Changes (band)

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For the band formed in 2002, see The Changes (band).
Genres Folk, neofolk
Years active 1969–present
Labels Storm Records
Eis und Licht
Neue Aesthetik
Terra Fria
Members Robert N. Taylor
Nicholas Tesluk

Changes are an American folk band formed in 1969 by cousins Robert N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk. Changes saw three distinct periods with rotating band members before their contemporary incarnation, heavily associated with the neofolk genre.

Robert Nicholas Taylor, better known as Robert N. Taylor is an American musician, artist, Germanic Neopagan, writer and political activist whose musical projects include Changes and Soul Of Steel.

Early live performances (1969-1973)[edit]

Changes formed in 1969 as a duo of Taylor and Tesluk playing small Chicago venues. The duo began playing in small coffee houses and clubs before branching out to other folk music venues in the Chicago area, such as University campuses. In 1973, Taylor moved to New Mexico, resulting in a year-long break for the group.

Reformation (1974-1977)[edit]

After moving back to Chicago, Taylor and Tesluk decided to reform the group in 1974, adding Robert Taylor's ex-wife, Karen Taylor, to the roster as a vocalist and musician. Between 1975-1976, Carol DePugh joined the group. The group played sporadic live shows during this period although never releasing any recorded material. In 1977, due to Tesluk's marriage and subsequent relocation to Colorado, the group decided to split.

Contemporary Changes (1994–present)[edit]

In 1994, after receiving a Yule card of various lyrics used by Changes from Taylor, Michael Moynihan took interest in reworking and releasing demo recordings the band had previously put together. After a dormancy of almost 18 years, the group had resurfaced.

1995 saw the release of Changes' first proper release, Fire Of Life, a 2-track 7" as a joint release by Moynihan's Storm Records and the German Cthuhlu Records. This was followed in 1996 by a full-length CD of the same name, containing 11 songs. Both releases contain analog open reel Changes demo material from 1969 to 1974 remastered and reworked by Moynihan and Taylor. In 1998, Changes released another proper full length - Legends, based around the concept of various historical European legends, although now long out of print.

The Austrian label HauRuck! rereleased Fire Of Life in both LP and CD form in 2001 before releasing a new full length Changes album, Orphan In The Storm. German label Eis Und Licht released Time, a split 10" with Changes and Cadaverous Condition in 2004 with an appearance by Matt Howden. 2004 also saw Changes appear live at the Flammenzauber festival in Heldrungen, Germany. This recording was later released by the German Neue Aesthetik label as the Hero Takes His Stand double LP.

Changes released another 7" through HauRuck! in 2005 titled Twilight and an untitled split CD later that year with Andrew King through the Portuguese Terra Fria label.

November 2005 found Changes performing in six cities of five European countries during their "The Men Among the Ruins Tour". Starting in Sintra, Portugal (with Andrew King (UK)), continuing to Antwerp, Belgium; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary (with The Moon and the Nightspirit); and concluding with two cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia (with Allerseelen).

In 2005, Nicholas Tesluk and Robert N. Taylor also met with the German musician Axel Frank of the Folk music outfit Werkraum followed by a close collaboration and the common, international acclaimed release "Kristalle" E.P. through Steinklang Industries Austria. Since then both are part of Werkraum's growing musical collective and further activities and releases are scheduled.

As part of the joint performance between Changes and Allerseelen in Russia in November 2005, a split CD was produced by Indiestate in Moscow, "Men Among the Ruins", containing three new songs by Changes and also three new songs by Allerseelen. It was released in autumn 2006.

The LP "A Ripple in Time" was released by White Label on October 31, 2006. The LP contains several songs that Robert and Nicholas co-wrote in the late '60s and early '70s but had never recorded outside of rough recordings for personal or demo use. In the new studio recordings Changes revised and enhanced the vocal harmonies, guitar work and embellishments to better reflect their current style. Also included on the album is the new song "Somewhere in the Night" and two new guitar instrumentals, "Eldorado" and "Paradiso", thus essentially bridging the years from Changes' inception to the group's present incarnation. The album will later become available in CD format with extra tracks.

A limited edition LP, Legends, was released by HauRuck! on July 17, 2007. Though an LP version of their work originally published as a CD by Taproot Productions in 1998, this version contains additional musical interludes that had not been previously recorded. The graphics of the gatefold cover, though similar to those of the CD, were completely revised. Robert Ferbrache of Studio Absenta also revised the dynamics of the sound. "Legends" is a six-part song with each part retelling a story of heroism in six major European regions: "Homeric" (Greece), "The Aeneid" (Italy), "Eddic" (Scandinavia), "Song of Igor" (Russia), "Arthurian" (United Kingdom) and "El Cid" (Spain/Iberia).

In 2008, again as part of the Folk music collective of Werkraum, both Nicholas and Robert were involved in the release of the very well received traditional album "Early Love Music" (once again via Steinklang Industries), which Nicholas contributed several vocal and lyric parts as well as guitars for, while Robert Taylor interprets narrative poems and the song "Casey", well-known from the old classic by Shawn Phillips song: "A Ballad of Casey Deiss", helped by Denver-based legend Bob Ferbrache in guitar and recordings. Having worked for this exceptional work, the Changes duo returns to a side of its roots, contributing to inspiring ideas from the late sixties and giving the outcome of Axel Frank from Werkraum their authentic touch.

Changes' fifth studio album "Lament" was released in February, 2010. This album was an outgrowth of Robert and Nicholas's lives following the dissolutions of each of their marriages of many years. Poignant songs include, "The Invisible Man", "Emily" (based on the life of Emily Dickinson), "The End of the Road", a remix of "Mountains of Sorrow" by the members of Der Blutharsch consisting of a dramatic musical background to a voice-over of R. N. Taylor's heart-felt poetic verse. Also included are remakes of three of Changes' earlier works: "The Saddest Thing", "Memorabilia" and "Sweet Eve" (the last featuring the vocal talents of Jane Elizabeth of TESCO US).


Albums and EPs[edit]

Year Title Format, Special Notes
1995 Fire Of Life 7", 2 tracks.
1996 Fire Of Life CD, full album.
1998 Legends CD
2001 Fire Of Life CD, LP
2001 Orphan In The Storm CD, LP
2001 Time 10"
2004 Hero Takes His Stand 2xLP, live at the Flammenzauber festival.
2005 Twilight 7"
2005 Untitled CD, split with Andrew King.
2006 Men Among the Ruins CD, split with Allerseelen
2006 A Ripple in Time LP
2007 Legends LP
2010 Lament CD

External links[edit]