Interview with Vocalist Justin Taylor of Alborn

Photo by Carl Filter

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Justin! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: So many things can define an artist; their sound, their style, their look...even their attitude. What do you think makes an artist unique, even iconic? Is it something more than just the music?

Justin Taylor: I believe it solely comes down to the music. I'm a big fan of authenticity, and am not attracted whatsoever to gimmicks, wardrobes, stage props, etc…personal opinion of course. Maybe some of the biggest artists of all time wouldn't have had their success without their own "look" but I like to believe the music would have had just as big of impact without that.

CV: Is being a "rock star" still a relevant term in today's music industry? Is it something worth aspiring to become especially for a young, up and coming artist?

JT: Being an unknown band, I don't think we can truly say if it's still a relevant thing, because we haven't experienced any major success, however it certainly isn't a goal of ours to become what most believe a rock star really is. For us, our only goal is to grow and become self sufficient so we can do this as a full time career.

CV: From your experience, does songwriting tend to define the band or does the band inevitably define the songwriting in your opinion? Meaning, can specific songwriting styles or formulas pigeon hole a band over time, creating limitations or does that particular style create a level of freedom and uniqueness?

JT: I feel that if you're targeting any one audience in particular, you're immediately limiting yourself. To try to attract a certain crowd or to follow the "radio structure" can have the ability to make whatever you have to offer completely hopeless. It's hard to stand out in today's crowd, but the only ones who succeed in doing so are the ones doing something different. So hell yes…be as unique as you need to be. I believe that the music will always have the best chance at success if it's organic.

CV: Given that there has been so many major developments and changes over the last several decades, would you consider the music industry to be a viable and stable enough environment for new artists and bands to even attempt to make a successful career, or at any rate, a living, in your opinion?

JT: Absolutely not. I haven't met one person in the music industry yet living off of only their band. With that said, I haven't met any superstars, but I think to realistically set your goals from the forefront, you should plan to have another source of income regardless, whether that be something music related, artsy, or not musically related at all. Hard Rock and Metal is no gold mine of a music genre.

CV: How would you describe the difference between an artist who follows trends and one who sets them?

JT: The follower is attempting to attract those who have already been attracted to the setter. As mentioned before, if it isn't authentic, it isn't genuine.

CV: Has digital technology made everyone an artist on some level in your opinion? Has such access, from a consumer standpoint, changed the game for more seasoned artists to find and maintain their audience?

JT: In some ways, yeah. Perception is reality, and that's a tough thing to be able to see past. We've all seen the unknown bands with a million Spotify streams, and 100k likes on Facebook, but their ticket sales are nowhere near established artists with the same online presence. Those types of artists can overshadow those who have put years of work into their craft and it's unfortunate, but it definitely doesn't make them an artist.

CV: Can a band truly interact with its fans and still maintain a level of individual privacy without crossing the line and giving up their “personal space” in your opinion?

JT: I love interacting with the crowd and am probably the least social person in the band, so yeah if I can do it, anyone can…haha

CV: Do you feel music still holds a place in our current culture of social media distancing and instant gratification? Does music still have the same meaning as it once did in our world?

JT: I think if anything, it's more powerful now than it ever was. The world is in a really weird place and I think it makes us all that much more desperate for an escape from it all.

CV: What's one thing being in a Rock band taught you that you feel you would not have learned elsewhere?

JT: Stay humble. I like to think we've never had an ego in our band, but I've seen egos absolutely destroy a band's fanbase. I've learned to let my actions speak louder than words, and I try to apply that in my every day.

CV: What's next for you? What can fans expect to see coming post COVID-19?

JT: We're going to write as much new music as possible while we wait for the gates to open back up so we can get back out on the road.

CV: Thank you again Justin for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was a pleasure. I wish you all the best and continued success.

JT: Thank you much! Cheers!

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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