Steve Taylor

September 3, 1994, Volume 106, Number 36
© 1994 BPI Communications
Page 54
Thanks to Norvin Coblentz

By Bob Darden

Who is the second hardest-working man in show business right now? You'd have to say Steve Taylor. Taylor is represented by:

We managed to nab the peripatetic Mr. Taylor just prior to his leaving for England, where he'll once again headline the giant Greenbelt Christian Music Festival. "The response to 'Squint' has been good, though I think it'll do better once we start touring Sept. 15 in support of it," he says.

"We waited several months after the release of 'Squint' to tour. Our reasoning was--if there is any--that so much went into the video, I was simply too swamped to tour. Just the process of editing took four months, because there was so much footage, and we'd really been cramped to get that done. So the theory became: Let the video lead the charge and give it a lot of emphasis before the live shows. That was the theory, anyway."

Taylor is a one-of-a-kind artist in contemporary Christian music. Genuinely gifted, particularly as a lyricist, and a charismatic performer, he has a rare, self-deprecating sense of humor that makes his records and concerts unpredictable--and often unforgettable.

"'Squint' is an album I can still listen to. I still really like everything for once," he says. "There are a few songs, I think, that stand out now. 'The Finish Line,' in my own personal opinion, is as good as I've gotten something right from start to finish.

"And 'Jesus Is For Losers' still feels good. As for the more satirical songs, I think the more I improve as a writer, the more they seem to have a good bite, but don't seem quite as sophomoric as my early songs. Maybe they're more subversive now."

Taylor also still listens to the "I Predict a Clone" tribute album--a rare honor for a still-living artist. "It doesn't get much better than this, sitting down and listening to your peers to pay tribute to you," he says. "When I heard the first tape, it was one of the happiest hours of my life. I was really surprised by some of the songs. Everybody brought something new to the tracks. And most of them I liked better than the originals. Now that's really a drag. The bands sounded really fresh sonically, too. It's still something I put on for listening enjoyment."

Taylor's also pleased with the Sparrow "best-of" collection. Not only does it contain his signature tunes from legendary releases such as "I Want To Be A Clone," "Meltdown," "I Predict 1990," "On The Fritz," and "The Best We Could Find," it has selections from his stint as lead singer with Chagall Guevara, and the unreleased tracks "Dream In Black And White" and "Shark Sandwich."

So, with all of this going on, how does he keep things straight? "I don't have a very organized life," he says. "I'd say I'm on the five-day plan at best. I've tried at different times to figure my life out for the long haul, but it seems every time I do, it ends up seeming too calculated, too careerist. I realize the five-day plan is not a good way to ensure financial or career stability. But that's the way it is."