One of the liveliest contests to date came several weeks ago, when LA’s Strangelove – A Depeche Mode Experience faced off against a Poison-themed group called Shot of Poison. In the end, the local new wavers emerged victorious. We weren’t surprised as one of the members of Strangelove is more than familiar with superstar hobbies: Julian Shah-Tayler, who channels David Bowie in our favorite local tribute, The group that fell to earth. We caught up with the musician to discuss his TV experience and more.
THE WEEKLY: How did you become a candidate on The shock of the cover bands And how was it?
JULIAN SHAH-TAYLER: The production had sought out the (allegedly) best acts of tribute across the country and our name emerged as the most lucrative and life-long iteration of Depeche Mode, so they called to see if we were excited. . We were, and the rest is history.
The shoot was fascinating. I did a lot of TV and movie shoots, but due to COVID protocols this shoot was littered with restrictions and rules that I had never encountered before, such as the band members (who were in a dressing room together the whole time). day) being divided into two factions to use the elevators. Very strange.
The production team were incredibly lovely and helpful, the set was fantastic, and the voice coach / interviewers / judges couldn’t have been nicer. The interviews have been definitively cut to serve a particular narrative and faithful to the format used mainly for the most family moments.
You won against a bunch of Poison covers! What do you think of the competition?
We all thought the game was a little strange. Poison and Depeche seem to be a very strange coupling. I described him in the interview as “blue-necked peacocks versus European crows”.
We got along really well with the guys from the Poison group and the other competing groups, but we had to stay away from the cameras because we were obviously ready to ‘fight’. It was a real surprise when we won, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled.
What do you think of music contests on television in general? Why is this one cooler than most?
I’m not really a fan of pitting artists against each other in any context because art is subjective and above all comes up against such a different type of group. This show, in particular, was very light and as such made us feel happy to be a part of it. The prize money will also come in handy.
Explain the format – every show features similar types of bands, right? Some shows feature popstar cover singers. Will it ever be cross-genres? Will your group be back?
Each week is a supposedly comparable competition. We were “80s icons” and there are also rock bands, divas, etc. I think it won’t do cross-genre stuff. We do not expect to return, as it is not a “heat based” context.
How did you get involved in Strangelove and why is Depeche Mode still so popular after all these years?
I performed on stage as Bowie at the opening of Strangelove and got along really well with Brent [Meyer, who performs as Martin Gore]. They broke up with their keyboardist, so he asked me if I would be interested in joining the band as the “Alan Wilder” character. Fortunately, I’m a classically trained pianist and a synth enthusiast, so I thought this was a fun proposition.
Depeche Mode, to me, represents the best combination of musicianship with Bowie-style songwriting, fascinating and unusual electronic rock arrangements and very intellectual but sexy lyrics. It’s the perfect storm. Smart songs to dance to (vertically and horizontally)!
Is Strangelove going to the Tonight Show with The Jimmy Fallon? The show touts that an act will achieve this.
They will select one of the acts (not necessarily winners of the round) to come on Jimmy Fallon. Maybe it will be us!
You graced the cover of LA Weekly as David Bowie in The Band That Fell to Earth (for a tribute band story) in 2017. How has it been for a few years now?
It’s been about 6 years, I believe. Bowie is the artist I feel closest to, and it is a great honor that people feel that I am serving his heritage well. You certainly couldn’t find a more avid fan of his music and his art than I am.
What’s next for you and all of your other music projects?
I am very happy to work with real legends on my new solo album under my name “Julian Shah-Tayler aka The Singularity Music”.
I’m really honored to have Alain Whyte who wrote with Morrissey, Carmine Rojas who played bass with Bowie, David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets), as well as MGT, Marc Slutsky, Chris Olivas and Robert Margouleff on the self-produced disc. It will take the format of an immersive album as well as a normal iteration. All of the wonderful contributors have been very generous with their time.
I also work hard on doing remixes for various artists such as Ne-Yo with Daisy O’Dell, Wayne Hussey from Mission UK and Beauty in Chaos, David J, Adams Traktor, Cinthya Hussey, Tish Ciravolo, Weird Wolves feat Ava Gore and Raphael Colantonio, the award-winning remix of Winachi Tribe, and classical piano engineer and producer Wayne Bethanis.
Strangelove performs live at the Bourbon Room, 6356 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood; Sat, Dec 18, 8 p.m. Tickets and info here.
The Clash of the Cover Bands finale airs on Wednesday. December 22 at 9:30 p.m. on E !. Winning act to appear on Tonight’s show will be announced on the show.