When we last heard from Taylor Fredricks, just a few months ago actually, his band, also called Taylor Fredricks, had just released its second EP, The Structure of a Mechanical Heart, and was already in the planning stages for the third EP. Just as The Structure of a Mechanical Heart was starting to make some noise, gaining regional and national attention, Taylor Fredricks – the band – unexpectedly broke up. “Some of the other guys in Taylor Fredricks didn’t have the same goals and ambitions like they used to,” Fredricks explained recently. “I wanted to get signed, go on tour and succeed with the band, but some of the other guys did not want that anymore. Plus, we had different musical directions we wanted to take. It got to the point where we weren’t having fun anymore, and it became difficult to finish writing a new song.
“It tore me up because I really wanted the band to succeed, but things happen, and you’ve just got to learn to roll with the punches and move on.”
Not one for staying idle, Fredricks had begun to write songs for a solo project even before Taylor Fredricks had disbanded. That allowed for a smooth transition.
“I had started this new solo project (The Victim, The Witness) before Taylor Fredricks broke up,” he said. “I had songs I was writing that didn’t fit the band’s sound, and I wanted these songs to be heard.”
Fans accustomed to Taylor Fredricks’ often loud, aggressive and high-energy music will be in for a surprise when checking out The Victim, The Witness for the first time. The songs are played acoustically, but that doesn’t mean the music is any less passionate, a trademark of Fredricks’ writing.
“The Victim, The Witness is different because it is just me, my voice, and an acoustic guitar,” Fredricks said. “Lyrically it is some of the best stuff I have written. The songs are about loss and heartbreak, and they really hit home on a personal level. Stylistically, it is definitely different from Taylor Fredricks. I found a couple new bands, Misser and Citizen, that really influenced my writing. I combined those influences with bands like Brand New, Bayside, Incubus, Silverstein, and I the Mighty that already have inspired me. Combining all these bands really broadened my writing ability.”
Fredricks has already played a few shows as The Victim, The Witness, and the crowd response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People like it,” Fredricks said. “A lot of people ask why I just didn’t keep my own name for my solo project, Well, because I didn’t want people to confuse my solo project for my old band. Thankfully, I’ve kept a lot of the same fans from T Freddy, but gained a lot of new fans that are more into acoustic type music than the heavier stuff my former band was doing.”
If you haven’t heard The Victim, The Witness music yet, you likely won’t have to wait long, as Fredricks is already working on an album that should be out within the next couple of months.
“I have my very first legit solo album coming out before 2014,” he said. “The album is called Complacency, which I thought was a perfect title to convey the songs on the CD. It means living in the positive and the good but not knowing the danger or the bad that’s about to happen.”
Fredricks said he has an “all star cast” helping out with his new project.
`”Ryan Hodges took photos for me, and Jesse Gordon designed the album cover,” he said. “I had A.J. Becerra, who did all the production and recording on Taylor Fredricks’ The Structure of a Mechanical Heart EP, do all of the recording and production on this solo CD as well. And I had Logan Keith of Axis Apparel, based out of Indianapolis, do my shirts and shirt designs.”
Whether flying solo or in a band (Fredricks is also the bassist and one of the singers in a new project called Tracing Oceans), you can count on Taylor Fredricks to keep making quality music.
Already a veteran of the Fort Wayne music scene at age 22, it’s likely he won’t remain exclusively here for much longer. The world is anxiously waiting for a new music star, and Fredricks has demonstrated he has the ambition and talent to fill the role. Now it’s up to the world to do its part and discover him.