Ex-Kronic Groove singer strips it down but keeps it fun

Taylor Cochrane with Fast Moving Mountains Luke Bowman Sean Hamilton

“Did I forget to mention that I’m an attention-whore?” It’s an utterly unsurprising lyric if you know who it’s coming from. Someone who fronted a seven-piece funk band at 18 years of age. Someone whose stage antics and hopping energy are anything but stationary. But Taylor Cochrane from the locally grown and freshly disbanded Kronic Groove Band now faces the challenge of maintaining that half-crazed playfulness on his first solo album with just him and his guitar.

The Kronic Groove Band (or KGB) was a surefire good time during its four-year run — Mike Malkin’s thick head-bumping bass with a sharp blast of sax trumpet and trombone. Steady danceable rhythms intertwined with Paul Coutts’s twisted keyboards. And up front Cochrane’s wild and wailing vocals. You’d even get a rousing rendition of James Brown if you were lucky.

However all that big-band fun came with co-ordinating seven separate schedules. Seven people at different points in their lives who may or may not be able to take two months off to tour the West Coast. And so they split with Cochrane embarking solo after the band’s final show last March.

“Being in KGB really taught me a lot about just having stage presence and not being afraid of the crowds” says Cochrane. “So I try to be just as eccentric with the acoustic stuff.”

But how do you turn a solo acoustic show into a party? Cochrane relies on his songs his stage persona and his lyrics. Sometimes self-deprecating often ridiculous they include Asian pornography DeLoreans Facebook addiction suicide love pacts and Value Village. The title track “Acoustic” pokes fun at the singer-songwriter balladeer image he is so dangerously close to falling into himself. But he’s totally game.

Another song “Gangsta” parodies the drug-dealing gold-chain touting thug with the souped-up ride. In the music video Cochrane takes his own car and permanently defaces it from top to bottom. After spray-painting it with stripes and lightning bolts and covering it with Sharpie marker the car was impounded after the shoot.

“I had destroyed the alignment and it was going to cost a ridiculous amount to fix it” says Cochrane. “So I figured I might as well have fun with it.”

There’s some embarrassing truths peppered throughout too. Some of the songs their humble beginnings dating back to when Cochrane was in Grade 10 capture the youthful times we all suffered through — we worked at Dairy Queen attended bad parties puked in sinks and had to call our moms for a ride home. On the flip side “Rehab is for Quitters” takes a serious turn tracking one of Cochrane’s high school friends who went down the wrong path.

Whatever the topic Cochrane is simply revelling in the freedom of writing and performing by himself: Making full use of the stage. Improvising surprising people messing around with his own songs live. You can get a lot done when you do things on your own. And of course when you do a good job you get all the attention.

“I don’t want to have to need a drummer or need a bass player or anything — I want to be able to book a show anywhere and then be able to go there as long as it fits with my schedule” says Cochrane. “I don’t really have to rely on anybody else.”