Interviews Atlas_Road_Crew_Hot_Rod_1*

Published on March 4th, 2014 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Atlas Road Crew’s Taylor Nicholson

Metronome Charleston‘s Punch List series kicks back into action this week, putting local musicians on the spot with an interview that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, lead singer/guitarist Taylor Nicholson of local band Atlas Road Crew takes a turn.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why?

“The Pour House on James Island. It’s a great venue with an awesome outside deck. It’s located right down the street from my house, and there’s always good live bands coming around. I’ve been fortunate enough to play that room, and its got a really nice sound.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“You’re sweating your ass off, physically exhausted, and still have the best feeling of your life racing through your body. Also, when nobody screams ‘Freebird’ more than three times.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“I’d have to say John Butler Trio. Recently, we did a showcase with these guys in Carlsbad, California, at an event called Sunset Sessions. He was nice enough to comp us five tickets to his sold-out show the following night at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego. Watching this guy absolutely kill it was a very uplifting experience. He is a master of his craft, a true artist. Great live show.”

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Let me just say that we like to get loud.”

5. What’s your theme song? And why?

“‘Down South’ by the Shackband from Richmond, Virginia. We met these guys last year and had a blast sharing the stage with them. I remember a week before the show, we looked up a few of their songs, and ‘Down South’ was one of our favorites. So, ever since then, we’ll all randomly start playing that song, whether it be standing in line at the gas station, pulling into another city, or on stage sound-checking. We all stop and sing along.”


Atlas Road Crew on stage (provided)

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?

“My first real guitar, my high school graduation present from my parents. It was a Taylor acoustic/electric. It’s been with me through thick and thin, and I still play it live today.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Well, honestly I’m always listening to different music, but if I had to choose one album in particular I gotta say Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin. There was a good two years where I listened to this record everyday.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“When we opened for the Hard Working Americans at the Falls Church State Theater [near Washington, D.C. in Virginia]. This was our biggest gig so far, and getting the opening slot before artists like Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and Todd Snider was unbelievable. Those guys are huge musical influences on all of us, and it was a great honor to meet them.”

9. What’s your poison?

“Music stores; I never leave empty-handed. Any music store, really, and I could walk out with anything from a pack of strings or a new guitar. And somehow, a 15-minute trip turns into a couple of hours.”

10. In ten years, I will be…

“A shrimp boat captain … Forrest Gump happens to be playing on the television, so I went with it. Who knows where I will be in 10 years? Hopefully, still rocking out.”

A few years ago, Southern-tinged rock combo Atlas Road Crew made a splash in their hometown of Columbia with a guitar-driven, groove-heavy sound that comfortably straddled the Southeastern jam band and blues-based Americana-rock territories.

Lead singer/guitarist Taylor Nicholson, bassist Max Becker, guitarist Dave Beddingfield, keyboardist Bryce James, and drummer Patrick Drohan relocated to Charleston in 2012 and pressed ahead with a tight set of originals, many of which they documented with a self-titled EP recorded at local musician/engineer Mark Bryan’s studio.

“We see artists like Band of Horses, Needtobreathe, Stop Light Observations, and the Tarlatans doing really well calling Charleston home,” Nicholson stated in a recent press release. “Columbia will always hold a special place in our hearts, but moving to Charleston is a very important step for us.

Atlas Road Crew have a busy winter and spring in the works. They’ll headline a show at the Pour House on Thurs. March 6 before heading out on the road for gigs in Beaufort and Savannah. The band will return for a show at the Palmetto Brewing Co.’s on Fri. March 14 as part of the microbrewery’s “Loading Dock Series” (co-presented by Awendaw Green).

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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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