct an interview since it was unexpected. However, he agreed to sit down and chat with ya homeboy, a very kind gesture. Here’s the interview:


Michael: So how’s the tour been so far?

Superheaven: Good, we’ve only played two shows. In Kentucky, which is sort of like the Cincinnati, Ohio area, but it’s kinda like on the border of the two states, so it’s technically Kentucky, but it was the Cincinatti area. That was really good…and that was our first show under the new name, and that was pretty exciting. We played in Memphis, Tennessee yesterday, and it was cool. We’d never played in Memphis before, so we didn’t really have any expectations. Usually when we’ve never played somewhere, we just assume that it won’t be that great or mediocre at best, and it was good. We played in a house, and it was fun. We played here [at Club Dada] and it’s always pretty decent.

Michael: Is there a good turnout here? It’s my first time seeing you guys.

Superheaven: The first time we played here was two years ago with Basement and Dead End Path, and I think Soul Search…ya definitely. It was good. The second time we played here was with O’brother, which was last September. That was good too, decent amount of people. We hope our third time will be as good.

Michael: So what’s the best kind of show for Superheaven?

Superheaven: I just think a show where, like, we play in front of a decent amount of people who give a s**t, you know what I mean? It’s cool to play in front of a lot of people, but it’s not that cool unless…people are interested in watching. I don’t mind playing in front of people who have never heard us before as long as they’re checking us out, rather than just waiting for us to be over. I just like playing in front of people that care.

Michael: Can you give us a brief synopsis on the name change?

Superheaven: It’s pretty simple, I mean, there’s another band who has gotten around to trademarking the name before we did. There’s really no way around it. It’s not like they’ve threatened legal action or anything like that. It was  the kind of thing where we didn’t want to keep putting out records under a name that we knew we couldn’t keep.  People that aren’t familiar with the legal (I’m not familiar with [it]) logistics of names, but a lot of it was brought to my attention, and it’s just dumb. If the band has the name trademarked internationally, you really can’t just wait… I’d rather just get it out of the way now than wait and put out two more LPs and then we have to change it later on. It’s something that had to be done no matter what; people are like “Oh, you should make them change their names.” They legally own it, it’s not as simple as threatening them to change their names. We weren’t married to the name [Daylight] anyway, it was just our name for awhile. The biggest pain was coming up with a new name and dealing with people whining about not keeping the old name. It’s fine…people will get over it, I guess, but that’s the bottom line of it.

Michael: So how’d you guys come up with the new name?

Superheaven: We all just kinda had names. We had a list of names, and we’d just brainstorm…for a couple months. I don’t know, we just eventually decided on that. It was one of the first ones we came up with. I think we told a couple of people that that’s one name we came up with and we were thinking about it. People seemed to like it the most.

Michael: [Changing the name ] is more about being proactive than having to deal with the repercussions later?

Superheaven: Yeah. The thing is people don’t realize that…it’s not like we’re gonna get sued…we don’t know this other band, so we don’t know how they’d handle the situation. It’s just they could make money, selling merch…with the same name. we just didn’t feel like dealing with something like that.

Michael: With this name change, do you think you’re gonna keep your sound the same?

Superheaven: Yeah, it’s just a name. The name doesn’t affect how we are. Our music changes…cuz it’s changed a few times…but if our music evolves, it doesn’t have anything to do with what our band is called.I know what you mean, it’s just some bands might think, “Oh, this is an invitation for me to change.”Yeah, because people think they should start a new band, but why the hell would we do that? We’ve been touring as this band and we have these songs…it’s the same band, it’s just a name, I guess.

Michael: For someone who’s never heard Superheaven, how would you guys describe your sound?

Superheaven: It depends who is asking. If a relative or parent was to ask, I’d say, “you know…like the Foo Fighters. We’re just rock music.” Most adults will know the Foo Fighters, I feel like we don’t sound far off from the Foo Fighters that I feel like I’m blowing smoke up their a$$. So that’s just the easiest thing to compare it to that the general public  knows. If it was someone who’s more familiar with smaller bands, honestly, I just say we’re a rock band. If our parents say “what does that sound like,” I’ll say, “oh, Nirvana.” Most parents know who Nirvana is, so…

Michael: I’ve noticed lately that a lot of bands from Doylestown are getting a lot of coverage in the music scene today. Is that just me, or…?

