Though they hail from the American Midwest, the Taalbi Brothers play a sound more customary of the south of Spain. Their infusion of flamenco, rock, and folk music packs a ton of heat, with guitars galloping along at breakneck speeds.
Their vibrant, rapidfire music found a home in many a TV series including Breaking Bad and Dancing With The Stars and helped bring their talents to a larger audience. Though brothers Preston and Bronson took a bit of time away, about 10 years, from releasing new music, their prior material continued to be featured in TV slots even in 2018. Now, listeners may get their first taste of the Taalbi Brothers' latest track, "King Konner".
A more straightforward song than their previous songs, "King Konner" still moves with the brothers' signature fervor and haste. As 2019 continues to unfold, the Taalbi Brothers say more music will continue to follow. I spoke with Bronson Taalbi about their newest single, where their inspiration came from, and what this type of music is like on the fingers . . .
Firstly, I want to ask what inspired two brothers from the Midwest to adopt a style so seeped in flamenco and other Mediterranean sounds?
Well, our dad is from Algeria and he grew up [in a] very musical [background] there. He always made a point to educate us on bands like Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, ACDC, and Santana. I remember the summer going from junior high to high school is when I really started digging deep into my dad's culture and listening to guys like Dahmane El Harrachi, Idir, and Rachid Taha. Around that same time, my sister sent me Rodrigo Y Gabriella's first album and it was so many different sources on inspiration all at once [that] I kind of dove in headfirst.
What brings you back to the music scene after keeping a low profile? What have you been up to in the meantime?
We never really intended to take a break from Taalbi Brothers. We just got really into working on our own things. I have a band and Preston is actually working on the new Avatar movies which is really cool because that's his other dream outside of music.
What inspired you to go 'back to basics' with "King Konner" and the rest of your new material?
I think it just happened naturally. I've written so many rock/folk/pop songs during the break from writing Taalbi Brothers songs that I think the simple song structures and melody rubbed off.
Who is King Konner? Also, how do you go about naming songs with no lyrics?
Naming songs has always been kind of a game for us. We're rarely careful with the names and so often it's just the first thing one of us thinks of. But the name becomes so important to me after it's all settled and finished hahaha! I'm so happy with the track titles we come up with.
The style you play requires quick and durable fingerwork - how do you go about practicing, and what's that like on your fingers?
It can be tough! It was especially tough when we got together to record "King Konner" because at the time, I was living in Texas and I didn't have a band. I was playing solo singer-songwriter style and that was a tough transition after spending so much time away from my nylon string.
Your songs appear in Breaking Bad and Dancing with the Stars - in what show would you love to have your music featured?
SO MANY SHOWS! There are so many good shows out there right now. I'd really like to have music featured in a movie - I think that would be really cool.
You mentioned that new material is on its way - what else can fans expect in 2019? Are there any other artists or projects you're working with that you can share with us?
I have so many cool Taalbi Brothers songs I can't wait to record! Preston will have some time off work this year and we'll have a lot of material to get down. I see us moving more in the "singles" direction rather than EPs and albums. Otherwise, I think my project Bronson Wisconsin is really good haha! We'll be touring this spring and my first LP is getting mixed and mastered as we speak!
I'm also recording an album with the guitar player from my band. It's metal and it's so much fun, I can't wait to put that thing out.
"King Konner" is now available for purchase and streaming on all DSPs.