Interview: Talay talks upcoming EP

Megan Taley

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Megan Talay , who performs under her last name, has announced a new self titled EP, out June 2nd. A follow-up to 2015’s Piece by Piece EP, the new release finds her exploring a new, amped-up sound, trading in her acoustic guitar for infectious electric riffs and an upbeat pop-punk sensibility. It was co-produced by Greg Mayo (Bernhoft, Delta Rae) and Zach Jones (Sting, A Great Big World, Wakey! Wakey!) and mixed by Ducky Carlisle (Demi Lovato, Rooney.) Check out Parents House below!

We got up with Talay as she talked about the upcoming EP and more!

So how pumped are you for the release of your upcoming EP in June?
SO PUMPED!! Honestly, I am extremely excited to put out this EP. My band and I have been playing some of these songs since the release show for my last EP, so it’s been a while now that they’ve been in my live set and I can’t wait to share the studio versions.

Will this be any different from your previous EP, Piece By Piece?
Oh yeah this one will be very different. Piece by Piece was made up of songs that I wrote in college and represented a time when I was playing a lot of solo shows with an acoustic guitar. So much changed for me musically when I moved back to New York after school. I started playing more regularly with a full band in addition to playing as a hired gun for a bunch of other projects, and I got a lot better on electric guitar. I played one guitar solo on Piece by Piece, whereas on this self-titled EP I played leads on basically every track. I think there’s only one acoustic guitar part on the whole record and it’s way back in the mix on “Miami Take Me Home.” The lyrical intention is also in a much different place. I think this EP has a bit of a smirk to it – some songs can be a little snarky and sarcastic. It’s a departure from Piece by Piece which was, for the most part, pretty earnest lyrically and even sentimental at times.

How was it working with the likes of Zach Jones and Greg Mayo?
Zach and Greg are awesome. Not only are they both brilliant musicians but they’re also great guys and we had a ton of fun in the studio. In addition to being killer players, they’re talented songwriters too, so we focused on the songs themselves at times as much as much as the sound. They both brought some pivotal arrangement ideas to the table that took the tunes to the next level. I worked with Greg on “Drummer of the Band,” “CITY,” and “Miami Take Me Home,” and then Zach came in to co-produce “Parents’ House” and “I Hope Your Band Goes Nowhere.”
How has the release of “Parents’ House” gone down so far?
It’s been cool! I’ve gotten a lot of positive reaction from folks I know as well as folks I don’t know so that has been really nice. “Parents’ House” has sort of been the fan favorite since I started playing it out over a year ago, so I’ve been most excited to drop this track out of all the songs on the EP. I’m probably even more excited about the music video which will be coming out soon. I won’t say too much about it aside from the fact that I had about 50 people over for a big ol’ party at my parents’ house, so it’s a pretty fun watch.

Are you looking forward playing at New York’s Arlene’s Grocery?
I am totally looking forward to my show at Arlene’s on the 31st! It’s one of my favorite spots on the Lower East Side that really feels like a rock club and sounds great. We have our friends of the band Narc Twain kicking off the show at 9pm which I couldn’t be more excited about because they’re truly one of my favorite bands in NYC right now. That show will also serve as the music video release party, so I’m excited to bring back together everyone who participated in and worked on the video.

What is the music scene like in New York?
I think the music scene in NYC is so diverse but at the same time, it can be such a small world. I feel lucky to have fallen into a great community of writers, players, and bands that truly feels engaged and supportive. That being said, I know there’s a large part of the NY scene that I have yet to really explore – in a city like New York, there’s always so much new stuff happening at once and that’s exciting.

If you could work with any artist or band on a new song, who would it be and why?
That is a tough question! I’m actually pretty obsessed at the moment with the band PWR BTTM and I think that could be a very cool collaboration. They have a similarly punky vibe and they both (Ben and Liv) shred some really creative guitar riffs. I love their new song “Answer My Text.” It’s pretty tongue in cheek and pretty hilarious. I’d like to think that some tunes on my EP make a similar impression.

What has been your proudest moment to date?
To be honest, when the lyrics for the bridge of “Parents’ House” came to me I was like….damnit that’s good. I’d say that song in itself is what I’m most proud of so far.

What has been your funniest moment on tour?
Well it wasn’t very funny at the time but I left my wallet in a gas station bathroom on the way to a house party gig at Penn State last month and didn’t realize it until after we played the show and started to drive home! The funny and honestly very embarrassing part of the story is that I, social-media-obsessed as I can tend to be, took a silly little boomerang video of myself dancing in the mirror of the bathroom. We were almost at Penn State and I was excited. Can you blame me? Anyway, you can see my wallet on the sink in the video and that’s where it stayed – I must have walked right out of the bathroom more concerned about my witty Instagram caption than holding onto my cash and cards…..Luckily a nice guy named Cliff had it Fed-Ex’ed back to me. So I’d like to give a big shout out here to Cliff at the Pilot gas station in Drums, Pennsylvania!

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