BIMM Birmingham bass tutor Antonio Angotti will soon be hitting the road on a UK tour with his band Tax The Heat. The riff-rock troupe are just about to release their superb sophomore LP “Change Your Position”, so we thought we’d take a moment to pick Antonio’s brains and give a brief glimpse into their world.
Can you tell us a little bit about the new album?
The difficult second album! It actually came together a lot more quickly than we anticipated. We were writing whilst touring on the first album cycle as well as making the most of any downtime in order to get into the rehearsal room and keep working on ideas. Our writing process is very much a collaborative pool of riffs, progressions, drum grooves and sections that we all bring in and work on to form drafts of songs. We then kick them about a bit over time and revisit them to get the best possible arrangements we can. We recorded ‘Change Your Position’ at Chairworks Studio in Castleford, which is where we also recorded the first album. It’s a great space, which means we can track live together in one room – for us, it’s all about capturing the live energy. And working with Evansson again in the producer’s seat is always a hotbed for weird and wonderful ideas.
In terms of inspiration for this record, a lot of it lyrically stems from the state of the world currently – division, change, anger, protest, etc and holding a mirror up to that. As for the music, our aim has always been to write music that we enjoy – that’s where a band’s authenticity comes from. We’re fans of bands and artists such as QOTSA, White Denim, The Who, Bowie and Prince and we channel bits of all of our influences to create something that is uniquely Tax The Heat.
Lead single “Change The Position” is fantastic! Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind the track?
The title track from the new album very much addresses the turbulent state of the world right now and the very real impact it is having on people. It’s looking at division in society and people using it as an excuse to do wrong and say wrong. Lyrically it is the epicentre of the album. When shooting the video for the track, we wanted to do something that framed it in a way that was thought-provoking and relatable. Hence the whole ‘News’ theme that came out of it and the chaotic, dystopian nature of the imagery. It captures the division, the anger, the frustration and the pure despair that we have seen unfolding over the last few years. At the same time, it is a little tongue-in-cheek in its delivery – almost to parody the sometimes unbelievable state of affairs that the media report to the public.
How are you feeling about hitting the road again on the UK tour?
There’s nothing like live music and getting to play your own songs to people, so we always look forward to that. Headline tours are great in the UK as it is where we have built the vast majority of our fan base. It’s always nice knowing that people are coming out specifically to see you, it takes the pressure off a little. However, you can’t become complacent – you always need to put on a killer show to keep people coming back and spreading the word. At the same time, touring as a support band brings its own benefits – getting to play to new crowds, perhaps in even larger venues than normal is a great experience. It’s something we got to do last year in Europe, playing at some prestigious venues including l’Olympia in Paris and Alcatraz in Milan. In those scenarios, we tailor our sets to be much more punchy. It’s our 30min opportunity to make the biggest impact and winning over new fans is a challenge we definitely relish. As for our upcoming UK tour, we’ll get the chance to stretch our legs a bit with a longer set, meaning we can create a more dynamic show.
Can you tell us how your relationship/record deal with Nuclear Blast came about?
When it came to recording the first album, we wanted to make the best record possible – in terms of quality, production, promotion and market reach. We also at that point needed to finance the record, being a then-unsigned band. Through a management connection, Nuclear Blast came up as a possibility for us. Although predominantly a Heavy Metal label, NB have moved towards Rock music in more recent years and with a history stemming from Roadrunner Records, it felt like a good fit for us. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that they were passionate about our music and what we did, as well as having a clear vision for where we wanted to go with it. We signed our record deal on the evening that we travelled up to the studio to cut the first record and since then, they have helped us to open new doors with our music. As a result, our first album charted in the UK charts (something we hadn’t even considered possible for our first release). We’re hoping to build on that this time around.
What else do the band have lined-up this year?
We’re trying to pack our year with lots of different things, so after the album release and UK Tour, we’ll be looking to head back to Europe again to play some shows. We’ll also be announcing festivals over the coming months and hopefully jumping on a few support tours before 2019 hits. Watch this space!
Tax The Heat tour the UK from March 9 until April 30. Check out their website for dates near you!
If you’re interested in studying Bass Guitar at BIMM Birmingham, check out course options here!