This month’s featured creative is Nigel Taylor, the founder, lead singer, and songwriter of Platform One. His new single “The Silent Have Names” is now available for direct download from Bandcamp and is also available via the iTunes store. More information regarding the band and their music (including a few free samples) can be found on the Platform One Facebook page.
I first had the opportunity to hear Nigel and Platform One perform while in New Jersey at the Steampunk World’s Faire. I really enjoyed the stylization of Nigel’s music. It is tightly produced and hard hitting while having the depth of lyrical content often lost in similarly styled synthpop music. Nigel’s voice carries richly and the band has a great stage presence. The DIY element of Steampunk is very prominent in the current aesthetic and instrumentation, something Nigel and the band have been building up since their 2008 emergence into the SteamGoth sub-genre. There are also future design changes in the works that Nigel describes as “a marriage of military meets tribal” to be implemented in the coming season. In chatting with the band members before and after the performances, I found them to be cheerful and excited about their music and getting to perform at the fair. Nigel was very approachable and genuinely interested in interacting with his fans at the packed venue. Both Nigel and the band’s sponsor for the SPWF, Nikki Cohen of Mayfaire Moon, were great to hang out with. Discovering genuine people that enjoy their art, have fun with it, and engage personally and sincerely with their audience is something that I find uplifting in this age of all-too-often self-declared stardom. Quality performers like Nigel Taylor are few and far between.
Nigel Taylor founded Platform One in 1999 playing in live venues throughout New England. Taylor released the band’s first synthpop album “Confessions of the Sorrow Tree” in 2000 and tracks from the album were included on several DJ’s compilation albums not long after. The band’s relocation to New York in 2001 continued to expand Platform One’s audience. Nigel took time during the following several years to pursue roles in independent feature films and to compose film scores. In 2008 the band brought on new members and not long after released “The Other Side of December,” their second album. The band now includes Nigel Taylor, Daniel Gill, Allison Lahikainen, Tim Heireth, and Jesse Bjorn. The Platform One summer tour schedule is available via their Facebook page: facebook.com/platformone.
Nigel Taylor first decided to embrace the SteamGoth aesthetic after learning about the Steampunk genre just prior to the band’s re-emergence in 2008.
“We had heard about [Steampunk] as a genre or outlet in 2007-ish, I suppose. When we tied it into things we already loved it just made sense. We [then] performed at the 1st annual Steampunk Convention in San Jose CA in 2008. We were introduced to the audience as ‘SteamGoth.’ We’ve been building up or live rig ever since.
We love the all-inclusiveness of the [Steampunk] genre. There are punks, formally attired aristocrats, engineers, and mad scientists… everyone is able to fashion how they fit into a Steampunk universe. Unlike most subcultures, this one has it’s roots in literature and therefore it is more of a complete society than just a few looks. We’re fitting in and broadening the perception slightly as we add yet one more facet… to what this culture can be.”
Nigel’s drive to bring the music of Platform One to a wider audience has started to pay off in the last couple years with the re-emergence of the band in 2008, the new variety of large scale venues, and the newly released album. Platform One has played at several Steampunk and Goth events during the busy 2011 spring touring season, with several more to come.
“I like it.” Nigel stated, “It’s getting our music out to more people and allowing ourselves to connect with fans in a way we couldn’t do normally. I’d have to say Dorian’s Parlor in Philadelphia and Wicked Faire in Somerset, NJ are our favorites. These events are quite different, but they each mean so much to us and the scene. Dorian’s is an upscale cocktail event, while Wicked Faire is a free for all that can barely be contained.”
I’ll definitely be picking up Nigel’s upcoming Platform One album when it is released and look forward the possibility of seeing them perform again live. The band has such good heart that, coupled with Nigel’s creative drive, they should do very well as their music progresses in the coming years. Nigel has plans to integrate his goth elements fully into the Steampunk style while maintaining the dark aesthetic that defined his musical stylization as the band’s foundation. The continued development of the stage kit and the “military/tribal” elements currently in the works will bring even more positive attention to Platform One as the definition of Steampunk expands into pop-culture.
“I think our stage designs are going to make a lot of people happy.” Nigel concludes, “We love inspiring as well as being inspired by the creativity of others.”
To find out more about Nigel Taylor and Platform One go see the Platform One Facebook page (free downloads are available), the official Platform One site, or search for their music via iTunes (“The Silent Have Names” and “The Other Side of December”).
Here on “Grasping @ Creativity” I highlight a creative at least once a month with the hope of inspiring readers in their own pursuit of creativity. These highlighted individuals have all inspired me at various times in my life, whether through their creations or through their philosophy. It is my hope that readers will find these articles both interesting and informative, a source of inspiration, and a resource for initiating their own creative endeavors.