Superheaven: Well I only know of three bands that are from Doylestown.

Michael: That’s three more than Coppell, Texas.

Superheaven: I’m just wondering what bands besides us, Balance and Composure and Circa Survive, or do you just mean those three.

Michael: Well, yeah. I mean, Circa Survive are a pretty known group in certain scenes. Then there’s a bunch of hardcore bands from that area.

Superheaven: I feel like people who’ve never been to Doylestown realize that it’s a very small town. We’re actually not from Doylestown, we all live within 15 minutes from there, but our old drummer is the only one from there, and filled out our Twitter and our Facebook, so we just…that’s where people think we’re from. Anyone in the Philadelphia area, all those bands are from that area. We all live about 45 minutes from Philadelphia…I don’t think that answers the original question, (laughs). Geographically, we’re technically not from Doylestown, but I don’t think bands from Doylestown being covered has anything to do with being from Doylestown. I think it’s a few bands from there.

Michael: It’s just a coincidence?

Superheaven: Yeah, I think we just happen to have people that work pretty hard and want to be in bands and tour and stuff like that. I think it just happens to be. Same thing with Wilkes-Barre and stuff like that, which is only about an hour from us. There’s a lot of bands that come out of there, and it’s just a community where a lot of people play music. It’s cool, we’re from an area where every hour in each direction there’s a place where a lot of fairly well-known bands are from.

Michael: Yeah, you guys are from the same hometown as Pink. Some people think that’s cool.

Superheaven: Apparently that’s a real thing. Like, I’ve seen a yearbook photo of her in one of the Doylestown high schools, but I’ve never seen her  in Doylestown. She probably doesn’t live there.

Michael: So besides being small, what’s Doylestown like?

Superheaven: Honestly, it’s pretty wealthy, upper-middle class, which is why I don’t live there. It’s not all like that, like, there are cheaper places to live in Doylestown, but overall, it’s a known place for having high rent. Most people who don’t have very much money don’t live in Doylestown. It’s a very nice town, pretty clean and stuff like that. It’s a nice small town. It’s hard to explain, like a tiny town you’d see in a movie…

Michael: It’s like a suburb?

Superheaven: Yeah, it’s a suburb.

Michael: It sounds like where I come from…those are all the serious question I have,  let’s do the generic throwaway [questions]. What was your first concert ever?

Superheaven: I think my dad surprised me and my best friend when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I forget what the tour was called, but it was like Linkin Park,

Cypress Hill, and someone else. Me and my friend were kinda at the age of getting into punk music and stuff, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He was like, “We’re going to see Linkin Park,” and I was like…s**t.Was it a fun show?It was cool. To this day, I’ve always had a good relationship with my dad and I hang out with my dad a lot. He’s a pretty funny guy, so to go to a show like that, it was pretty ridiculous with like Cypress Hill. It was fun. We were pretty young , and there were people smoking weed and stuff, and like my dad didn’t know how to feel about it.

Michael: Your dad sounds like my dad. The first concert I went to was Rush. [Oddly enough] It wasn’t, like, his choice. They were the first band I fell in love with…no the second, Green Day was the first. He’s like, “I know you like this band, and I’m the only person in my age group that doesn’t listen to them, but we can go if you want.” We went, and there were tons of dads that were super drunk [or high] and all that stuff.

Superheaven: So Rush opened for Green Day?

Michael: No, no, those were just the first bands I fell in love with. That’d be crazy [laughs].[My dad] trusts me and stuff, though. Like, I’m straight edge, and I don’t judge anyone who does that stuff, but it’s just not for me, but [my dad and I] go to a lot of shows, it’s how we bond. The last show we went to was Power Trip [everyone giggles]. The singer went to my high school, so I think that made my dad feel a little safer. What did you do in high school?

