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Be specific: Maria Taylor talks about getting Azure Ray back together

By Allison Stewart

azure rayAzure Ray's decision to form was a natural one. (Saddle Creek Records)

Back in the early '00s, the girl-girl duo Azure Ray were the indie pop queens of Saddle Creek records. But after sixteen years and three albums together, childhood friends Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink went on indefinite hiatus after the release of 2003's "Hold On Love."

Taylor released several underrated electro-folk-pop solo discs; Fink worked with Remy Zero's Cedric Lemoyne as O+S. Azure Ray got back together last year, released "Drawing Down the Moon" this fall, and play the Rock & Roll Hotel tonight.Click Track talked to Taylor about breaking up the band, and getting it back together.

Was [getting the band back together] like riding a bike?

It's exactly like that. It's like going home, sort of. We've been playing music together since we were sixteen years old. And we're 34, 35 years old now.

Whose idea was it to get the old band together?

It was a mutual decision. We started spending a lot of time together I was living in Los Angeles and she was coming out there working on projects. When we were both doing our solo projects we didn't spend a lot of time together for about five years. But we started hanging out and we said, we might as well make another record, if we're going to be hanging out drinking wine [anyway].

When you had played your last show the first time around, did you think that was it?

No, at that point we'd been working together for 13 years and we felt like trying something different for the sake of trying something different. I don't know, I think we both knew that probably there would come a time when we would join forces again, but we didn't know exactly when, and we didn't want to say that we would or we wouldn't. We wanted to [leave it open].

(On touring in a difficult climate, and trying to have it all, after the jump.)

And you both had pretty successful solo careers in the interim.

Yeah - we're still going to try to do both. I'm going to put out a solo record and she's going to do an O+S record. We're going to keep busy and try to do it all.

What was it like to play your first show without her? Was it strange to look over and your friend wasn't there?

It was weird, but I had my brother and my sister on the first tour I ever went on as a solo artist. And that made the transition easier. She feels like family to me, and to have my actual family there, it was a good transition. It's also nice because you could switch off -- I take lead on a song, then she takes lead on a song. It helps with preserving your voice, helps with taking a breath when you're onstage. That was kind of weird when that wasn't there.

How has the tour been going?

It's good. There's a lot of competition out there right now. Everyone's having to tour to make money because people aren't buying records these days. You'll pull up to a town and there'll be four other cool bands playing and you're like, Oh man, I wish we could all have been on one bill together.

By Allison Stewart  | November 17, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags:  Azure Ray  
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