Catching Up With: Taylor Janzen
Right before her debut EP dropped last August, we got to know Taylor Janzen, an indie-folk singer songwriter from Winnipeg. This year, Janzen made her SXSW festival debut, she has another EP on the way, and she’s been booked for major festivals like Shaky Knees and Winnipeg Folk Festival.
While in Austin for SXSW, I caught up with Janzen to discuss working with a new producer, her fateful meeting of Dennis Quaid, The Bachelor and more! Check out what’s been new with Taylor Janzen below.
We last chatted back in August, right before your first EP came out. During that interview, we talked about your love of Dennis Quaid, and at the time, you hadn’t met him. Since then, you were actually able to meet him! Can you talk about that experience and how that happened?
He was in Winnipeg, and I live there. Someone I know works at a golf course and he was at that golf course, and she told me. So I went there and I met him, and he was super nice! I didn’t embarrass myself too much, but it was the most magical moment of my life!
Did you get to tell him about your song called “Dennis Quaid”?
I did, but I had to specify it’s not about him, because it’s more of a sad song…So if he thinks that it’s about him, he’s gonna be like “why do you hate me?”
Yeah, but sounds like it was a great experience and a nice moment to check off your bucket list.
It was a great experience! Definitely a bucket list moment for me. He’s super nice. He was teaching me how to selfie basically. He’s like “the sun’s over here!”
Very cool. Last time we spoke, your EP Interpersonal also hadn’t come out, and you’ve since put out another single, called “New Mercies.” What else is on the horizon for new material?
We have a new EP coming out later this year. The first song is scheduled to come out March 29th, so it’s going to be nice and soon. I’m really excited about it because it’s full band and kind of a step up from the last one. My goal in creating music is to always make music that every project is more evolved than the last one, and this is definitely more evolved than the last EP.
Yeah you mentioned how the last EP was recorded with one of your friends. Did you work with the same producer this time?
No, I went to Omaha and I recorded with Mike Mogis, and that was such a cool experience. Just to not only be in a new environment, but to work with someone who I admire so much. That was super cool.
Yeah, he’s produced some Phoebe Bridgers material right?
Yeah, and Ruston Kelly. Super good!
Nice, anything else about the new material that you’re excited about?
I think just having the resources to do what I want creatively. Put some noises in there that I want. Make it sound the way that I really want it to. That was a really cool experience. I think also lyrically it’s a bit more— it’s a bit more in depth. Which I didn’t think we could get more in depth, but here we are!
More personal than Interpersonal. Then this is your first South By right?
Yeah, it’s my first time in Austin! It’s my first SXSW. It’s so nice! I got in yesterday, very early flight. I feel all rested now and ready, but it’s so beautiful. At home I’m still wearing a parka, so it’s crazy to me that I can walk outside without wearing a jacket.
Have you had a chance to catch any shows yet?
I haven’t been able to yet. Last night I was like I’m going to bed ASAP. It’s been really nice though, I have my band out with me. It’s my first time traveling for music with a band. It’s nice to not be by myself all grumpy at the gate. Now I have people to be grumpy with.
Oh cool, so your shows here will have a full band then. Will you be playing songs from the new EP?
For sure! We’re going to play some new songs. We’re reworking some old ones, so that’s what I love about playing with a band. You can take the songs that originally were just played solo, and I can add stuff to them.
Very cool. Is there anyone that you’re hoping to catch the rest of your time here?
I heard that Pedro the Lion was gonna be here. I have never been able to see them but I want to so bad. I also want to check out some of the Manitoba music acts. There’s a few artists from Manitoba also coming here. I want to check some of them out. Even though I could probably just go home and see them, it’s cool to see them in a different city.
Anything else on your Austin list to do while you’re here? Tacos? BBQ?
Yeah I had some BBQ. That was delightful, and I’m probably gonna do that like eight more times while I’m here.
Then as far as the rest of the year, you’re also booked for Shaky Knees festival and a few others. Will those be full band shows as well?
Yeah, I’m gonna do a full band show for Shaky Knees. I’m so excited for Shaky Knees. The line up is incredible! I also am playing Winnipeg Folk Fest in the summer, which has been a goal of mine since I started playing music. I’m so stoked to be on that line up as well. So it’s gonna be a fun summer.
Anything else you’re looking forward to this year? Any tours?
We haven’t booked a tour yet. I’m excited to also be able to see so many other acts at these festivals because living in Winnipeg, we don’t get all those bands all the time. So it’s nice to be able to travel and go to cities where there’s always a band playing.
So last question, I saw you tweeted about The Bachelor—
Oh my god! Let’s talk about this!
Well, I haven’t gotten to watch the final episode yet.
Me neither, but I know what happens.
Same! I looked at spoilers, but what are all your Bachelor opinions? What do you think about Cassie?
Ok! The minute that Cassie stepped out of that limo, I was like she is delightful. I’m so glad that she’s the winner. Also--the fence jump. The fence jump! It’s actually my first season watching The Bachelor. I’ve never seen anything Bachelor Nation until this year, when my friends roped me into a weekly Bachelor night.
I know, it’s so dangerous!
It’s lovely though! It is my favorite night of the week. I’ve seen The Bachelor Canada before, but I’d never seen The Bachelor, and I love it. I am never going back. I’m a full fan.
Did you see who the new Bachelorette is going to be?
Were you rooting for Hannah B. or Caelynn?
I loved Caelynn. But I think that Hannah B. will be the nice, dramatic Bachelorette that we’re all looking for. I’m glad that it’s Hannah B. and not Hannah G. I have lots of opinions about The Bachelor…
Any other hot takes or strong opinions you want to share?
Hmm. Kirpa was so annoying!
How did you feel about Colton’s hair [on the Women Tell All]?
Oh yeah and Colton’s hair is interesting. He did look nice and put together for the Women Tell All. I also love Demi. She was the most entertaining. The thing with Demi is I didn’t want her to win, but I wanted her to stick around for as long as possible and she left us too soon.
Agreed! Any other guilty pleasure shows or favorite TV shows at the moment?
That’s the main one. I’m trying to stop living under a rock and finally watch Game of Thrones. It took me a while to get there. I started out and I was like this is not for me...it’s so boring. And you have to pay attention to the dialogue, which is not my strong suit. I like to do like crosswords while I watch TV, but I’m actually super into it now.
Taylor Janzen’s latest single “Shouting Matches” is out now! Listen to it below.