Music Trade News (UK) / January 2008
Writer Gary Cooper sets up his interview with Kurt Listug by citing the critical acclaim the new SolidBody electrics have received. Cooper wonders if, given Taylor's success with acoustics, the company's entrance into the crowded electric guitar market isn’t a bit like starting over. Why has Taylor now decided to build a solid body electric guitar?
"Bob and his crew are always tinkering with new ideas," Kurt says. "Some of them rise to the surface and some of them don't. There wasn't a plan to make a solid body electric…. We don't want to make something unless it’s original, unless we think we’ve added value.
“I’m always skeptical about new ideas,” Kurt continues, “but I got convinced that these guitars were really special and that the positive feedback we were getting meant we should do it. Yes, the whole guitar market is very crowded now, compared with when we started in 1974. Now there are zillions of brands, but most of them are 'me too' products with very little innovation, in my opinion, and we think there's always room for original ideas."
Does Kurt see difficulty in crossing "the great conceptual divide" that exists between companies that are successful with acoustics and those that are successful with electrics?
"Absolutely! I think a brand can't mean too broad a concept, but then look at other industries. Sony's image is a high quality, innovative brand in consumer electronics. I think of Taylor as an innovative brand as opposed to a legacy brand, in guitar terms. Obviously people think of Taylor as acoustics. However, we're a younger company with a more contemporary acoustic guitar, and we've changed the guitar industry with guitars that are easier to play — with our electronics and how easy our guitars are to service. So I think people are willing to give us a chance with our solid bodies." Check out the piece here or you can read the interview in its entirety at www.garycooper.biz.