“We don’t hang out with each other all the time when we’re not on tour” is one part of Taproot’s secret to being a band for almost 15 years, explaned bassist Phil Lipscomb in a phone interview. “We started out as friends, hanging out and playing together long before we became a band,” he shared, which also might be another secret to success. The were in college at time and the started out playing locally around their hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich. “We were probably one of the first bands to use the internet to promote ourselves. We had people mailing us checks and we’d send music out to them — as far as Australia.”
When they sent their demo to Fred Durst, he liked it. He helped connect them with some people in Los Angeles, and before long they were playing showcases there, which led to their first album, …Something More Than Nothing. Their sound, Lipscomb says “started out sounding like the bands we liked — Metallica, Pantera, Korn, Limp Bizkit.” But eventually those influences gelled into something of their own. “Our singer (Stephen Richards) and guitarist (Mike DeWolf) collaborate on music and lyrics, then we get together and work it out.”
Their latest album, The Episodes has been in the works for a while. “We had the story for the album five years ago, but we sat on it.” They we’re reluctant to release it for a few reasons, including that it was a departure for them — a concept album. “Each record has it’s own flavor. It’s great for us, but it’s can be challenging for fans.” A willingness to take that kind of risk, however, might be another element of their success. (You can listen to some tracks and decide for yourself right here.) Another factor is certainly their emphasis on their craft. “School is important — the more knowledge you have, the better you’ll be at something. Try to be the best at whatever it is you’re doing — having drive and purposeful effort,” is one of the keys to making it work as a band.
Though they’ve just wrapped up a full tour, Lipscomb pointed out that the band is really involved in all of their social media efforts — it’s important to them becuase one of the ways they first found success was online. And they’re happy to hear from fans, and maybe soon-to-be fans, so if you like what you hear and you reach out you’ll be talking directly to them.
“Around the Bend”