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Interview with Beyond Our Galaxy.
This week I interviewed Roger Taylor of the one-man-band Beyond Our Galaxy. As Beyond Our Galaxy, Mr. Taylor creates space themed instrumental music that is, well, out of this world! Seriously, each ethereal electronic song is a mini-masterpiece, and manages to conjure up a unique image of some celestial body or the vastness of space itself. For maximum listening enjoyment, I recommend turning the lights down low, loading up some Beyond Our Galaxy tracks from their website, and turning it up loud. Then write an email to Roger and tell him how much you've enjoyed his musical endeavors. Enjoy the interview, and don't forget to visit Beyond Our Galaxy at the links below.
Brax: Are you really from beyond our galaxy? I haven't met too many aliens besides myself on this planet. What galaxy are you from?
Beyond Our Galaxy: I can’t say I’ve conversed with a talking broccoli/mushroom until I met you Brax! At least, that is what your pictures remind me of.
No, I can’t say anything exciting about where I am from. I was born and live here right on Eearth, in the Milky Way Galaxy. Although I am an "alien" in the sense that as a Christian we are called to be “not of this Earth,” so I guess in that sense you could say I am an alien...
Brax: Please tell us a little about the history of Beyond Our Galaxy.
Beyond Our Galaxy: I used to listen to a lot of soundtrack type music and early electronic music in my younger years, and always made "movies" in my mind of space and fantastic places while listening to it. Read a lot of sci-fi, of course Star Wars influenced me along with other movies. Tried to take music lessons in high-school (trombone and then keyboard), hated it, just wanted to do my own thing. Taught myself to play drums and started a punk band with some friends. A buddy, Joe, bought a synthesizer back in the early 80's, and I was fascinated with it. Bought one myself. We made up our own stuff. Joe bought a 4-track and ended up selling it and a synth to me when we were in college. Made some of my own songs from time to time. Got married, had kids. Met a friend when I lived in Denver, Mark, who introduced me to sequencing software, Cakewalk. About eight years back I started acquiring new equipment to record synths and stuff, but then I discovered Propellerhead Reason software in 2004, which is a virtual studio, synths, drum machines, loop players and effects all on my laptop. I ended up traveling, as a database consultant around then, and at night would compose music in my hotel room. Some friends at my church loved my music and told me to post on MySpace. I tried to come up with a name that was spacey. One Sunday at church we were singing God Of Wonders and the stanza jumped out at me, “God of Wonders Beyond Our Galaxy,” so I knew that is what I should call myself. Got a lot of great feedback on MySpace, a few fans that keep asking me to put out some music. I will have my first album Event At Sirius-B on R Cat records soon...
Brax: What projects are you working on next for Beyond Our Galaxy?
Beyond Our Galaxy: Anxious to get my first release out, as it was supposed to be out about six months back, but some delays happened. I already have a slew of newer songs I have in various stages of completion, so I may be able to put out a new album very quickly after this first one. A friend of mine, Barry Blaze (who headed up the CCM band Code of Ethics in the 90's), played some guitar on four of my tracks on the album that is coming out. I want to have him and a few other friends do some additional instrumentation. I met Barry on MySpace and we became fast friends, as I helped him with his sequencing software when he put his first Code of Ethics album in 10 years, Lost in Egypt together last year. We’ve discussed doing some collaborating more in the future...
Brax: Manta rays or whale sharks?
Beyond Our Galaxy: Well, I think the whale shark would be a nicer friend as he might not sting you like the manta would. No offense Manny! How about a hybrid animal like a MantaWhaleShark?
Brax: What artists/bands do you enjoy listening to? Which ones most inspire you musically?
Beyond Our Galaxy: Some of my early influences were the early pioneers of electronic music, Tangerine Dream, Kitaro, Vangelis. My buddy Joe and I would try to emulate Tangerine Dream when we had our synth jam sessions. 80's New Wave, Gary Numan, Ultravox, Japan, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode. Even Punk/Post-Punk and Goth I enjoy. Currently it is a hodge podge of all sorts of stuff, mainly instrumental electronic and ambient music, a lot of UK and European artists are making it nowadays. Very obscure bands.
The artists that most inspire me...Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis, Steve Roach are probably the ones who have the biggest influence on the type of music I make.
Brax: As a primarily instrumental act, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Beyond Our Galaxy: Hard to say, as instrumental music can mean different things to different people. I would hope that my songs point to the creator of our universe and the wonders He made in it. Many of my song titles have a Sci-Fi theme, but some are just about stars and astronomy, or at least have that theme. I do know that you can’t dance to it, as my sister in law Pam pointed out, and my brother Jeff said it would put him to sleep, so it is not for everyone!
Brax: iPod, CD, Vinyl, or other? Why?
Beyond Our Galaxy: 8-track baby! Kidding of course. I used to buy lots of vinyl back in the day, but then traded it out for CD's. Now I have all of my music, including stuff I use as a mobile DJ, on one iPod, which is amazing to think it all fits on this little machine. I know people swear by vinyl and others say that an iPod loses the quality of sound, but I love my iPod, as it is all I listen to nowadays.
Brax: As a solo artist, how do you handle live performances? Or, do you have plans to perform live in the future?
Beyond Our Galaxy: I think it would be interesting to try, but not sure how it would be received. A lot of my stuff is composed on my laptop, and I would think a live Beyond Our Galaxy show would be a lot like a Kraftwerk concert with a guy behind a laptop, which would put people to sleep. I see my stuff as more accompanying visuals, either in a film or to some video. Nelson, my older son, is studying drums and Maxwell, my younger son, is studying guitar. (They) would be the best accompaniment for me when they get older. Who knows? I have picked up an electric bass to play along with the two of them, and we jam around, so maybe BOG could evolve into something different...Electro-Ambient-Avant-Garde-Jazz-Metal?
Brax: How do you feel about the possible advent of commercial space travel?
Beyond Our Galaxy: I think it is cool, and I live only 45 minutes from Kennedy Space Center, which is going to be part of it now. I am bummed about the Constellation Moon Program being canceled, as I was looking forward to that. A friend from my church works at NASA, so I had a front row view in what is going on there. Hopefully we can get low cost flights into space. I would go in a heartbeat!
Brax: Any advice for others trying to “make it” in music?
Beyond Our Galaxy: I don’t think I have made it, but I will say keep practicing what you do, or learning more about the tools and gear you use, and do the music that you want to do. Music has always been for the love of creating it for me. I dreamed of being part of a band in the past, but gave that up a long time ago. I would love to be able to work on music full time, but my friend Barry Blaze said just like anything, it can become a job. If I can sell a few downloads and possibly have my music featured in some sort of movie/TV/video project, that would mean "making it" to me.
Brax: Anything else you’d like to add?
Beyond Our Galaxy: Yeah. I want to shout out to Nelson from the Goth/Death Rock band Batzz in the Belfry. A great Christian guy and friend on MySpace, and his music is awesome. He has given me some great advice from his experiences and is a big supporter of my music. He mentioned me in an interview he had for a Russian Goth magazine a few years back, so I want to return the favor. Hopefully you can interview him and possibly my "brotha-from-anotha-motha" Barry Blaze!
Visit Beyond Our Galaxy:
Tell them Brax sent you!
Thanks to Beyond Our Galaxy.
Check back next Wednesday for another exciting band interview.
Beyond Our Galaxy has a purity to it that makes a powerful impact. Smooth transitions, and sound-scapes that feel like a giant audio pillow make this music wonderful to listen to.
Well done Mr. Taylor!
Mystic Realmz Productions