I first heard of the Nashville based band Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown on Twitter a few years ago and have followed them ever since. They have become more widely known of in Europe recently following their tour with AC/DC in 2016 and the current string of dates supporting Aerosmith and Guns n Roses. When the band played a show in Voodoo, Belfast on 13th June ahead of their support slot with Aerosmith in Dublin the following night, I took the opportunity to chat with Tyler Bryant and find out more about the band. You can hear what we chatted about along with some tracks from the band on the Friday NI Rocks Show that is now available via our MixCloud page -

 

https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/tyler-bryant-interview-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-16th-june-2017/

 


 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown are – Tyler Bryant on guitar and lead vocals, Graham Whitford on guitar, Caleb Crosby on drums and Noah Denney on bass.

Check out the band at http://www.tylerbryantandtheshakedown.com/

 

Playlist for the Show

GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Breathe Again

TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN – Mojo Workin

Interview with TYLER BRYANT Part 1 (3.5 min)

TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN – Criminal Imagination

Interview with TYLER BRYANT Part 2 (5.5 min)

TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN – House on Fire

Interview with TYLER BRYANT Part 3 (6 min)

TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN – The Wayside

BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY – President Joe

BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY – Monday Club

KRYPTONITE – Chasing Fire

JUNKYARD DRIVE – B.A.D.

ABSOLVA – Life on the Edge

ALTER BRIDGE – Poison In Your Veins

ALTER BRIDGE - Blackbird

 

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NI ROCKS - Hi Tyler, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Is this your first visit to Belfast?

TYLER – It is our first time in Belfast and our first time in Ireland actually so we’re stoked to be here.


NI ROCKS - It’s just a flying visit to Belfast. Will you be able to spend a little more time in Dublin tomorrow night after the gig with Aerosmith (and before joining Guns n Roses in London)?

TYLER – Yeah I think we’re going to roll to Dublin tonight. Unfortunately we haven’t had any time to see Belfast today. We rolled in and immediately loaded in and sound-checked and here we are (on the tour bus outside Voodoo just before doors open). We’ll get to Dublin at 3am so we’ll wake up and have the whole day before the show.


NI ROCKS - You’re playing in Voodoo in Belfast tonight which is quite a small venue. As I’ve said you’re in the midst of tour dates with Guns n Roses and Aerosmith as well as playing your own headline shows. How easy is it to adjust to the smaller venues after playing a big show like Download at the weekend or the big arenas?

TYLER – I think, with this band, we treat every show the same. I know there are three or four other gigs going on tonight in Belfast so I don’t know how many people are going to turn up. But if there is one person there who cares about seeing our band, they’re going to get everything we’ve got; just as, if there is 60,000 people at Olympic Stadium when we play there with Guns, they’re going to get everything we’ve got. At Download that was a pretty big crowd and it was 11 in the morning and they got everything we had. So with this band we always go for it, no matter how many people are in the audience.


NI ROCKS - You must get a completely different vibe from the crowd at the smaller gigs compared to the arena gigs? More personal.

TYLER –  Absolutely. With the arenas, stadiums, fields and sheds, when there are that many people, you can really only see the first few hundred then they all just kinda run together. With small shows like this we get to go out and shake peoples hands, look them in the eye and leave as friends. It’s a lot more personal and intimate.


NI ROCKS - In terms of logistics it must be a huge undertaking, having your own headline tour running as well as support slots with two different bands?

TYLER – It’s just full on. There’s not a lot of time for rest. I’m excited because after the show with Aerosmith tomorrow night we’ll have a day off. You can only do so many shows in a row before you start feeling tired. Honestly, I feel like we’re just hitting our stride. This is night number four in a row and I feel like we’re just getting warmed up. We could almost keep going.


NI ROCKS - I thought we’d play a track from the band now. If we start with something from the EP “Wayside” which was released in 2015.  Do you want to pick a track to play and tell us something about it.

TYLER – Oh wow yeah. Why don’t we play “Criminal Imagination”.  We’d rented a house in Decatur, Georgia and it was this seedy little band house and we camped out there for a month and a half or so and we just wrote songs. This was the first song that we wrote as a band in this band house. It was kind of a rough area of town, where you could hear gunshots at night-time. We just holed up in this house and it had a screen porch – we’d sit there with our guitars. I had the title and Noah had the baseline and we all sat on the floor and came up with this song. I really like it and we still play it in our live set today.


