NYE Exclusive Interview: Moon Taxi's Tommy Putnam December 17, 2018 18:17
Interview by Tiffany Clemons
Photo by Joseph Mikos Photography
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The indie rock quintet, Moon Taxi, is returning to their hometown of Nashville on New Year’s Eve to celebrate another huge year, as well as the finale of their Good as Gold Tour. It’s been over a decade since their formation back in 2006, and their dedication has led to shows in venues all over the country and literally every festival you can think of. They also have two, back-to-back sold out NYE shows in Nashville under their belts.
I was lucky enough to catch the guys a handful of times this year, each show more energetic and confetti filled than the last, including their show that almost wasn’t due to weather at SlossFest (RIP) in Birmingham, AL, the Which Stage at Bonnaroo, and at The Signal in Chattanooga with the funky fresh pop bangers, LUTHI, who hit multiple dates with Moon Taxi in 2018.
I was even more lucky to catch bass player, Tommy Putnam, for a few minutes to get the down low on this year’s NYE show. Check out the full conversation below, and if you're looking for last minute New Year's plans, it's not too late to grab your Moon Taxi tickets!
So, you guys formed in Nashville back in 2006, you all went to Belmont, blah blah blah, tell me the real story about how you all met, the story that you can’t already read on the internet.
Tommy: Trevor moved to Birmingham from Syracuse in either '98 or '99. One day, I was wearing a Phish T-shirt, and we started talking about the band. We quickly became friends and shortly after started playing music together, forming our high school band Apex. We moved to Nashville for college at Belmont and met Spencer the first day. Tyler came a few years later and then Wes shortly after. That’s the short version but there’s definitely a few more details.
Moon Taxi is definitely a tight quintet, but if you could have anyone dead or alive be the 6th member, who would it be and why?
Tommy: I would probably have to go with Van Gogh because people tell me I look like him all the time (even though I have both ears). He could probably sub for me if I was sick or something. So that would be a good positive for me.
Now that 2018 is about to be in the books, what was your favorite show?
Tommy: Mine was the Gorge with Dave Matthews, because it’s such a surreal venue for a show, and the nod from Dave himself was something special. I grew up with his music. I asked Trevor (Terndrup), and he said One Big Holiday with MMJ. I also asked Spencer (Thomson) and he said “I don’t know. I don’t really watch TV.”
When can we expect new music? Do you have a favorite album to date?
Tommy: New music should be out sometime soon, hopefully in the first half of 2019. I love all of our albums the same, but in different ways.
Moon Taxi is no stranger to NYE shows. Last year, you did a two-night run at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and back to back sold out shows at the War Memorial Auditorium here in Nashville in years prior. What can a first timer expect? Why should vets come back?
Tommy: The vets should definitely always come back because we always go bigger each year, and this NYE is no different. A first timer should expect to have their best NYE experience to date.
This will be my first NYE show with you guys, and I’m super excited. I’m also looking forward to seeing LUTHI again and getting my dance on with Sparkle City Disco. What is your relationship with these other Nashville based groups?
Tommy: We’ve had LUTHI as openers multiple times over the past few years and enjoy them as people and musicians. I haven’t met Sparkle City personally quite yet, but I’ve heard good things and I’m looking forward to doing so.
Can we expect any surprises at the NYE?
Tommy: There are always surprises at NYE, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you about it right here, right?
Do y’all have a pre-show ritual? Anything special before a NYE show in particular?
Tommy: Not much, maybe a little bubbly and some fist bumps.
On any given night, especially NYE, there is a lot going on in Nashville. Why should everyone buy tickets to your show right now?
Tommy: Obviously I’m biased, but I think we throw the best party in the city. Let’s ring it in!
For tickets to see Sparkle City Disco, LUTHI and Moon Taxi at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville on NYE, click here.
Watch the official music video for "Not Too Late" here: