Life gets in the way.

It’s a common phrase that reflects the idea that life’s responsibilities — job, family, health, etc. — force people to make tough decisions. For The Uninvited, a band that enjoyed legitimate success in the late 1990s with tracks like “Too High For the Supermarket” and “What God Said” on their ’98 self-titled release, “life” got in the way of their music career. Family. Kids. Moving to another state. New band members. COVID. 

You know, life.

The Uninvited was founded in 1988 in Los Angeles when brothers John and Steve Taylor teamed up with longtime friend Bill Cory on bass and Bruce Logan on drums. In bluegrass bands since the age of 14, the Taylor Brothers brought a unique background to band, one that wasn’t generally accepted with the hair metal and alt-rock scene burgeoning in Hollywood at the time.

After relocating to San Francisco, the band hit the road for the next few years and played almost 500 shows, entertaining audiences with their unique mix of power-pop guitars, amplified banjos and mandolins, soaring harmonies, sardonic lyrics, and energetic stage presence. Eventually these road warriors caught the attention of Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled major label debut in 1998. The Uninvited also kept up the touring pace, opening for acts like Dave Matthews and Blues Traveler.

Five more albums were released in short succession, but by 2004 the band decided to take a break — well, more like a hiatus. A 15-year hiatus, to exact. But with new band members in tow (drummer John Messier and bassist Tony Giuliano joined the Taylor brothers), The Uninvited regrouped in 2019 and their new song, “Not Dead Yet,” celebrates this reunion. had the chance to speak with John Taylor about The Uninvited mach 2, their new music, and why “Not Dead Yet” (available to club DJs via has an “attitude dancers are going to love.” 

ED: The Uninvited is back after quite a hiatus — about 15 years! What did the band do during that 15 years, and what was the inspiration for bringing The Uninvited back together?

TAYLOR: Not long after the band first went on hiatus, Steve moved to Maui to be closer to his wife’s family. So the distance, of course, made it hard to continue with the band except for the occasional reunion show. After about ten years, he moved back to the Bay Area, so the first thing we did was put the band back together. We had a little hiccup with COVID, of course, but we got back on track after that. Really, we just wanted to play and write again. We both missed it so much.

ED: How would you describe the songwriting process and stylistic approach now, compared to what it was back in the late ’90s? What can previous fans of the band expect from the new album, “Broken Promiseland”?

TAYLOR: The process itself is mostly the same: wait for inspiration and then build around it. The advantage we had with Broken Promiseland is that we had ten years to “bank” those moments of inspiration. So when it came time to write the album, we had a lot of ideas we wanted to work with. As for our fans’ expectations, we have this expression we use with each album: “more of the same, only better.” Our fans have made the conscious decision to come on this journey with us – they give us the space to do what we want, with the only expectation being that we’ll pour our entire heart and soul into it.

ED: Do you feel pressure as a band to write music that ‘fits’ your back catalog? It would seem as if you want to still sound like The Uninvited; otherwise, you could have started a different band with a different name. Is that a fair assessment?

TAYLOR: It’s fair. We’ve defied categorization from the very beginning — sometimes to our benefit, sometimes to our detriment. We’ve come to a point where everything we write sounds like The Uninvited, we just still don’t know what the hell The Uninvited is. You listen to a song like “Not Dead Yet,” and you’ll say, “yeah, that’s hard rock.” Then you listen to “The Bassman” from the same album and you’ll say, “that’s country, like 1970’s country.” It’s all us. It’s all The Uninvited. But that’s the only way we know how to categorize it. We could have started a different band when we got back together, but in the end, it would have sounded like The Uninvited anyway.

“You listen to a song like ‘Not Dead Yet’ and you’ll say, “yeah, that’s hard rock.” Then you listen to ‘The Bassman’ from the same album and you’ll say, ‘that’s Country…like 1970’s Country.’ It’s all us.

It’s all The Uninvited.” – John Taylor

ED: How does your approach to music, in general, differ now, compared to what it was 20 or even 30 years ago? Clearly the music industry has changed dramatically over that period of time. Does the new world of digital streaming and DIY approach help The Uninvited?

TAYLOR: Honestly, the only difference is that we’re not constantly chasing a hit song. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love a hit song, but coming from a more mature standpoint, writing a great, timeless and memorable song is more the goal now. As kids, we needed to deliver hits to the record company, and sure, those had to be great songs. But now it’s not something we chase. We take the attitude that if we write a freaking amazing song, that’s the true test. 

It really is a new world with the marketing tools available online now, and access to a worldwide audience, and streaming services you can use basically for free. On the one hand, it means everyone has a shot of being a hit act. On the other hand, it puts the onus on the artist to market their music, and marketing is an entirely different skill set than writing and performing. It’s also time-consuming AF, which is aggravating.

ED: “Not Dead Yet” is a track that we will be helping to promote to over 1,000 DJs in adult nightclubs across the US. Why should a club DJ consider giving this song a spin in their clubs?

TAYLOR: “Not Dead Yet” has that adult nightclub vibe. It’s bold, it’s bombastic, it’s defiant, and it’s kind of in your face. That beat is something that just moves your body, and it has an attitude that we think dancers are going to love.

“‘Not Dead Yet’ has that adult nightclub vibe. It’s bold, it’s bombastic, it’s defiant, and it’s kind of in your face. That beat is something that just moves your body, and it has an attitude that we think dancers are going to love.” – John Taylor

ED: Is the song specifically about the band coming back; meaning, The Uninvited isn’t dead yet?

TAYLOR: You got it! Honestly, the song was written while we were all on lockdown during the first COVID quarantine. Not only were we going stir crazy—and afraid of some unknown killer virus—but I had lost my job and my girlfriend had dumped me. So it became an anthem of defiance and perseverance in the face of the world falling to shit around us.

ED: Your bio suggests that you’re ready to go back out on the road, and you’re a band that’s played literally hundreds of shows across the US. Is hitting the road in a van something that holds a nostalgic feeling for you guys as a band? Or are you planning on a more strategic touring schedule?

TAYLOR: Touring: yes. Old van: no. Seriously, we are ready to hit the road again and totally looking forward to it. But this time, we’re taking the time to really enjoy the experience. We want to play longer sets, do more festivals, visit places we love, spend more time with the fans.

ED: Finally, speaking of being on the road, do you ever have time to stop in a strip club while you’re out there? If so, do you have any favorite memories or clubs that you may have visited that you can recall?

TAYLOR: Heh heh. I’ll never spill the beans. Seriously though, I have some really amazing memories from the clubs we visited especially in Vegas, which was a frequent stop for us, being a west coast-based band. And I’ll tell you, I’m really looking forward to stopping into a club and hearing “Not Dead Yet” blaring on the sound system. That would be awesome.

EXPO deal 1