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NI ROCKS - The six track EP “Wayside” was released in November 2015. Where was it recorded and who did you work with on that record?

TYLER – “The Wayside” was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Sputnik which is a studio in Berry Hill run by the sonic wizard Mr Vance Powell; who you may know from all his work with Jack White, The Raconteurs and he did the Seasick Steve records which I love, and Tinariwen and De Staat and all these records that we love. We’ve known and worked with Vance for a few years now and he is one of my favourite creative people in the world. So we did the record with him and we actually recorded a 13 song album and we’re trying to get the remaining 7 songs back from Republic records because they have the rights to them right now. So we’re trying to get those so we can also release that as well as our new record that we’ve just finished.


NI ROCKS – That brings me on to my next question. You released the album “Wild Child” in 2013, so why was it an EP? That was the reason obviously.

TYLER – It wasn’t an EP, it was a full album, but for some reason the music industry in America is pretty gun-shy about releasing music; as if it actually costs something. You can just put it online for a couple of dollars so I don’t understand why but I’m sure they have a reason. I’ve seen spreadsheets and statistics about EPs actually selling more than full length albums and I keep saying, every single interview I do around the world people ask why an EP man? So we recorded 13 songs and it was out of our hands. Now that we’re out of that deal and the new Shakedown album is going to be a full length rock n roll album. And we’re working to get those other 7 songs released as well so that people can finally hear them.


NI ROCKS – That again brings me on nicely to the next question. Work has obviously begun on a new album, when might we see that appear?

TYLER – Before the end of the year. It’s going to be out this year for sure. (It was announced on 18th August that the new self-titled Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown album would be released on 3rd November through Snakefarm Records).


NI ROCKS - In terms of song-writing is that something that all the band get involved with and is it an ongoing process rather than a matter of setting aside time to write tracks?

TYLER – It’s setting aside time and doing it. We’ve never had to do that because we’re always doing it anyway. For a long time Caleb, the drummer, and I lived together and I still live in that house. We have that house set up as a full-on song writing den / recording studio; which is where the majority of our new record was recorded. It’s like an alcoholic living in a bar! There’s drums always mic’d up and ready to go, guitar amps always mic’d up, there’s guitars in every single room of my house. There’s amps in the bathroom! I’ve got Marshalls in my kitchen; there’s just always a lot of toys to play with and it’s an inspiring place to be. So we’re always writing.


NI ROCKS - You’ve toured with and played alongside some giants of the music business. Has there been anyone that you’ve been a bit star-struck by?

TYLER – Oh yeah! I stood next to Tom Petty but I didn’t say hello to him. I feel I have a pretty good intuition about people’s feelings and I didn’t feel he wanted to be talked to, because I watched a lot of people go up and say hello to him. I thought, if I’m going to meet my hero, which he is, I want it to be right and I want someone to introduce us or catch him when he is not being pulled on by people.  I was pretty star struck standing next to him.


NI ROCKS - Would you ever consider asking any celebs to make an appearance as guest vocalist or guitarist on an album?

TYLER – Oh yeah, absolutely. I would love to have Jeff Beck play on something. I did five tours with him and over the years I’ve been sending him songs and stuff and he’ll write back and tell me if he likes one and that kind of stuff. I just haven’t asked him to do it yet. I’m going to one day! There’s also this hip hop artist that I’m into called Machine Gun Kelly and I think it would be cool to do some traditional blues with a big hip hop beat and have a rapper like that do something on there. To rap about the musical climate, because honestly I feel that, in America at least, hip hop and country are what rock n roll used to be. Those are the genres that are really selling tickets. Over here, rock n roll is still alive and well, but it is interesting because those are the rock stars right now. It’d be cool to tell that story I think.


NI ROCKS - We’ll play another track now. Do you want to pick something from “Wild Child” or from “Wayside”, I’ll let you decide this time? Do you want to pick a track and tell us something about it?

TYLER – Let’s play “House on Fire” from “Wild Child”. This song was written in about 5 minutes and it was recorded in about 20 minutes. It’s just full on rock n roll.


