INTERVIEW: TAYLOR HERNLY
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Taylor Hernly, singer songwriter from Indianapolis, IN has dedicated his life to traveling the country and playing his songs. Described as unapologetic, real and unique, Taylor’s style draws deeply from his influences. These influences include The Beatles, Paul Simon, Sturgill Simpson, Black Sabbath and Jim Croce. Whether he’s singing about heartache, dark stories, recovery or redemption, you’re sure to be captivated.
He released his debut album 'Sidewalk Preacher' at the back end of 2021, so we caught up with the multi-talented dark folk artist to talk all things album exclusively for FLEX.
Hey Taylor, welcome to FLEX!
Could you describe your sound & style for any of our readers who may not have heard of you before?
The best way I’ve had my music described is Dark Folk Rock. Its got some traditional country roots as well as some strong 90s rock influence. My biggest inspirations are Sturgill Simpson, Black Sabbath, Jim Croce, Paul Simon and Waylon Jennings. So I take what I can from those artist and many other when writing my songs.
Give us a fun fact about yourself we can’t find from Google/social media!
My two favourite things to unwind for the day are ride my bike or swing and listening to music. I know it sounds goofy, but I absolutely love swinging!
Tell us all about your 2021 album "Sidewalk Preacher"?
Sidewalk Preacher is my debut studio album that took about 2 years to complete. I’m super proud of this record, everything sounded exactly how I envisioned it to sound and more! I had some great players appear on the album including Dane Clark, drummer of the John Mellencamp band.
Most of the songs had been recorded about 3 or 4 times at that point, so sad to say most of those songs were about 5 years old, but I was glad to give them the life I always wanted them to have.
Please tell us a bit about your creative process when it comes to songwriting.
I wish I could tell you that I have a secret spot in the woods where I run off too and go on intense writing sessions but actually my songwriting process is super random. Sometimes I’ll sit down with a guitar and sing random stuff until it becomes a song, or sometimes I’ll write lyrics and try to put music to them, and sometimes I’ll write some experimental stuff on my computer and then decide on a vocal part/lyrics. It’s just whatever my brain uses to summon up a song at the time.
Who or what influences the sounds in "Sidewalk Preacher"?
The influences for Sidewalk Preachers steam from Alice in Chains, Green Day, Waylon Jennings, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson and Lightin Hopkins. I tried to make this album very eclectic so people couldn’t categorise my music. Makes it easier for future albums so I can experiment with other genres, influences and sounds!
What do you like best about your album?
The different styles and genres of every song. I’ve always wanted to be a very eclectic songwriter and I feel like Sidewalk Preacher is a great kick off for what is to come in the future.
& Lastly, what can fans expect from you next?
Well I’m playing some pretty big shows coming up this year, one being the Redneck Rave Presents Mud and Mayhem with Afroman, Nappy Roots, Rehab and Justin Time. And I also have some more big shows in the works that I cant announce yet.
But I hope to hit the studio again as soon as possible to start on another record with brand new songs!
Listen to "Sidewalk Preacher" in full here:
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