Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Jul 20th 2010 5:00PM by Simona Rabinovitch
"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," the 35-year-old tells Spinner from a Denver, Colo. tour stop. "It's really a discipline. You have to sort of become immune to everybody around you."
Taylor and and his Heavy bandmates might be considered black belts of touring by now -- they've been on the road for most of the last couple of years. Hailing from the UK town of Noid, the foursome's music is sexy and contemporary, yet reminiscent of the musicality and intensity of Motown. Frontman Kelvin Swaby is a charming force of nature -- howling, crooning and strutting like he owns any room he's in.
Though Taylor and Swaby have been playing music together for almost 12 years, it was the Heavy's second album, 2009's 'The House That Dirt Built,' that started generating serious hype. The buzz cranked way up when they performed their single 'How You Like Me Now?' on 'The Late Show With David Letterman' this year, complete with horn section courtesy of their tourmates, the Dap Kings. Letterman himself was so tickled by the band's performance that he asked them for an encore, reportedly for the first time in the show's history.
"As far as I'm concerned, he's a really good bloke," Taylor says of Letterman. Growing up in England, he didn't know much about the show or its host before the band's 'Late Show' appearance, which made the experience a lot less nerve-wracking.
"In hindsight it was a lot bigger than we could ever have imagined," he says. "I might not have been able to cope had I realized the sheer magnitude. But everybody in the States was going crazy, and I had relatives in Italy ringing me!"
With their old-school soul vibe, it's no surprise that Taylor and his bandmates are aficionados of vintage music. But don't expect to just hear James Brown or Aretha Franklin on the Heavy tour bus.
"We've been listening to the Clash, and loads of old rock 'n' roll," says Taylor. "Cypress Hill, and I'm listening to Fleetwood Mac. There's a song called 'Storms' on the 'Tusk' album and it reminds me of home."