Interview: Max, Taco Hell

Posted: January 3, 2018 in Small Talk

t. hell

Taco Hell are (about to be ‘were’) an awesome emo/punk band from Nottingham, ffo Tiger’s Jaw and Joyce Manor. I spoke to drummer Max (Qayyum) on the week that the band play their final shows and after just having released their first and only full-length ‘Bad at Being Average’ (check out a review of this in the coming days; spoiler: it’s fucking awesome):

Dave: Hey, Taco Hell! Could you introduce the band to readers?

Max: We’re a sad punk band from Nottingham right about to split up!

D: So, you have just released your first and final full-length? What is behind the decision to call it a day and how do you think the record has turned out?

M: One of our members is moving halfway across the world, so the decision was basically out of our hands because we didn’t want it to be anything other than just the four of us. We’re really proud of how the album turned out, it was kinda weird doing it knowing that we were about to split up but that also took a ton of pressure off!

D: What’s behind the album cover? Where was it taken?

M: Connor took this near his house in Liverpool, it’s a nice shot and we liked how kinda bleak it was.

D: What was the recording process like?

M: It was really, really nice and laid back. I think we thought it would be harder because we had to do it on weekends (due to none of us apart from Joe still living in Nottingham, and jobs, etc). We did it with Joni from Autumn Diet Plans and he was just really easy to work with, never stressed us out about anything. It was really fun and we got to do everything we wanted, and mess around with a bunch of new things.

D: There is a great song on the album called “Twin Peaks References and Depression”. Is the whole band fans of the show?

M: Twin Peaks is one of my favourite shows, spent all year obsessing over the new season. Me and Eleanor are dead into it, I think that Connor has watched a bit. We wanted Joe to write about it but he’d never seen it. The lyrics just make me laugh cos he sounds like he’s a superfan.

D: You began Taco Hell in 2016. How did the band come together? Had you been in bands previously?

M: Me and Joe had been friends about 3 years before, we met Connor at a pub quiz and I met Eleanor at an Anti-Flag show. It all just kinda came together easily. Joe and Connor had been in other bands but it was mine and Eleanor’s first.

D: What were the band’s main influences and how do you think the band’s sound has evolved over the 3 years?

M: When we first started we played I Saw Water by Tigers Jaw and the Obituaries by the Menzingers which kinda set the tone for the band. I think we definitely had a lot of room to develop our sound over the years. Joe started shouting more, and Eleanor started singing a hell of a lot more. I think that we all got better as musicians and writing Bad at Being Average came together really fast. But since we were splitting up there was no real pressure to have it sound any particular way, which I think led us to experiment a bit more.

D: The ‘Tacos, not Tories’ t-shirts are cool! How did that start?

M: I think I just said it once, and then drew up the thing to post as a little joke on Facebook. When the election rolled around they seemed perfect!

D: What’s been the coolest experience of being part of Taco Hell since you formed?

M: Getting to support bands like Dowsing, Ratboys, Pity Sex, and play in cities across the country. Washed Out in Brighton was amazing. I think the coolest though was the Retainer release show at JT Soar. It sold out and everybody was singing along to every word, it was pretty amazing to us.

D: Any special plans for that final gig in Nottingham in January?

M: Play as many songs as we physically can!

D: Finally, what’s next for Taco Hell band members?

M: Joe has been doing some solo stuff as Quesadilla and starting some new bands, we also play in a band together called L’Escargot. Connor is starting up some new projects and works with Hail Hail Records in Liverpool. Eleanor is co-running Circle House Records. I put shows on as Seeing Your Scene and hopefully starting some new bands!

Check out Taco Hell’s new album here:



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