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Taipei Houston Break Down Once Bit Never Bored Track by Track: Exclusive

The duo let us in on the creative process behind their debut full-length release

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Taipei Houston track by track
Taipei Houston, photo by Amy Harris

    Taipei Houston are a garage-meets-grunge duo comprised of Myles and Layne Ulrich — the sons of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Over the past few months, the Ulrich brothers have dived headfirst into the music industry with a couple of singles and high-profile live performances, including festival appearances at Louder Than Life, Aftershock, and Austin City Limits. A North American tour opening for White Reaper is also slated for February (tickets available here).

    The duo has now released its debut project, Once Bit Never Bored, a nine-song offering that boasts a relentless flow of fuzzed-out bass riffs, melodic sing-shout vocals, and copious youthful energy. Taipei Houston have made a point of calling the debut a “project” rather than an album, as they hope to “put the songs out there” and “kinda keep going,” as the brothers recently told Heavy Consequence in a video interview.

    The brothers further added, “We really discovered our sound with this project, and it’s going to be such a great jumping off point as a debut project because we can take it in so many directions from here. We had a super steep learning curve with every part of making this record, and that made the musical journey of this project even more compelling from start to finish.”

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    With the project dropping today (November 4th), Myles let us in on Taipei Houston’s creative process and the making of the nine tracks included on Once Bit Never Bored.

    Stream the full release and see Myles Ulrich’s track-by-track rundown below, followed by the band’s tour dates and our recent video interview with the duo.

    “As the Sun Sets”
    This was one of the first tracks we got going for the record, and was sort of a breakthrough for us in terms of realizing the sonic and lyrical direction we wanted the band to go in. I think in many ways we really discovered this entire record’s sound when we wrote this song. “As the Sun Sets” sort of captures the ethos of what we’re trying to do with this project.

    “Hello from the Bottom”
    This song is one of the most bizarre and alien songs we’ve ever written. It has a lot of parts that feel and sound really weird and uncanny… And I think the lyrics speak to a sense of that isolation and strangeness as well. A lot of this song came together with the discovery of some wizardous guitar sounds and ideas. Wild to play live!

    “The Middle”
    I love how fucking pedal to the floor this track is. Nonstop moving like you’re driving down the highway at 200 MPH. We came up with this in like five minutes on the floor and it has just always been a burner. One of the most lively and heart-on-our-sleeve tracks of the record, I think. Sounds like me out of my head.

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    “Hypocrite”
    This song had one of the longest journeys to its final arrangement, where we really went through a lot of different ideas. I love the main riff because it’s one of the most melodic of the record. It drops low and hits hard where it needs to, and isn’t afraid to ask you questions.

    “Respecter”
    There were most likely at least 5,000 different versions of this song over a year and a half. Started out as a breakbeaty hip-hop verse to spit over and then had like five different choruses before it finally settled into the song it is now. The guitar solo was the first take totally improvised. I love that you can kinda hear it’s trying to break out of its cage the whole time.

    “Susie Thin Lips”
    This track is a trip because it came about in literally 10 minutes and has remained untouched ever since. It’s also definitely the simplest and most garage-y on the record, which is sick because I feel like it more directly connects to some of the bands we were listening to in that vibe and is also a direction we’d love to make more stuff in at some point. Different for us because it started with the vocal hook.

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    “Frequency”
    Frequency is definitely our live beast. I love this song because it’s always a little different than the last time you listened to it and feels like it’s just about to fall apart. The bridge on this song is referred to as the swamp section and when you hear it I think you’ll know why. This track twists and turns and never returns to the same thing the same way.

    “Lie, Lie”
    This song’s working title was ‘Storage Space’ and I’m never not gonna call it that. This track grooves so hard. One of my favorites to listen back to now that we’ve finished the record, it starts off so contained and driving and then slowly just starts feeling like it’s going out of control by the end. Layne wrote the chorus vocal part as he was recording it… Was a really fun day in the studio doing this one.

    “Drop Song”
    Definitely the craziest vocal on the record, full falsetto and growl mode over a swinging hip-hop beat. Absolutely the thickest riff on the record, too, possibly the lowest bridge. We wrote this one pretty quick too… then spent six months trying to rewrite it and then realized we liked it the way we had it the first day on the floor. Drop it like it’s hot.

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    Our thanks to Taipei Houston for providing us with an exclusive track-by-track of their new project. You can purchase Once Bit Never Bored here. Below you can see the band’s 2022 tour dates with White Reaper and pick up tickets via Ticketmaster.

    Taipei Houston’s 2022 North American Tour Dates with White Reaper:
    02/09 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
    02/10 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
    02/11 – St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
    02/13 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Studio
    02/14 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn
    02/15 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
    02/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
    02/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
    02/19 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box
    02/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater
    02/22 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall
    02/24 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne, Theater
    02/25 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
    02/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre

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