Superheaven: Honestly, i did nothing. I dropped out because I had like a 0 GPA. School was always a problem… I wasn’t bad or dumb, I just hated homework and stuff. I don’t like math, Math is the only thing that makes me feel really dumb. I didn’t do s**t. I drew in school [in class], that’s what I did. Eventually my teachers were like, “are you gonna do the work?” I said probably not. I ended up getting my diploma later, like a year or so later, so I technically graduated, but I left school.

Michael: Were your doodles any good?

Superheaven: Yeah they were ok.

Michael: Were they like d**k drawings?

Superheaven: Nah, I never got to that level, but I [appreciate] good ones. I drew all sorts of stuff, like aliens and stuff.

Michael: So it’s whatever you’re feeling?

Superheaven: Yeah, I draw a lot less stuff now.

Michael: Did you have any celebrity crushes in high school?

Superheaven: Yeah, I have multiple celebrities crushes now, to be honest.

Michael: Alright, let’s go (laughs).

Superheaven: My number one is pretty controversial. Some people either love her or they hate her. Nicki Minaj is my number one celebrity crush. Miley [Cyrus] is my number two celebrity crush.

Michael: Uhh, I don’t like this list (laughs).

Superheaven: I just like celebrities, haha!

Michael: I’m more of a Ciara and Beyonce kinda guy…you’re probably gonna laugh at this but I watch One Tree Hill…

Superheaven: Dude, honestly our other guitar player Jake watches the most embarassing TV, so there is no judgement here.

Michael: Well, I think you should give it a try because the best-looking women are on that show. Hold on, let me pull out a picture.

Superheaven: Jake probably knows their names and stuff…he always likes off-the-radar kind of girls that are on ABC Family shows.

Michael: That’s where the best ones are. [Michael proceeds to pull up a picture of Sophia Bush]

Superheaven: She looks familiar. Is that Sophia Bush?

Michael: Yeah, she’s the best.

Superheaven: My friend from home, Matt, is really into her.

Michael: I like short girls. She’s like 5’4’…that’s right, I looked up her stats, haha.

Superheaven: Dude, that’s Jake. He knows birthdays, height, weight, eye color, the whole thing, like place of birth…

Michael: I get [interested] with hometowns in general…that’s why I asked about Doylestown. I like knowing about different environments… If there was one band you could tour with [even inactive ones], who would you tour with.

Superheaven: I think everyone in the band would give very different answers. I have a few for different reasons. This one may sound crazy, but if I had the power to tour with any band ever, one of them would be Basement, because every time we tour with them…it’s unexplainable. The first time we toured with them, we didn’t know them, and we… are like the same exact people. I also like the band, too. I think another band would be the Foo Fighters. They’re probably one of the most popular rock bands that are [actual] rock…They do pretty much whatever they want, and can sell out arenas. I think that’s pretty cool.

Michael: I think considering a lot of radio rock, [Foo Fighters] are pretty ballsy.

Superheaven: Yeah, they’re all from ROCK bands. They’re a massive band, and they’ve done that by just being a good band.

Michael: I like how they’re originally from cool bands [like] Sunny Day Real Estate.

I also like, say what you will about Dave Grohl, but I think it’s cool how he can go produce the BL’AST comeback record and stuff.

Superheaven: I love Dave Grohl. I think he’s cool, because he’s known for being a real-a$$ dude. You never hear about him being a d**khead at a restaurant or anything.

Michael: There’s no pretense.

Superheaven: Yeah. People who’ve met him said he’s really nice. He doesn’t have to be a real-a$$ dude, he could do whatever he wants, people would still love his band.

Michael: Yeah…let’s go back to Basement really quick. I saw footage of [Superheaven] at The Well in Leeds when you were on tour with Basement. It seemed crazy! Was that one of your craziest shows?

Superheaven: Yeah, there were 3 shows. One was just a last-minute warm-up show, then we had the other two.

Michael: Were you at the very last show, or were you somewhere else.

Superheaven: No, those were the last shows.

Michael: Ok. Those looked really fun. I think that’s all the questions I have, oh wait: favorite album of all time?

