Taproot Gets Back To The Studio

03/15/04

Acclaimed Quartet Teams Up With Billy Corgan; Michael Beinhorn Producing Third Atlantic Set

Velvet Hammer/Atlantic recording group TapRoot has begun work on their much-anticipated third label release. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based quartet is currently in a Los Angeles studio with renowned hard rock producer Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Marilyn Manson, Red Hot Chili Peppers) behind the board. The album - which follows 2002's acclaimed "WELCOME" - is due in stores later this year.

TapRoot - Stephen Richards: vocals, guitar; Mike DeWolf: guitars; Philip Lipscomb: bass; Jarrod Montague: drums - recently spent a week on the top floor of Chicago's Metro studios, collaborating with Billy Corgan on a number of songs.

"Billy is a very special person with a type of knowledge one can only hope and aspire to have," says DeWolf. "I feel that, for the first time in my life, I've met a true genius. He gave us the confidence to grow musically, and the balls to truly grow as individuals."

"We went to meet Billy hoping to learn how to approach songwriting in a new way," says Montague. "We ended up getting about a year's worth of music and life education in a week's time. Billy works amazingly fast. We would show him some ideas we had for a song and immediately he would suggest a couple different things for us to try. Before we could figure out exactly what we were going to play, he would say, 'Just play it. Feel it. Something will come out. If you don't simply try it, you might start to question whether or not it works, and then you will have never heard it.' "

Following their stint in Chicago, the band headed back to Los Angeles, armed with the inspiration they received from their alliance with Corgan. "It's very challenging to look at our songs with an objective ear," says Montague, "but we're hoping to deliver the most unique and thoughtful material we're capable of."

In addition, recent weeks have seen TapRoot joined in the studio by Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter. "It was a bit intimidating," Montague says, "as we have enormous respect for the Deftones. He came in and we jammed, coming up with a really cool riff which we then built a song around."

Founded in 1997, TapRoot has developed an intensely loyal following for their idiosyncratic approach to hard rock. The quartet made their Velvet Hammer/Atlantic debut with 2000's "GIFT," which featured the rock radio hit "Again and Again" That success was followed two years later by the Toby Wright-produced "WELCOME," a collection that amply displayed the band's commitment to artistic growth on every level. Rolling Stone praised their "pure heartland heavy-rock rage," naming them as one of the "Bands to Watch in 2002." "WELCOME," which has sold more than 450,000 copies to date, spawned a pair of rock smashes: the defiant alternative hit "Poem" and the striking "Mine."

TapRoot has also earned a reputation as one of America's most powerful and provocative live acts. The band has headlined a series of national and international tours, been fan favorites on Ozzfests 2000 and 2001, and made stage-stealing support appearances alongside Linkin Park, Incubus, and the Deftones.

Source: Atlantic Records