Disappointed by sales of its third album, "Blue Sky Research," the members of Taproot have made adjustments to the way they do business and are even considering a future that may not include its curre




Disappointed by sales of its third album, "Blue Sky Research," the members of Taproot have made adjustments to the way they do business and are even considering a future that may not include its current label, Atlantic Records.

"We had hoped for really big things," drummer Jarrod Montague says of "Blue Sky Research," which has sold 112,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, since its August 2005 release. "We worked really hard and made a record that we were really proud of, and we don't know what happened."

Montague notes that the sales figure is nothing to sneeze at -- "A [University of] Michigan Stadium full of people bought our album. That's pretty cool," he says -- but says that the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based quartet is "re-evaluating the way we do things."

That includes ditching the tour bus and returning to a van, as well as handling its own merchandising. According to Montague, that means "we're gonna walk home with a little bit of money, which is crazy. Bands never make money on tour. We've never made money on tour."

But more, and possibly more dramatic, changes are coming.

"The situation with Atlantic is a little bit up in the air," Montague says. "There's a good chance we might end up parting ways with them at the end of this [album cycle]." A spokesperson for Atlantic was unavailable for comment by deadline.

Yet, Montague says, Taproot views a possible exit from the major label fold as "another exciting thing for us," and notes that the band is confident it can still thrive by handling its own affairs.

"We have our fans all over the country that come out and support us, and we need to figure out how to best utilize that," he explains. "There are so many ways to market yourself these days and keep in contact with fans. We didn't start Taproot to get famous; if we can play music and make enough money to sustain our growing lives and families, mission accomplished as far as I'm concerned.

"So it's kind of an exciting time for us," he adds. "We're really taking things over and doing more things for ourselves and keeping things in house, which I think is the best way to go right now."

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