Steve Richards - vocals
Mike DeWolf - guitar
Jarrod Montague - drums
Phil Lipscomb - bass
In 1997, four young musicians from Ann Arbor, MI, assembled a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and change the hard rock genre forever. Now as we enter a new millennium, only a few bands are left that dare to defy musical norms. Enter TapRoot, an incendiary combination of progressive musicians pushing the limit of hardcore music to the extent of redefining it. "Like art, music is meant to be timeless," explains Mike DeWolf, TapRoot's guitar player, "In some ways, music is like movies-some make that special connection, touch you in a way that's new." TapRoot's music has an enduring quality, a sparkling emotion, so charged with energy that it captures, intrigues and inspires. The connection they make creates a depth of feeling capable of revealing unexpected insights from within. Adlin Rosli from the Michigan Daily writes, "With one foot firmly placed in heavy music and the other lost in experimentation, the group creates music that crushes, soothes, excites, more often than not, in the same song."
According to Steve Richards, TapRoot's vocalist, the name TapRoot is a perfect word to define the band both lyrically, musically, spiritually and emotionally. "Mike brought up the word 'taproot' to me on the phone as he was flipping through a thesaurus. It's the main root that others stem off of, and I was really excited because I know that in earth medicine of native tribes, taproot means the soul/spirit, which is a major subject in my lyrics." Steve's words contribute to the transcendent quality of TapRoot's music. "Lyrically, it's very spiritual and uplifting. Musically, I like to call it heavy alternative." While TapRoot as a band is not easily defined, their introspective, thought provoking content and style suggests that there is much below the surface to explore.
As 2000 opened, TapRoot witnessed their three year vision come into existence when they recorded their major label debut as the first release on Velvet Hammer Music/Atlantic Records. The band's collection of songs is assembled under the name Gift, produced, engineered and mixed by Ulrich Wild, the studio intellect credited for working with the Deftones, Static-X and Staind. According to Mike, the name Gift has multiple meanings. The first is a play on words, an indirect reference to the "here and now" or the "present" time. The second is more straightforward, " it's our gift to the people around us, family, friends and fans, all of which have given their upmost respect and support," says Mike. Gift is TapRoot's prolific, progressively diverse introduction to the world, a sonic barrage from every angle, blowing the curve for every band only trying to be imitators.
What is it within an art-filled musical composition that touches upon a certain aspect of one's life that makes it resonate with one's being? How is a listener influenced and changed by the sounds and emotions of the music? True artistic creations contain gems of pure inspiration for the listener to discover and experience. TapRoot, rounded out by Jarrod Montague on drums and Phil Lipscomb on bass, invites the listener to discover their engaging intensity. "The soul, the taproot, is capable of a dizzying amount of emotion and achievement. This Ann Arbor group that has taken on the name TapRoot demonstrates its ability to transform emotion and achievement into a sonic collage," writes Adlin Rosli.
TapRoot is the answer to all the mindless hardcore bands trying to "follow the leader."