A brief conversation with Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes 



What was the first guitar you remember lusting after?

As a kid I always felt like the Stratocaster was the emblem of rock and roll. I didn’t know anything about models or companies at first, so anything with that shape was what I wanted. My first vintage guitar that I wanted and felt like I could afford was a 50’s Les Paul Jr. It’s still one of my favorite guitars I own.

If____ guitar comes into our store, we should give you a call.

A 50’s Esquire or Gold Top. Please.

How did you end up playing with Duane Betts?

We grew up playing with him in different bands in Malibu. He was in Backbone and we were in Simon Dawes but we were often on the same bills at the Malibu Inn (our only local venue). We stayed in touch through the years and when it came time to bring in a 5th guy for the touring, he seemed like the perfect fit for that tour.

Has there been any piece of gear that has changed how you play?

Once I got my ES 345 I started to get a better idea as to how the instrument can change a player. I found myself playing slower and trying to stretch my phrasing further because of the darker tone as opposed to my tele, which sort of compels me to play in a whole different way.

Any chance of another Simon Dawes record?

No there isn’t. But always hope to make music with Blake in some form or another.

Earliest music memory?

Piano lessons in Glendale CA at 6 or 7 years old. But then I put that away for several years. Learning guitar at 12 was a big one...and being given my first electric by my dad’s old buddy Miles Joseph who played w Dylan for a little while. Unfortunately that guitar got stolen from our trailer years later.

What’s your favorite venue to play?

Hard to say. There’s a handful that just won’t let you not have a great time. The Ryman for sure. The Beacon Theatre. Ace Theatre in LA. First Ave in Minneapolis. The Capitol Theatre In Port Chester...

When did you start writing?

Minutes after learning how to put three chords together. The first 3 I learned were G, A7 and D so those were the only chords in my first song.

Do you identify more as a songwriter or guitarist?

Definitely as a songwriter. Although it’d be pretty nice to someday be able to say both equally.

Does anyone have a shot against Golden State this year?

Raptors, Bucks and Celtics do in the East, in my opinion. People wanna criticize Boston right now, but I think they’re just practicing some dark arts to help them be better for the playoffs rather than just win in the regular season.

I also think a fully healthy Lakers with Lebrun and Rondo in full playoff mode can’t be underestimated...although I recognize that I’m a bit biased.