Birmingham-based Maria Taylor has been involved in several high-profile musical projects, most notably Azure Ray. But the project – one that Taylor fronts with Orenda Fink – was inactive for several years until the duo recently reformed. On Tuesday, September 4, Azure Ray will perform at Bottletree Cafe with Soko and Brad Armstrong opening the 9 p.m. show. The show date coincides with the release of As Above So Below, Azure Ray’s latest CD on Saddle Creek Records. Recently, Weld caught up with Taylor by phone from her Birmingham home.
Brent Thompson: Maria, how did the material on As Above So Below take shape?
Maria Taylor: We had a few ideas, but we got together in February and Orenda and her husband came and moved into my house for the month. We had six ideas and we turned them into songs, basically. Her husband was one of the co-producers.
BT: How was the decision made to re-kindle the Azure Ray project?
MT: We took a little seven-year hiatus (laughs). We wanted to explore some things individually. I had moved to L.A. and Orenda was playing with our friends, the band Rilo Kiley, and touring with them. She came to L.A. and stayed with me. We sat up all night and decided it was time to do it again. We missed each other and we decided to make music again and do what we love doing with each other.
BT: How do you feel about the musical climate today? How do you reconcile the accessibility that technology offers with the amount of content that listeners must sift through?
MT: It’s a real tough one. There are advantages and disadvantages, and I feel like they’re about equal. I don’t know that I would recommend that someone take this on as a profession in this day and age because it’s so much harder than it was and it’s hard to make money doing it. But we got asked to go to South Korea because we have a huge fan base there, and we’re going to go to China. This would have never happened if it weren’t for the Internet.
BT: How does your schedule look this fall?
MT: We’re going to take it really slow because I just had a baby. We weren’t even sure that we were going to tour for this record, but I decided to do it if we could take it really slow.
Tickets to the 18+ show are $12 and can be purchased at www.thebottletree.com