The Taskers are a hard working brother/sister rock band from Stafford. They comprise of Sophie Bret Tasker and Jack BC Tasker
We met up with Jack and Sophie from at a Busted/Toploader reunion gig in London, called 'BustedLoader' (alas, not nearly as catchy as McBusted but hey ho....), Sophie went to the merch stand to get a pink Busted cowboy hat, Jack and I hit the bar.
Before the show, we found a nice quiet area away from screaming teenagers and asked them a bunch of questions, here's how we got on....
The Taskers, who what why where & when?
JT:A brother and sister garage duo who formed in 2012. We play loud raucous rock and some tender acoustic tunes. We sound like Fugazi being fronted by Wes Anderson.
Give us three words that best describe you?
SBT: Honest. Girth. Fun.
Write a poem/quick song containing the words ‘Glastonbury’, ‘Pop up tents’, ‘Fracking’ and ‘Costa Coffee’
With voices screaming like fracking drills,
Winding their way through the pop up tents of Glastonbury
The hum of bass and generators
Shaking my skin and reminding me, of you.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
JT: That’s such a tough one. It’s got to be a Pearl Jam album… and although TEN is a classic, I think we’ll go with VS, as it shows how a band can step up to the plate on a second album and blow everything out of the park.
Which act/band made you want to become a singer/songwriter?
JT: Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Frank Turner and The White Stripes, sorry I can’t nail it down to one.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
SBT: It already exists, it’s called Pearl Jam.
JT: You’ve had to have Andrew Bird, Eddie Vedder, Jimmy Page and Jens Lekman… I would pay to see that.
Please describe a typical (if there is such a thing) Taskers live show?
SBT: We come on dressed as palaeontologists or Lucha Dore’s, smash out some super fast heavy numbers, then we tone it down and play something funky for one or two numbers, then it’s nothing but epic girth until the end.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
JT: Last summer we went to London Bridge studios in Seattle, where TEN, DIRT, TEMPLE OF THE DOG and plenty of other incredible albums were recorded. That was a close as we’ll ever get to being a part of those records.
5 albums in 2 years is quite a feat, were these tracks that you already had 'in the bag'?
SBT: No, every song we’ve written in the five years. It’s a tried and tested method. Jack writes three or four songs a week, then I come in with the quality control and we pare it down to one. We’re dedicated, that’s why we get so much done.
First gig you ever went to? (honest answers please)
Who is going to win the World Cup? Why this team?
JT: One of those people who kick the ball.
SBT: It’s a tough one, Brazil have that home field advantage with every game, but I have to say England don’t I?
How do you approach your song-writing?
JT: As SBT said earlier, I write huge swathes of songs and then she chooses the best bits. Sometimes I’ll write an idea I’m so proud of and she’ll say ‘Nah it’s rubbish’ , it’s hard to deal with those moments, I want to storm off like a baby.
Your sister agreed to accompany you on stage providing you wrote new songs and didn’t play any of your old ‘fruity folks songs’, do you miss these?
Not really, compared to what I write now they were very unaccomplished. I just wanted to be the Frank Turner of Stafford.
Give us your 3 top tips for surviving at a music festival….
SBT: Beer, wet wipes and a good set of friends who you can trust.
JT: I’ve never been, I like showers too much.
First guitar riff you heard that sent chills down your spine?
JT: When Seven Nation Army came out I was really starting to get into modern guitar music and I have to say it blew my mind.
Aside form yourselves, there are tons of great acts out there at the moment, name some that you would encourage our readers to go check out?
SBT: Jesse’s Divide, based in Stoke. Field Sparrow based in Stafford. Black Tie White Noise based in London, who are insane!
What was the first song you lever learned?
JT: I just used to stand looking into the mirror as opposed to learning other songs.
For your latest album ‘Rat Residence’ you called upon the services of other musicians, do you use these to play live too?
SBT; We have a ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ cello player who step in and out for the different geographical gigs. Dan Yates our producer sometimes plays bass. But we never want to rely too heavily on the other musicians, you know, to the point where we couldn’t play live without them.
Do you think CD and Vinyl will eventually die off, leaving just soulless, gutless MP3 files to take over the world?
JT: That’s what people said about CD in relation to vinyl. Maybe we’ll have a generation of people who love MP3 and will get upset when the next evolution comes along. Personally I love vinyl and CD, I like having them on the shelf.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
JT: Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan and J.D Salinger.
SBT: Gustav Klimpt, Brandon Boyd and Eddie Vedder.
Imagine you’re setting up your own ‘dream’ festival, who are the 3 headline acts (dead/alive/reformed etc)
JT: Pearl Jam, Led Zep and Andrew Bird, that would be a killer festival.
SBT: Vampire Weekend’s got to be in there somewhere.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
SBT: Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic, melancholic, spikey and kick ass.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
SBT: No, everybody has to know everything.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
JT: New album smashed out in the autumn and released early 2015. We’re constantly touring and then working in our other bands; Bare John, Jack Rennie and The Nightmares and finally, Matt Topswski and the Wailing Synagogues.
The gig was going okay so far, there was an intermission for the roadies to drag off Toploaders equipment prior to setting up the stage for Busted, whilst the lights were up and the youngsters had hit the toilets for a much needed wee, we asked Jack and Sophie some quick fire questions.....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee..for JT, tonnes and tonnes of high quality coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi..but SBT doesn’t drink fizzy drinks, besides Cider
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal!
Mac or PC? I’m answering this on a MAC, so I’ll say beautiful MAC’s
Kebab or Burger? Burger
Jack White or Meg White? Both, they are absolute heroes to us.
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
COSTA or Starbucks? COSTA..they’re 1% less evil, right?
The Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Beatles
Car or Motorbike? Motorbike…for SBT
Camping or ‘Glamping’? Glamping
Acoustic or Electric? Electric
Jennifer or Angelina? Sigourney Weaver
Fender or Gibson? Gibson
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos..SBT has them.
De Niro or Pacino? Pacino
God or Google? Google
So there you have it folks, all that you could possibly need to know about The Taskers in under 5 minutes. Feel free to mention to them that you read this fascinating piece of music journalism on musicmuso.com and I'm sure they'll buy you a drink*....
*Drink loosely refers to 'tap water' (maybe with ice and a slice!)
FORTHCOMING LIVE DATES
7/7/14 The Flapper, Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row, Birmingham, B1 2NU
13/6/14 Stafford Polish Club, ST16 3UF, 8pm
12/7/14 Alsager Music Fesitval, Neon Tiger Stage, 2.15pm
25/7/14 Sunflower Lounge, B5 4EG, 8pm Supporting Revolver
9/8/14 The Habit, York, 8pm,
11/10/14 The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier St, Salford M3 7DW
Musicmuso would like to thank Jack and Sophie for taking time out of their busy day to sit and answer our questions, we wish them every success in the future and look forward to reviewing their latest album 'Rat Residence' on the website shortly.
Interview by Steve Muscutt