JUSTIN TAYLOR OF ALBORN
Formed in 2016, Northern Illinois based alternative metal band Alborn consists of Justin Taylor [guitar/lead vocals], Alex Raser [Drums/vocals], Zame Lewis [bass] and Nate Guske [guitar/vocals]. Their sound has been compared to Deftones or a heavier version of Alice in Chains. But, make no mistake, Alborn has created something unique, hard and melodic.
By Kreig Marks, March 2023
KM: Hi Justin. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine. Congratulations on everything that's been happening with Alborn and the new single, "Push." Let's get this started! The music profession can be brutal. What keeps you motivated every day to keep writing,
recording and performing?
JT: I really just think my existence wouldn’t have a purpose if not for music, as harsh as that sounds. I believe that everyone is born incredibly good at one very specific thing, and it comes down to how soon they are able to figure out what that thing is, and whether or not they choose to do something with it. I was fortunate enough to figure out what my “thing” was at a very early age, and have always had this feeling that it’s my purpose to pursue a career in music, and share it with anyone willing to listen.
KM: I’ve interviewed a lot of bands and whenever I’ve asked this question I get some strange looks, some strange comments or some sarcasm. But, I’m going to ask you the question. What would make you give up music? If you had to give it up, what would the reason be, other than a physical issue thatwouldn’t allow you to keep recording or performing?
JT: I think if all of my bandmates were to hang it up, I’d consider it, too. I don’t think I’d be able to maintain the drive I’ve had all these years without them. Our chemistry is like no other, and aside from being unbelievably talented, they are a big part of why this band is still as much fun as it is.
KM: OK. So, if you had to give up the music, what would you do to support yourself or your family?
What’s the backup plan?
JT: Well, I went to college for 5 years to get my tool and dye certification, and I’ve been a mechanic for 5 years now, so there’s certainly a backup plan available. But I don’t think I could stomach working in a factory ever again. I’d probably try to get into either rental property or some other type of investing.
KM: Well, that's something I haven't heard before about tool and dye. Very cool! How old were you when you realized you wanted to be on stage?
JT: I suppose when I was 5, when I played my first show. I had a band with my dad and brother and remember having a blast.
KM: From your family, who’s the biggest supporter of your career choice?
JT: It’s probably a tie between my mom and my dad. I don’t think either one of them have ever pictured me doing anything other than music from the time I was a kid
KM: Who’s your biggest critic besides yourself?
JT: Nate, our guitarist. He’s really good at being straight up with me and I respect that.
KM: Take us back to the most memorable performance you’ve been involved with so far. It can be a great memory or a bad one. Let’s hear it.
JT: New Years Day, leaving Atlanta and heading to Alabama. Our van’s water pump exploded just on the edge of Atlanta. Called a tow truck, got a U-Haul that only fit 3 so the rest of us had to ride in the back. Made it to Alabama with 3 minutes to spare, then a tornado came through. They sent the entire crowd to the basement and warned us that if it didn’t clear within 5 minutes they were going to take us off the bill, despite our extensive efforts to get there. With basically seconds left, we got the O.K. to go on, and the crowd was electric.
KM: Tell me a bit about Alborn. How did you all get together?
JT: I was writing demos in high school, and somehow ended up jamming with Raser on a whim. I’d known him since we were born but had no idea he played drums. Once I heard how unbelievably talented he was, we started scouting out other people and eventually found Zame and Nate, who were very literally the missing puzzle pieces to Alborn.
KM: The new album, Push, is very cool. Very nice vocals and musicianship. How long did it take you guys to finish the album from start to finish?
JT: Thank you! Some of the songs were written shortly before going to the studio, others had been finished for quite some time. The recording process was tackled in the week we were in Vegas. Everything else took about a year and a half… LOL We spent a lot of time planning for a proper release on this one, gathering everything we’d need to give these songs their due diligence.
KM: Do you feel you guys are close to taking a big step forward as a band?
JT: Absolutely. We’ve been ready for this for a long time now.
KM: What’s on the calendar through the rest of the year?
JT: We’re going to tour as much as we can and hopefully continue to get the music to the masses!