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NI ROCKS - You started playing guitar at a very early age. Who were your influences at that stage, mainly in the blues, and how did you gravitate into the heavier rock stuff?

TYLER – When I was eleven I met this man named Roosevelt Twitty who turned me on to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters and a lot of the blues guys. He would pick me up from school in an old blue Honda and he would have cassettes in the player like Lightnin’ Hopkins and Elmore James, so I got into the Blues. Then when I was 15 I saw The Black Crowes play and that was when I realised that rock n roll is just the blues with longer hair, distortion and the amps a little louder. Then I got into Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and when I was 17 I moved to Nashville and started The Shakedown.


NI ROCKS - The Shakedown formed as you said after you to Nashville. Had it been your intention to start a band rather than performing as a solo artist or how did that happen?

TYLER – No, I moved to Nashville to be a professional song-writer. Then I started writing songs that didn’t really fit in Nashville at the time. I’ve never really been good at conforming, so I thought if I can’t find anyone else to sing these songs I guess I’ll just do it myself. I met Caleb Crosby the drummer and the rest is history.


NI ROCKS - Travelling on tour, do you get much chance to listen to much music and what might we find on your playlist?

TYLER – Oh, my phones in the venue or I’d pull it up. I love Band of Skulls and I’ve been listening to a lot of old Rodney Crowell who is an amazing country singer / songwriter. I love story songs – travelling songs. Guy Clark is another guy I’ve really been into – there’s this song called “L.A. Freeway” which is in my head. As far as rock n roll goes – Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Rival Sons. The other day we were watching ‘John Wick’ and I heard this Marilyn Manson track that I’d never heard before that I thought was so cool – so I’ve been listening to a little bit of that. It’s so eclectic. A lot of the time The Shakedown is so full on, all the time, that I make playlists on Spotify that are not rock n roll at all. I have one called ‘Water Bound’ that is all my favourite country, like cowboy songs, three chord story songs. I have one called ‘Home Out in the Woods’ after a Lightnin’ Hopkins song that I love, and that is all my favourite blues music. Then I have one called ‘Healing Colours’ which if you’re feeling a bit under the weather or something, those are the songs that make you feel good. I have an insane amount of playlists for whatever mood I’m in.


NI ROCKS - You’re supporting Aerosmith tomorrow in Dublin. If you were asked to record an Aerosmith cover now, which track would you pick?

TYLER – Oh, well it’s not an Aerosmith song, but I like the way they do it. I’d probably do “Train Kept A Rollin”.


NI ROCKS - You’ve mentioned the current tour and the new album, what else will Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown be doing over the 6 to 12 months?

TYLER – We’ve got an new album that is completely finished. We’re working on artwork – we’re at that stage now. The plan is to release it this year and then come back to Europe and the UK to tour all over and support it.  We’re here until mid July doing headline shows between all of our support dates and some festivals here and there. It’s going to be pretty full on for the rest of the year.

NI ROCKS – Hopefully we’ll see you back in Belfast then maybe next year?

TYLER – Yeah, hopefully I’ll have more time to get out and see the city. I’ve learned a couple of sayings – “keep it lit and between the hedges” – and then I ordered a coffee at a little street stand and asked for a little milk and he said no it’s a wee bit of milk!

 


NI ROCKS - That’s all the questions I have. We’ll finish by letting you pick another track to play. Can you pick a track and tell us why you’ve picked it?

TYLER – Let’s play something a little different. This track will show a little bit of a different side to The Shakedown. This song was written in a period where we thought we were hitting our heads against the wall. Whenever you try to do music for a living or anything artistic, you’re trying to marry something beautiful and sacred, like you’re trying to basically make a feeling a business and that’s a very difficult line to walk. We had a couple of years there where we had no shows; we couldn’t get anyone to pay attention to us and we thought we were falling by the wayside. So this song was written almost as a prayer to music saying I’ve put everything I have into you, don’t let me fall by the wayside. It’s a really special song to me and it shows a different side of the band. Now it has a different meaning to me – now it says ok anything is possible. Right now we’re sitting on our very first tour bus and we’re playing with Aerosmith tomorrow night. To me it’s an inspiring story and it makes me want to climb up on the tallest mountain and tell the whole world never give up.


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Last Updated (Sunday, 20 August 2017 18:48)