'Eyes Wide Shut. Ears Wide Open. Prepare Accordingly!'
With the upcoming release of Wide Awake & Dreaming out April 17, 2007 through Leap Dog Music, along with a DVD This Was NOW,John Taglieri has realized all the dreams one could hope for: a full time touring career, solid CD sales, a growing fan base, his own record label and publishing company, and much more.
Building things one step at a time has been Taglieri’s way, and through determination, he has stepped right into something good. Part troubadour, part showman, Taglieri has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry through energetic and emotional live performances showcasing his catchy songwriting and powerful voice.
His latest offering shows the growth and depth of his writing, and illustrates an artist that is comfortable in his own skin and place in his career. Through his upbeat melodies and catchy hooks, something Taglieri believes is sorely missing in music today, his songs capture the listener’s imagination and make them feel as if he were singing to them one on one. Familiar, honest and welcoming lyrics are perfect examples of what you can find on Wide Awake & Dreaming, and with just one listen, his songs draw you in and have you singing along like you were back in high school.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "Well, I grew up on a pretty diverse diet of music ranging from rock to pop to punk and everything in between! Journey, Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, Triumph, The Cars, Blondie, The Ramones, The Bee Gees, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi…you name it, I listened to it! I was also influenced by the whole 80’s rock era…as cheesy as it was! LOL…then as I got older, I got more into singer songwriters and bands that were more AAA rock like The Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Edwin McCain, Jeffrey Gaines, Martin Sexton, The Goo Goo Dolls, Sister Hazel, Train and Matchbox 20. Also stuff like STP, Pearl Jam and such."
"As for how relevant they still are to me today, they are all still relevant to me today as it’s all a combination of what I draw from when I’m writing. I don’t necessarily think about it, but it’s there and every writer is influenced by their past. So it comes out in different ways on different songs, but they are all still relevant to me."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your latest CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "
Well, my sound has changed a little over the years. As for the new CD, I’d say if Third Eye Blind and Vertical Horizon got hit by Train, you’d have my new CD!"
Your album title 'Wide Awake & Dreaming is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a theme to it, perhaps? "Well, not really a theme, but a feeling. I’m a very lucky person. I’ve worked hard over the last few years and gotten myself into a position where I now make music full time. That’s what I’ve always wanted. To be able to make a living doing what I love to do. I never cared about being famous, just getting to do what I love. So my dreams have been met and I get to live that dream every day now, and that’s what the title of the CD kind of stands for. I’m wide awake and living a dream. A lot of the songs on the CD are about going after what you want in life and that you only get one shot at it, so don’t waste it doing things you really don’t want to be doing. Make sure you chase your dreams with everything you’ve got…no whining, no complaining…if you want it, do something about it and go get it. Chase your dreams…to me, that is what life should be about."
As you live by the mantra that one should believe in what they do and always chase their dreams, if music hadn't have been your dream what profession would you now find yourself in? "Hmmmm…great question! LOL…I have no idea! I’ve worked a ton of different jobs in my life…sales at Fortune 500 companies, worked at Toy’s R Us, been a waiter, worked at Radio Shack, done warehouse work…you name it…whatever I had to do to pay bills so I could play music. I guess if I wasn’t a musician, maybe I’d have gone after photography or graphic design…I think no matter what, it would have been something in a creative field."
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's /accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Well, this is where being an indie artist is the best…I don’t care about the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded my songs within the industry and the need to have to improve on them. I write and play music because it’s what I truly love to do. I write what is personally gratifying to me. I say what I need to say and feel that I want to say, and don’t usually worry about how it stacks up against the latest “Top 10” hits. Now, that being said, of course I hope I say something relevant and that people will like and accept. I understand it’s an essential part of it. I want my music to do well with my fans and people who are hearing it for the first time, but I just don’t think it has to stack up against other stuff to make it."
"Being an indie I don’t have to sell two million records to make a good living. I don’t have a conference room full of people telling me that they “don’t hear the hit, so go write some more...”, and I don’t have to answer to what the preconceived notions are about what a song needs to sound like to be a good song. I write what feels good to me and thankfully, it’s been the kind of music that has been accepted by enough people to allow me to have a great career and enjoy what I truly love to do. And it’s a shame that it’s not the case at the upper level of the business as well, which is why the major label system is falling apart! It’s become TOO much about the business and not enough about the music, and that’s a shame. It’s also why music fans aren’t buying like they used to and why indie bands are making such a statement these days."
Please tell us more about what is going through your mind on the front cover of the new album - where you are looking up through an open door into the light! "Well, the title is Wide Awake & Dreaming…so that’s me walking into my dream world! When you see the insert, it’s all illustrated and it’s my own little world inside of the music. I really wanted to be different on this one and my art person, Marybeth Seacott at MB Graphic Design, truly outdid herself on everything and brought to life exactly what I had in my head for this. It’s actually funny to see myself illustrated, but she did a great job!"
You are also releasing a DVD entitled 'This Is NOW' ... so what's that all about? "'NOW' was my last CD and the DVD is a live show from that tour. It was filmed at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT. There are also two music videos, a slide show and an interview included on the DVD. It’s just another outlet for those who may not have been able to catch the show live to show them what the band is all about!"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "Oh man…a long list indeed!!! LOL…Immediately, believe it or not, “Take On Me” by A-Ha came to mind. So we’ll go with that one…but literally, there are dozens! LOL."
Lastly, and throwing in a comedic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins ... do you?! "Penguins are awesome! Always dressed and ready for then party, can drink like a fish, always seemingly in a good mood and from what I hear, are quite the good dancers! They even look cool just standing around. Definitely dig the penguins…no doubt!"
Thanx again for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future "Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I truly appreciate it a lot!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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