New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

An Interview with Taylor Tote

By Gary Wien

Taylor Tote will celebrate the release of her debut EP and new music video, "Superman", at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ on February 20 at 8pm. Rock on Radio host Danny Coleman will emcee the night which includes a guest performance by the Glimmer Grass Band and special instrumentalist guests Steve Jankowski and Michael Ghegan. Tickets are $25 with a limited number of tickets available for students at $15. A copy of the EP is included with each ticket purchase.

Taylor has been a big part of the Jersey Shore music scene for the last several years, first noticed with her former band Ardvark Smile. That band received Asbury Music Award nominations and won the Rock to the Top competition in 2013. Taylor was first nominated for Top Female Vocalist as a member of Ardvard Smile and received another nomination after breaking off from the band and becoming a solo artist. Her current band includes lead guitarist Tom Briant, Anthony Flora on drums, Nick Piescor on guitar, and bassist Julian Michalski.

New Jersey Stage had the opportunity to talk with Taylor about the upcoming EP release and her career to this point.

As a Monmouth County native, have you performed at Two River Theater before?
I've never performed at the Two River Theater before. I've seen many plays there, though, and I've always loved it. I chose to have my show there because it's classy, intimate, and different from what anyone else has done around here. Plus, there's not a bad seat in the house! I'm extremely excited to be performing there.

How excited are you to be releasing your first EP and unveiling your first video?
I don't think words can describe how excited I am to FINALLY be releasing both my EP and Video. I've been waiting so long to do this and it's finally happening. But I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and that timing is everything. This couldn't have happened at a more perfect time and I'm forever grateful for everything that's come my way. I'm so excited for everyone to see and hear what I've been working on this past year.

You had pretty good success in Ardvark Smile, how different is it for you now that you're performing under your own name?
Ardvark Smile was a great time in my life and I think about those guys all the time. But being "Taylor Tote" is something I've wanted forever, even before being in Ardvark Smile. I loved performing with them and it was a really great time but, it's not how I wanted to portray myself for the rest of my life. It was also never MY band so it was six people's opinions rather than one. That made it hard for me to shine in the way I wanted to shine. Now I do have my own band. Everyone's opinion is considered, but it ultimately comes down to my decision. I'm happy to say that I've been really successful so far and have come further than I ever have after being under my own name. I have Tom Briant on lead guitar, Antony Flora on drums, Nick Piescor on guitar and Julian Michalski on bass. I love every second of it and my band totally has my back.

Who are some of your musical influences?
I have so many musical influences. I love all genres of music so my influences grow more every day. I love Adele, Amy Whinehouse, Grace Potter, Maroon 5, Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Christina Perri, and so much more. I can't think of all of them right off the top of my head!

Tell me about some of the highlights of your career so far — things like performing the national anthem at MSG, Rock to the Top competition, etc.
Well, I won Rock To The Top 2013 with Ardvark Smile which was awesome. We were at our peak during that time and we got so much publicity from it and I was nominated for a 2013 Asbury Music Award (AMA) for "Top Female Vocalist". After breaking off from them, I founded my band under my own name and since have opened for artist such as John Cafferty, Southside Johnny, Michelle Moore, and many more. My most recent nominations include a 2014 AMA for "Top Female Vocalist", "Top Female Solo/Acoustic Act", and "Top Young Band". Like you said, I also performed the National Anthem at MSG by request which was seriously amazing. I don't really get nervous for anything and I definitely had butterflies that day! And of course shooting my music video and recording my EP are huge highlights. It's not only that I made them, but who I made them with which makes it so special. I'm working with the best of the best right now and I'm incredibly lucky that they chose to not only work with me, but that they go above and beyond for me, which they don't have to do. They just choose to.

How many songs are on the EP?
Four songs are on the EP. I have many other songs that I have written in addition to the ones I am writing now. My Producer, Steve Jankowski, helped me decide which songs to use. He and I chose the songs we felt would best show the different sides of me as a songwriter and performer, yet work together in a cohesive collection that tells a story. I'm so happy with how they all turned out. It's hard to say which one is my favorite just because they all have their own uniqueness to them.

Finally, what would you like people to think of more: your voice or your songwriting?
This is a really tough question. I don't want people to focus on one more than the other. I think they're both really important. I went to a singer/songwriter convention last year and someone asked me, "Are you a songwriter who performs or a performer who writes songs?" He said that either one is fine but the two are completely different. It was something I had never thought about before, but after thinking about it for a very long time, I came to the conclusion that I'm a performer who writes songs. Anyone can sing, but someone who can portray emotion into it is a performer. That's hard to find and that's something I try really hard to do and I like to consider myself a performer. I always want people to listen and connect to my words, as I write songs on real experiences. But how can they connect to them if I don't perform them well? I like to think I have a great voice, which I can never know because that's just based on different opinions. But if I just focus on having the best voice and trying to be the best, I'll never get anywhere. So when I get on stage, I just get up there, let all my worries go, and just focus on having the time of my life and connecting to my audience. So I guess the best answer to your question is that I want people to focus more on my performance, the whole thing altogether, rather than one specific thing. Because you can't just have one; you need to have it all.

For more by this author, click here

Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme Presents Patrick Fitzsimmons On December 16
(SUCCASUNNA, NJ) -- Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme (RR&R) presents Patrick Fitzsimmons on Sunday, December 16 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Investors Bank Theatre in Succasunna. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $15 for RAA/SSG/JAM members; and free for those under 18.
Outpost in the Burbs Presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Outpost in the Burbs presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams on Saturday, December 8th at 8:00pm at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue.  Opening the show will be New York City-based singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson. Outpost volunteers will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the holiday season for Toys for Tots at the show.
Jann Klose and The Voice's Josett Diaz To Perform At Ethical Brew To Benefit A Cause Close To Home
(TEANECK, NJ) -- On Saturday, December 8th, singer-songwriter and recording artist, Jann Klose will perform at Ethical Brew on behalf of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, a community arts and cultural center for children and teens located in Bronx, New York.  Doors open at 7:30, show begins at 8:00pm.
Kenny Chesney To Perform At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Focusing on smaller venues and markets not directly impacted by his massive stadium tours, Kenny Chesney sought to make his Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour mirror the intimacy of its namesake album. Inspired by the resilience of the people around him, Chesney doubles down on the human connection for his 2019 tour by seeking those members of No Shoes Nation who have spent the past decade and a half making the trip to stadium markets for what is now a summer tradition. On Saturday, May 11, 2019 he brings the tour to Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, NJ.
State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.

"Great Music!" Tavares and Harold Melvin's Blue Notes LIVE! at the Strand Theater
The music of the 1970s is alive and well this Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Lakewood, NJ’s Strand Theater with a concert by the ’70’s R&B and soul groups Tavares and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes!
"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

The Madness of George III @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


Warren Miller’s Face of Winter @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

View all events

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.