A new lineup, a new start for Bangor band Rotating Taps

The four guys that make up the Bangor area band Rotating Taps – drummer/vocalist Sam Chase, keyboardist/vocalist Yuri Trusty, guitarist Jared Botting and bassist Mike Wellington – have been through a lot together in their young lives, musically speaking. And though their first project, the folk-pop ensemble Sam & Yuri, found some success in the area, by 2011 the four friends wanted to try something new.

“Throughout the decision to retire the band, I don’t think it was anyone’s intention to stop playing music. More to switch things up.¬†The Sam and Yuri idea, though it had gone far, didn’t seem to represent where all of us had ended up,” said Chase, 22 and a native of Glenburn. “We felt we had outgrown the vehicle through which we’d been channeling it. So we embraced the change, switched some instruments, traded the name, and remodeled the band.”

Much like the constantly changing draft lines at their favorite local bar, Nocturnem Drafthaus in Bangor, Rotating Taps offer a contemporary take on indie rock, pop, punk and other classic covers, interspersed with an ever-growing repertoire of original music. They’re set to play this Saturday, Aug. 25 at Nocturnem, followed by Ipanema on Sept. 1.

Chase and Trusty have been songwriting partners since high school, where they wrote the tough but sensitive songs that defined the sound of Sam & Yuri. Now, there’s a four-way collaboration between all members of the band.

“It’s been a long time that we’ve known each other; since a pretty young age. And we’ve spent a lot of time playing and writing music together, working as a team. This definitely helps communication flow more dynamically within the band,” said Chase. “Songwriting has become much more multi-dimensional, for instance, involving all of us to a higher degree creatively.”

Anyone that saw the band’s previous incarnation will note that Rotating Taps are a lot more energetic and raw. They’re also known for playing all night sets that range in tone from Wu-Tang Clan to MGMT, with a spot of Coldplay thrown in for good measure. Trusty and Chase share lead vocal duties, harmonizing like they’d been doing it for years – which they have, in fact. Unlike many other bands that play primarily covers, however, Rotating Taps get as positive a response from the crowd for their originals as they do their slowed-down, slightly menacing take on the Talking Heads “Psycho Killer.”

“Though the music is still intimately raw, reminiscent of the indie-folk-pop sounds of Sam and Yuri, there’s more rock elements interwoven. Where there was once a softer, predominantly acoustic core, there is now more solid,¬†electric vibes, with higher energy and faster movement,” said Chase. “More rocking out, you could say.”

They’ve already got an EP recorded, the “Basement Window EP,” but they’re looking forward to hunkering down in their studio this fall to get a full length album out there.

“An album is our goal right now. We have the material; can’t wait to get it recorded and spread it around. Our first album, ‘Basement Window EP’ we recorded and produced much of on our own, which was a new and awesome experience. Definitely educational too. I believe this next album will be much better for it,” said Chase. “We plan on taking it on ourselves completely.”

For more information, look up Rotating Taps on Facebook.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a University of Maine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, taken belly dancing classes, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.