Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Talk "Wild Child"
Tue, 22 Jan 2013 07:46:20
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown resuscitate real rock 'n' roll with Wild Child.
The group's new album struts with smooth blues swagger and a gritty rock stomp. Their virtuosity and knack for a hook work together harmoniously for an utterly intoxicating Nashville brew that shakes the genre back to life. This is the band and album that rock fans worldwide have been anxiously pleading for.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Tyler Bryant talks Wild Child and so much more.
What's your take on Wild Child as a whole? Do you feel like there's an element that threads it together?
We're between twenty-one and twenty-three, and we wanted to make an album that sounded like a "young rock record". It's got that youthful energy throughout. We wanted to do a record that sounded like four best friends sitting in a studio with their instruments. That's what gets us off. It's that idea we're young, wild, and free. Wait, isn't that a Snoop Dogg song? [Laughs]
How did you capture that energy?
We went in with two different producers, and we basically made two records. Each sounded like we spent a long time making it. We were asking, "Why does this sound so calculated?" For some bands, it's great when they have a lot of time in the studio to make a record. To us, it seemed like we had too much time to overthink things. With rock 'n' roll, that can kill vibe. We had thirteen days before we had to go on tour. So we went into the studio here in Nashville and recorded it all live to two-inch tape machine. The whole thing was finished in thirteen days, and there are thirteen songs. There are twelve on the record and one bonus track. We spent basically a day on each song and knock them out.
Did it feel the most natural during those thirteen days?
We're a band who knows what we want, and we're not happy unless we get exactly what we want. We went in and did it ourselves. One of the most rewarding things is to look on the back of the album and see "Produced by Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown" because we're responsible for the songs, performances, and the way it came out. We stand behind it.
Is it important for you to tell stories and paint pictures with the lyrics?
Yeah, I think that's a really important part of it. I'm a big fan of songs that tell stories. I hope to tell even more stories in the next few records. Graham [Whitford] and I both consider ourselves guitar players, but we didn't want to make a guitar record. We wanted to make a record with songs. We're fans of albums, and we put a lot of time and thought into which tracks would fit the Wild Child theme of the album and the track order because we wanted it to roll like a concert.
Where were you coming from lyrically on "Last One Leaving"?
On first listen, a lot of people picture the smoking hot babe at the bar who's like the devil in disguise and just wants to eat you for lunch [Laughs]. However, I really had a darker image in my head. It's a girl I was in love with who went away and I couldn't move on. I was destroyed by that. Her memory was doing me no good, but I couldn't move on. That's what "Last One Leaving" is about to me. To someone else, it might be about that girl at the bar. It's for anyone who was that someone who breaks them into pieces but they still need more and can't get away from them.
What's the story behind "Where I Want You"?
I wrote that about four years ago, and it's probably the only song we've played at every single one of our shows as a band. It's a rock song to a girl. That could almost be the same girl as in "Last One Leaving". She's got you in her sights, and you've got her in yours. There you go. The rest is up to the imagination.
What artists shaped you?
Definitely, Elvis Presley…as soon as I saw Elvis I wanted to be a rock star. Then, there's Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck. Tom Petty is my biggest inspiration as a songwriter. The list goes on with The Black Crowes, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy Waters. I love Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, and Texas Blues. I was a Muddy Waters and Lightnin' Hopkins junkie as a kid. When I got to high school, I ended up at a Black Crowes concert, and I realized they were Muddy Waters junkies too. They were just doing it with more distortion and longer hair. I thought, "I've got to start a rock band". There was a certain rebellion I was attracted to. I didn't grow up listening to rock 'n' roll. They were a big influence. That was when I decided I was going to move to Nashville from Texas and do it. That's how powerful music is.
If you were to compare Wild Child to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Maybe Almost Famous! It's the kid finding his way. I just flew from Australia last night and watched that on a flight so it's still on my mind.
Have you heard Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown?