By Jordan Lindley
We had the pleasure to chat with blues-rock extraordinaire Tyler Bryant of Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown, and we picked his brain a little on his band's new self-titled album. Check out what the rocker has to say below:
It's been a while since your last full-length album. What's the best lesson you've learned in tracking and performing since Wild Child came out? How does your new self-titled differ from The Wayside EP as a whole?
We’ve lived a lot of life and played even more shows since “Wild Child” and “The Wayside” and I think the songs show that. While we were not constantly releasing music, we were constantly creating music. You learn a little bit more with each creation and I feel like after all the touring, writing, and recording that’s taken place in the last couple of years, we now have a record that really represents this band. Unlike the previous two releases, this record was recorded and produced by us. We didn’t have a dollar to spend on it as we were fresh out of our deal with Republic Records, but we’re still riding a high from the Rock or Bust tour with ACDC and felt like we had to capitalize on that excitement. The band was tight after so many shows on the road and we couldn’t/wouldn’t let the “no record label/no money” thing carry any weight. We decided to start making a record in my home studio and what started out as “throwing paint” ended up being a pretty cool piece of art, I think.
The album is different from the other two, because the four of us band members were pretty much the only cooks in the kitchen. That’s why this album is self titled.
You've toured with bands who have some amazing history and firm footprints in rock - bands whose influence reverberates through your own music. Was it humbling, empowering, or otherwise to play alongside icons in the industry?
I always find sharing the stage with people I truly respect humbling and empowering.
2016 was a massive year for TBSD as far as touring is concerned. We got to experience so much.
One of our first shows of the year was getting to be Chris Cornell’s backing band. He’s always been and always will be one of my favorite artists, so I definitely felt a little nervous before that one. It went great and after that I think we all felt a new kind of confidence. Little did I know I was gonna really need it in the coming months. We went out to support Billy Gibbons acoustically and straight to the AC/DC tour from there. It hasn’t stopped and we haven’t stopped learning. There’s always more to pick up.
The group and producing team have clearly spent a lot of time focusing on capturing the right guitar tone. What are your main influences with your playing? How does your practice routine with guitar differ from your practice routine with your voice? Which do you prefer?
I don’t really sit down to practice playing guitar or singing unless we’re rehearsing songs for the road. I get my practice in when I’m writing and recording in my home studio. If I start a song, I can really get lost in it. Before I know it, I’ll look up and realize I’ve been “down in my cave” for twelve hours or more. I don’t set out to practice, but end up doing so while putting together ideas.
How did your relationship with the band members begin? Do you find that touring and recording for as long as you have has changed the relationship since the band's inception?
A mutual friend introduced Caleb and I and we knew as soon as we jammed for the first time that we were gonna have a band. It just clicked.
We met Graham in NYC and then again in California and he was always a good hang. I heard him play for the first time in LA and asked him to uproot and move to Nashville from Boston not long after. We needed his attitude.
Speaking of attitude, Noah Denney came in to audition for the bass role in the Shakedown with plenty of that. He sound was scary and he could sing anything we needed him to. Boom, we had a band.
We’ve spent so much time together on the road and in the studio, that we’ve all pretty much just become best friends. You wouldn’t think that by reading a text convo between the four of us though. Ha. We’re like brothers and like to give each other a hard time when an opportunity presents itself. We can pick on each other, but will have each other’s backs in any other situation.
Since you have such an interesting dynamic as a band, can you share what your process for making and recording music is?
We just show up and create. Sometimes it’ll just be two of us. Sometimes it’ll be three or even all four of us. There’s not a set way that we like to create. A drum groove, a potential title, a guitar riff, or even a rough concept could send us on a two day song excursion. We just show up as much as we can and put in as much time and effort as we can. Some days you’ll get something worth forgetting, but some days you’ll get one that you want to remember. I think we all live for those days when a song worth remembering comes along.
The album, Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown, is available today on iTunes, Spotify, and more! For more exclusive rock coverage, stick with Headrush TV!
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