Taylor Nogosek is a Rochester native who went on a national tour after being signed to Capital Records with the punk rock band, The F-ups. He is currently the drummer for The Shift, and he also periodically plays for Six Mile Grove.
I grew up in the string instrument area, playing cello for 12 years. Then one Christmas when I was 13, I found an old drum set from the 1920s in my grandma’s attic. My grandma told me that the drum set was from great-grandpa’s band. I asked if I could have the drum set, and my grandma gave it to me to take home.
What sparked your interest in music?
John Wheeler. He is my uncle, and he was my early mentor. As a kid, he would bring me to his band rehearsals to watch him. I remember asking him, what should I play? He told me that I should stick with the drums because that is my natural instrument. He knew I was a drummer.
What music do you listen to the most?
The doo-wop music of the 50s and early 60s. For a long time, I hated this music. I just didn’t get it. Then I hit this enlightenment period and started to understand. I am like a sponge right now, absorbing all of it that I can.
Kindest words from an audience member?
When people tell me that they are listening to the message of our lyrics, it means a lot to me. The Shift tries to focus on having a positive message. Rock lyrics can be all about bad messages because it is so easy to be negative and full of hate. I just want to focus on the good.
If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
Davie Bowie. It would be an honor to run sound for somebody who has given so much to music. Plus, he wouldn’t care if I messed up too much.
Most memorable Rochester gig
Opening up for Soul Asylum in Rochester for the Down by the Riverside concert. It’s been a long time since I’ve played in front of a crowd that big. It’s a completely different playing experience, going from playing in front of 30 people to 15,000 people. It was like time stood still, and I was in my element once again. I like to tell people that Soul Asylum closed for us instead of us opening for them!
Best show you’ve ever seen?
I went to see Dropkick Murphys at First Avenue in Minneapolis. It was crazy. Everybody was just singing along, everybody was on stage, everybody was everywhere. The security guards just gave up. Everybody was having a good time, and that’s what it’s about.
What makes you stand out as
My personality while playing drums makes me stand out. The drums are an extension of how I am feeling, and I play with a lot of passion. So much is added to a performance when the soul is put into the instrument. That soul, that life – it needs to be there.
Top three artists at the moment?
Wilson Pickett. Sam Cooke. Ray Charles. These three African-American songwriters have so much feeling in their music.
What motivates you to keep
It is part of my essence. If I didn’t play music, then I wouldn’t be living my life. If I imagine myself sitting in a chair watching Wheel of Fortune at 80 years old looking back at my life without music, I would totally regret it.