Superheaven: It really changes, relatively, frequently. Not really, I think Failure’s Fantastic Planet is probably my favorite throughout, of all time.  Which is a bummer because they played Philadelphia last night, and we were on tour so we couldn’t go. So I’m pretty-

Michael: That stinks-

Superheaven: -I’m pretty bummed about that. The show was [inaudible] last night, so I softened the blow a bit. But that’s probably my favorite record, I love everything about it: I love every song on it, I think that the recording and production are perfect. like I feel like that’s what we kind of used as a reference when recording the LP, but they don’t sound similar I was just kinda like “I want some sort of this [sound]”, ’cause it sounds like, it has some sort of raw vibe to it but at the same time it sounds like it’s a big, well done professional record, ya know?

Michael: Yeah, honestly I’ve never heard of Failure until they reformed, and I haven’t checked them out yet ’cause I’ve been really busy, but I heard that they sound just like Hum, and I’m a big Hum fan. Is that true or…?

Superheaven: Ummm, yeah, not really, I don’t think so. They’re definitely comparable, not in the sense of comparing Black Sabbath to Kid Rock, or anything like that. I don’t think they sound that similar. I like Failure more than Hum, I think Hum has good songs but I don’t really like the singing, I never have. I think they’re a good band but I haven’t been into them as much as I have been into Failure.

Michael: I can see what you’re saying about the singing, it could be annoying.

Superheaven: It’s just dull, it’s-

Michael: It’s not convictive-

Superheaven: -it’s not bad. It’s like, listening to a record with that kind of singing is difficult. But Fantastic Planet, has to be number one for me.

Michael: I’ve been meaning to check that out ’cause I’ve heard it’s like, a classic. They’re coming to town on my birthday, but I don’t know anything about them. Anyway, do you have any guilty pleasures musically? Any ‘One Tree Hills’?

Superheaven: No, not really.  think the term “guilty”, like guilty pleasure in terms of music, or anything in particular, is a little strange. You shouldn’t feel guilty about liking stuff. Anything I like, I’m pretty open to them. I guess umm, like unforgiving or unapologetic. Like, yeah I like that, or some dumb sh*t. But yeah, usually I won’t tell someone something sucks and then go listen to it in secret. LIke, (to band member) what’s a stupid thing we listen to?

Superheaven band member: Like Kid Rock?

Superheaven: Yeah, I listen to Kid Rock all the time. I think he’s sick. And not even ironically, or sarcastically, I think Kid Rock is cool.

Michael: That’s the one genre of music I can’t stand. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, and I can’t…

Superheaven: A lot of people say that, like there’s definitely country [music] that sucks but-

Michael:  A lot of people where you’re from say that? I need to live where you live because a lot of people around me listen to country-

Superheaven:  Dude, honestly, a lot of people like country. I think it’s a massive genre…bazillion dollar industry. I don’t have any guilty pleasure, though.

Michael: So it’s like, “If I like it, I like it. Whatever.”

Superheaven: Yeah, haha.

Michael: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on tour.

Superheaven: We get asked that question a lot in interviews…We don’t really do anything crazy. WE’re not big partiers, only one of us drinks. Nothing crazy…not anything I would consider crazy. People also ask what’s the funniest thing that happened on tour; I also have the memory of an earthworm, so I don’t remember most of what we’ve done on the tour. I remember certain significant things, like people in another band and restaurants we’ve been to, but off the top of my head I can’t think of anything crazy.

Michael: Have you done anything cool in Dallas?

Superheaven: We’ve actually been here since early this morning. We wanted to try to swim, but we couldn’t find anyone with a pool. We tried to go see Godzilla, but it was sold out. I’ve never had that happen in my life…

Michael: If you can, definitely try to see that.

Superheaven: We’ll try on a weekday.

Michael: It’s not what you expect, I think you’ll like it. What’s one question that no interviewer has asked you that you’d like to be asked?

Superheaven:  (pauses) I don’t have an answer haha!

Michael: Alright, Thank you very much!

Watch: Superheaven: Outside Of Me/On The Way To Dads – Live

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