by Kenny Kerner

It was about four in the morning when Darren called me to do this telephone interview. He was still on his first cup of coffee but you could never tell. You see, any time you can make contact with someone in the music industry--especially when you live in Melbourne, Australia, as Darren does--well, it's good news.

Like most teenagers, regardless of where they live, Darren Moss was in a local band performing at local gigs. But then something strange started happening. The clubs began doing away with live music and began bringing in gaming (gambling) machines to drum up business.

"Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia--second only to Sydney. There are about 3.5 million people living here," Darren told me, "so it's quite a good city for music. But it's just so far from everything. There are a lot of bands but because of the gaming machines, it's taken a turn for the worse over the past five years."

Name: Darren Moss
Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Age: 23
Occupation: Advertising copy writer
Joined Taxi: January, 2000
Songs Forwarded: 5
Deals: Two song publishing deals
Although Darren is just 23, he knew he wanted to pursue a music career when he saw the Band on the Run CD. "That was the turning point for me. I was flipping through my dad's record collection and that's when I knew what I wanted to do. All of the band's I was in always played my original material anyway."

Darren was able to achieve some local success by sending in a song called "It's True" to the top radio station in Melbourne. He sent it to the station's program director asking for some advice. What he got in return was a song that made it all the way up the radio charts to #11. "They started playing the thing, which was fantastic, but the problem was that there were no records for anyone to go out and buy! It was too early and I wasn't ready to go. It was frustrating but gave me the notion that I could probably do this. And that was when I got a bit more serious about it."

About a year ago, in an effort to start getting serious about a music career, Darren got a computer and began surfing the internet for music sites. "This was my way of getting hooked up with the rest of the world. I got on a search engine and in a few minutes I found TAXI. It sounded fantastic; too good to be true, really. Just from their Web site it looked like they knew what they were doing. It sounded legitimate and none of the others did, actually. They seemed to be straight up."

Darren joined because it was a direct link to the Biz. A link he was unable to find on his own in Australia. "This is one of the best things about TAXI--my first batch of songs all came back. They were all passes. But the critiques have been absolutely amazing. It's amazing to me that I can be sitting here in Melbourne, Australia, and be sending songs off to industry professionals in Los Angeles, California, and getting their feedback as often as I like. And I'm not burning any bridges because we're talking about the early development stages."

Mr. Moss realized that TAXI's services extended well beyond forwarding material to labels and publishers. He understood that the team of Screeners (all music industry professionals and experts in their fields) could help him craft stronger, more meaningful songs: "From those critiques, my songwriting got a lot better. I hate to say it but I don't think they would have gotten better if not for those professional, critical eyes looking over them."

After reviewing some of the critiques to his songs, Darren wrote another "batch" that he felt were a lot better. This time, even the tunes that were sent back to him came back with very positive feedback. "I noticed the difference immediately. I even got a song forwarded to MCA which was fantastic, and another to a manager named Warren Entner. Nothing came of those, but the third forward, to Global Graffitti, wound up being a two-song publishing deal. I got an e-mail; from Skip Adams over there who told me they did a lot of TV and Film placement--like Dawson's Creek and Buffy. He said he loved the stuff and wanted to do something. The songs were 'Walking Through My Door' and 'Only Love.' Since then, we've been in contact quite often and he already said he wanted to hear more stuff."

Darren's advice to those just beginning is to join TAXI if you want to make connections and if you're open to listening to criticism. "Read four or five of the critiques and sort of average them out. That should tell you the truth about what's going on with yourself and your songs."

By the way--Darren flew in from Melbourne last November to attend the TAXI Road Rally 2000 and says that he wouldn't miss this next one for anything in the world! See you in a couple of months, Darren. And remember, regardless of where in the world you live, TAXI is just a click away!


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"Wow! 6 forwards for one listing! Thanks guys, you made my day (week, month, etc!)"
— Reid Power,
TAXI Member

"The Road Rally was the best two days of music business information I've ever experienced."
— Tom Sparks,
TAXI Member