- April 12, 2016

Quiet Company Talk Songwriting, Faith, And Love Of Music

Quiet Company has become one of Austin’s most popular and well known rock bands, and it’s easy to see why. Just 10 minutes into any of their sets is enough to tell that this is a talented band that will be performing for the long haul. The band released their album Transgressor last year, and we were interested to hear about their songwriting process, so we caught up with Quiet Company during SXSW just before a small set at Maggie Mae’s. 

Speaking with Austin.com, frontman Taylor Muse told us that the new album is “not really a collaborative effort,” since he did most of the writing. “I used to do most of the arranging as well, but now we’re kind of arranging together which can be really interesting and sometimes I’m really happy with it, and sometimes I’m not,” he said. “It’s really a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s a bit of relinquishing a hold on the creative process. I think for the most part it leads to more interesting arrangements.”

Another aspect of the band’s music and story that has caused controversy among  fans was the decision to move away from the group’s Christian roots. Many fans believe that Transgressor still incorporates religious themes into Quiet Company’s music even though the band no longer labels themselves as a Christian rock act. As Muse tells it, moving away from Quiet Company’s previous musical topics was just something that happened over time and he believes that lyrics can be interpreted entirely by the listener.

“A lot of people will come to me and say that they hear things [about Christianity] in Transgressor and I say, ‘Well, that’s interesting, because I didn’t put anything in there.’ I think the power of music is that a song can be about whatever you want it to be.”

As the frontman dives into his departure from Christianity, he gave honest answers while conveying a sense of freedom when describing his experiences with his music and religion. He noted  that he no longer discusses religion in his songs. “As you can probably imagine, when you grow up a certain way and in a certain faith, it’s kind of what you’ve been taught your whole life and you don’t just wake up one day and say “bullshit!” My experience with the church and faith has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve always been a pretty straight-laced guy I think largely because of that.”

<I>Photo via Quiet Company on Facebook.</I>

Photo via Quiet Company on Facebook.

“My whole social life was church,” he continues. “I meet a lot of people who want to talk about religion and want me to have this stance where I suffered some horrible injustice from the church, and that’s not my experience. People do have those, but that’s not my experience and I’m not going to pretend like I did. I miss church, the fellowship, and being a part of something bigger. With that said, transitioning away from that was not something I did lightly. It wasn’t an angry thing, I’ve just come to believe that these things are not true. But when you’ve got a lot of your identity tied into those things, you wonder ‘well what does mean for me now?’”

“The last record we wrote before Transgressor was a record called We Are All Where We Belong which is a concept record that deals with all of that. It said all that I wanted to say, it’s fifteen songs, we didn’t cut anything from it. It’s just ‘here’s what I want to say.’ We are really proud of that lyrically, and I think it’s my strongest work. But after we made that record we never wanted to make that record again.”