Nikky Taylor and Eric Zeller were once signed and part of the band Little Daylight. Today they are an independent animal known as Me Not You. Their new project has an EP called Reckoning 1. They are touring with Gary Numan in December. FEMMUSIC was honored to speak with Nikki Taylor about the band. For info visit https://www.facebook.com/menotyouband/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Reckoning1?
NT: The songs for Reckoning 1 were written over a fairly large period of time. The first one, “Bulletproof”, we wrote basically right after Little Daylight ended. It was the song that made us realize we had something new, something exciting to say with the new band. Second Chances, Julia, Relief and Kill the Noise were written over the next few months, but “These Streets” took awhile to come to fruition. And in the middle we wrote a bunch of other songs that will likely never see release. So, the biggest challenge was being patient and waiting until we had the right music in order to release the EP.
FEMMUSIC: What is your vision for Me Not You vs Little Daylight? What’s different?
NT: Little Daylight was a trio and we were super democratic with all aspects of the band… songwriting, creative decisions, business stuff. Things tended to move slowly, we’d work on songs for a really long time sometimes, so by the end we were a bit worn out from it. When Eric and I started Me Not You, we strove to create the music from a more elemental place… to focus on and trust our instincts and let them guide us. It has served us really well so far… we’re having fun and creating music that we can really stand behind proudly.
FEMMUSIC: You were signed to Capitol Records with Little Daylight. Me Not You is an independent project. What benefits do you see being signed to a label? What benefits do you see not being signed to one? Which do you prefer?
NT: There are certainly benefits to both. It was fun to have seemingly unlimited budgets to make music videos with Little Daylight… there’s definitely an element of creativity that gets unleashed when the sky is the limit. But, at the same time, that kind of freedom can prove a hindrance. Everything we did with the label required sign-off from many people. The bureaucracy became overwhelming. We love that in Me Not You everything we do is a direct result of Eric and my work. When we have an idea for a video or a release, we just do it. We chat about it with our team, of course, but it’s a far more seamless process than it was in Little Daylight.
FEMMUSIC: What are your goals for ME NOT YOU? What would you like to do that you haven’t before?
NT: Our goals are simple: to continue to make music that we believe in, that comes from an authentic place and that pushes the envelope of what we can convey, emotionally and conceptually. We are pushing ourselves more and more in the songwriting and producing process and are really excited to share new music with our fans. Also, we are going on our first tour next month, with Gary Numan, so that definitely checks a huge goal off the list! We really want to tour in Europe as well, so we’re going to try to make sure that that’s on the horizon.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the most impact on you and why?
NT: It’s so hard to pick just one! But the Velvet Underground was my constant soundtrack when I first moved to New York. The song “Sunday Morning” immediately takes me back to that time, to feelings of hope mixed with nostalgia, and rainy mornings in the fall. There’s probably a lot of songs that are more direct influences on my songwriting but the mood of that song is one that I’ve always loved and just means a lot to me.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
NT: I’ve been referred to by a fan as the “pretty face” who fronts the band with the “real musicians” behind me, and I think that this type of attitude is pretty pervasive for women in bands or the music industry in general. I’ve had other musicians be impressed that I can play in non-traditional time signatures, for example, when I think that wouldn’t be commented on for most guys — it’s assumed that if they’re musicians, they know what they’re doing, whereas women might not.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to tour with or collaborate with and why?
NT: I think touring and collaborating with St. Vincent would be pretty rad. I love her songwriting and her guitar chops, and I think it’d be really fun to see what we could come up with together. Annie, if you’re listening, hit us up!
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
NT: I think Top 40 radio has gotten less interesting when compared with the kind of diversity it had in, say, the 1980s. There’s more of a drive to compartmentalize and categorize music these days. The Talking Heads had a crazy top 10 hit with Burning Down the House in the early ’80s, along with the Grateful Dead’s out-of-nowhere radio hit Touch of Grey, which they recorded 20 years into their career. It’s just hard to imagine left-of-center, genre-defying songs like those really finding a home on radio these days. There’s so much exciting, genre-bending music happening that it’d be great to if it could find more of a home on pop radio.