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Meet Patrick Taylor of Lazuli Vane in Druid Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patrick Taylor.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Patrick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Really, at the heart of me is a kid who grew up wide-eyed in Augusta wondering about the wider world. I started playing guitar at age nine and writing songs in middle school when I also saved up for my first digital 8-track recording device. It was a complete piece of crap but it immersed me into the fascinating world of arranging and producing multi-layered sounds. I made several little albums of my own in high school and I played in probably at least 10 bands. It was a great incubator. I was surrounded by older musicians, guys who played with Steve Morse and Dixie Dregs back in the day. Dave Haywood, who would later start Lady Antebellum, was my first guitar teacher. That was the environment I came up in, though I was never much interested in country music. My father raised me on classic rock, the heavier side, and my mother brought all the good groovy shit into my life: Prince, Michal Jackson, etc. We also listened to a lot of feel-good music like Gary Puckett and the Union gap or James Taylor, some r&b like Al Green and Marvin Gaye, just good classic music. I remember discovering the Beatles in 5th grade and burning up those CDs.

In 8th grade, I got really into emo and wore out “The Moon is Down” by Further Seems Forever and listened to a ton of pop punk and metal. I just enjoyed so many different things. High school found me falling in love with indie music like Conor Oberst, the Decemberists, Cloud Cult, the Strokes, the Flaming Lips, electro stuff like The Knife, the 60s and 70s folks like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. In 2009, I went to study at Berklee College of Music for two years, and that was the single most important factor in shaping how I approach music now. Since then, I’ve wandered a lot because, in college, I had a brain infection and fell into a coma. My neighbors found me just in time, only because in my swollen-brained agitation I ripped the faucet off the sink in my apartment. Hot water was spraying all over the room and dripped onto my lower neighbors face while he slept. The fire department broke down the door and only about half an hour later, I was in surgery. It took me several months to recover and I still occasionally have problems caused by the incident, but since then I’ve had an intimate and curious relationship with death, which I explore in my art.

In 2015, I started a band called Trash Panda in order to deal with some of the problems I was going through at the time, and we went massively viral, kickstarting a two and half year mad rush to become successful as a band. I burned out on that quickly for a lot of reasons I won’t go into here, but now, I’ve begun this project, Lazuli Vane, which I feel so good about. It’s still in the earliest stages but I’m working on an album, a book of poetry and illustration, several film projects, and I’m enjoying my personal life more than ever before.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It absolutely has not. Obviously, I already mentioned the brain surgery and my fascination with death. But that fascination really started much earlier than that, since I was raised in a very religious environment. I grew up thinking a lot about Spirit, about God, about the ensouled world… and since I grew up in a dogmatic situation, I grew to loathe dogma and chase authentic experiences of spiritual revelation. I was obsessed, and this led me down a very, very, very hard spiritual road, which I wouldn’t give up for anything. I feel as if I’ve finally learned to confront my darkness and the darkness of the world without giving into despair, and that took a lot of work and required from me a lot of deeply low seasons. I’ve been wrecked by depression and dissociation. Practicing meditation and art as alchemy has helped me to come back to stability after those seasons, though. So, basically, I’ve created a lot of problems for myself because deep down I feel a compulsive need to grow. Recognizing this now, I take it a little easier. I laugh at myself a lot. Psychedelics helped me in a huge way to confront and curb the growing darkness in my brain-damaged fog. I feel more myself than ever.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a self-producing recording artist and a performer. I love the art and science of audio engineering, I love songwriting, I love arranging, I love playing instruments, I love film, photography, design. I also love the performance, but my introverted-ness makes it a bit draining. For me, the joy is in the flow state of taking an idea all the way to completion. I love to make people’s heads bob, their toes tap, and to make them think. I think I’m mostly known for writing catchy songs that tend to hint at a deep way of living, at least that’s what I hope, and a few have told me. Looking forward, I can’t wait to grow and unite my artistic endeavors more and to collaborate more across different art forms. I think what sets me apart is my diversity of influence and my willingness to risk losing out on an audience, so I can explore the genre synthesis I want to explore. I’m much more interested in making what I want rather than what people will like.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the most important qualities I possess are tenacity, patience, curiosity, willingness to experiment, and openness to experience. But I need to improve on some important qualities like willingness to reach out, drive to expand my network, and administrative skills. I already mentioned my introversion, and that makes “brand outreach” pretty annoying and difficult for me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Miffy Hornsby, Kara Hammond, Max Hewett, David Thompson

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