By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – On an international festival tour, Cornwall-native Taylor Bingley is currently working his way up the music industry ladder and loving every moment of the climb.
Being on tour and building friendships with Slash, Metallica, Alice Cooper and the Jackass crew are one of the many perks at his job as tour manager and guitar tech for progressive metal band Gojira, from France.
On a world tour schedule, life can get hectic, but 29-year-old Bingley caught up with Seaway News during a phone interview while he was in Biarritz, France, on some downtime between shows.
“I would have to say one of the big highlights so far would be traveling the world and getting to experience so many different cultures,” said Bingley. “Places I never would have thought I’d visit in my entire life when I was growing up.”
Places like Russia, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Croatia and Czech Republic to name a few. Bingley said he was in 27 different countries in the past 16 months with Gojira.
Being that the band he currently works for is based in France (+six hours ahead) and their management is in L.A. (-three hours back), he tends to be sending/receiving e-mails, and making calls at all hours of the day or night.
“I am more or less on duty 24/7, and to be honest, it doesn’t bother me at all,” said Bingley, a recent recipient of rock star status. “Of course, the most important and difficult sacrifice is being away from my family and loved ones 3/4 of the year.”
Luckily, we live in an age where social media sites and smart phone apps allow him to communicate and share experiences with his family, no matter where he is.
“The music industry is actually quite a small world, especially on the metal scene,” he said. “I am fortunate to have had the privilege of meeting and even building friendships with some of my musical idols throughout my career.”
Most notably for Bingley was a 2012 gig, when Gojira was a supporting act on the Metallica European summer tour. In addition to rubbing elbows with rock gods, throughout touring he gets to share a few cold ones with bands like Deftones, Hatebreed, In Flames and Slayer. In short, he’s living a head banger’s dream.
“The main highlight however, is getting to work with such genuine, intelligent and incredibly talented musicians for a living, and getting paid to do it,” said Bingley.
The Cornwall musician started his career with Canadian metal pioneers Anvil as their tour manager and sound engineer. As well as select festivals with Mastodon and Honeymoon Suite, plus many tours with the Glengarry Bhoys.
Bingley said his uncle Mark Owen, owner of Cornwall’s Indie Guitar Co. and Dream Builder Studios, played an instrumental role in aligning him with Canadian artists.
He went to elementary and high school in Cornwall at Viscount Alexander and General Vanier. He moved to Montreal, at 20 years old, to study Audio Engineering and Music Business Administration at Trebas Institute. Bingley lived there for seven years afterwards, before moving back home to be closer to family for the limited time he had between tours.
“In a way, it’s almost like having a second family,” he said. “I really do consider our entourage, and even other crew members from some of the other bands we tour with, to be some of my best friends.”
Bingley recalled being at “Le Stade de France” in Paris, on one of the Metallica shows last summer. He went out on stage to check a guitar and 60 thousand people were there waiting– watching.
“It was a very powerful image, and moment,” said Bingley.
Check out the band Taylor Bingley tours with: http://www.gojira-music.com.