Interview: Blues-Rock Powerhouse, Tyler Boone, Talks New Music Video
Tyler Boone has a drowsy voice, high-energy instrumentals, and a big dream. The Charleston-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter is making moves in the blues-rock arena, scoring song placement on reality television, sharing the stage with major acts like Hootie & The Blowfish, and winning runner-up to Darius Rucker for "best of" awards in the Charleston music scene.
Working hard for years to hone his craft, and quietly transitioning from Americana singer-songwriter to blues-rock fusion, Tyler isn't ready to slow down any time soon. With a few EPs and a full-length under his belt already, Tyler is continuing to put out a steady stream of rocking singles. Over the summer, he released "Short Skirt, Bare Knees," a rollicking woozy blues-rock anthem that has since been met with positive reception from blogs and fans.
A few weeks ago, Tyler released the music video accompaniment featuring the uncertainty of late-night party blurs. The video is shot beautifully, operating with a low-tone color palette and effortlessly weaving between shots. We see Tyler blindfolded in the back of a van, but, good guy that he is, he sings right through it. Later, a boozy frenzy breaks out as Tyler parties too hard and wakes to unreliable splices of a foggy night. The music video successfully captures the carefree, kicking-back vibe of "Short Skirt, Bare Knees," offering the perfect visual aid for the track's rambling, electric guitar lines and insistent percussion.
Watch the music video for "Short Skirt, Bare Knees" below and read on for an exclusive interview with Tyler Boone via The Music Mermaid:
The Music Mermaid: First, can you tell The Music Mermaid a little about yourself and your music?
Tyler Boone: I am a singer-songwriter who is really lucky that all I get to do every day is play and write my own music, manage bands, and work on other projects such as an upcoming bourbon line titled "Boone's Bourbon" [while working on] events, festivals, and PR campaigns.
TMM: You grew up in Charleston and have since relocated to the acclaimed Music City of Nashville. What are the music scenes like in each location and how have they influenced your own work?
TB: I moved to Nashville in 2015 and then finally relocated back to Charleston this year. Both scenes are really incredible and both have insane support groups. I love traveling back and forth, it's really an inspiring thing to do.
TMM: You just released your new music video for “Short Skirt, Bare Knees.” Can you talk a little about the production process for that video?
TB: The idea of this video came from both my friends Paul Chelmis and Dries Vandenberg. We always make jokes and kid around with ideas and this video seemed perfect for that. We wanted to shoot something fun and entertaining so I decided to buy a keg and throw a party. It turned out extremely well; I love it.
TMM: What is the songwriting process like for you? What are some central themes you employ?
TB: I always write the music first, whether that be a guitar riff or the chord progressions, then shortly after it is the melody with fine tuning on the lyrics. It's always been that way for me.
TMM: You’re easily one of the hardest working musicians we’ve seen, constantly advocating for your own work and making major waves in the industry. Walk us through a typical day in the life of music mastermind Tyler Boone.
TB: My days are never the same, but they usually start with my phone going off at about 9 or 10 AM, so that forces me to get moving early, answer some unanswered emails and texts, write some emails for projects I'm working on (whether they be to agents, radio stations, promoters, or managers). Then I usually have a band rehearsal sometime during the week, perhaps a gig later that evening, and then either following up with my management or with some of the bands I help manage. Then it's usually 2 AM or so when I get home, get to bed and do it all over again. My days are usually pretty packed but you can't beat being your own boss. If I'm traveling, I'm usually in a great mood (seriously, I really do enjoy it).
TMM: In what ways has your music evolved since you first began making music?
TB: When I first started writing music, it had a very young and pop-y sound. The first EP I released, Changing Pace, had a single titled "Don't Forget My Name" (2011). Its music video was the first single I ever landed on a few radio stations and it was a great accomplishment. My next album Familiar Faces (2014) (which you covered as the release if you remember!) [Editor's note: How could I forget? I worked with Tyler a few times on my previous music website, Buzz Artist, before launching The Music Mermaid this summer] was still a pop album with some rock tendencies. The single we went to radio with was Take Aim (here's its music video.)
I then soon released a few singles: "Front Page Show" (2015) was my first attempt at a Jack White/Black Keys feel, and then later that year I released "Next Life" (2015) which features my dear friends Finnegan Bell. This song was a dedication to the AME Church in Charleston after the horrible shooting.
Later that year, I made the move to Nashville and just started writing. I was over the pop thing and wanted to write something more "real and honest" to me -- more blues and Americana. I raised $10,000 on a Kickstarter and took out some loans and went into the studio with producer Brandon Metcalf (Jewel, Augustana, Blues Traveler) on the east side of Nashville. We came out with one of the coolest songs I ever made up until then titled "True Experience." I released the single "Paper Wings" (2016) (music video here) the day we made our first debut at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware and eventually released the EP later that year while out in California touring. "Paper Wings" was eventually featured on a Bravo TV show titled "A Night With My Ex."
The last single we pushed was "When I Was Young" (music video here) and that was the sound I wanted to keep chasing after. I kept writing through the winter and eventually wrote my next single "Short Skirt, Bare Knees" that we released this past June. This was finally the sound I had been searching for and I was ecstatic to release it. I decided to also go the heaviest I ever have with PR & radio -- we went hard with it. Gained over 150 radio stations, 128K streams on Spotify, and now a possible nomination in the rock categories for a Grammy. Couldn't be happier.
I will always keep writing pop and the plan is to go into the studio with MJ Fick at OHM studios in LA in 2018, but before that, I am going to release a live blues rock EP this November and a new EP early next year produced by Eric Rickert (Shinedown, William Fitzsimmons). With being an independent songwriter, there are no rules, so why not write as many different songs as possible?
TMM: Your song “Paper Wings” was recently featured on a Bravo series. What was that experience like?
TB: That experience was pretty surreal. The biggest moment was actually seeing it and hearing it on television. It was my first major sync and I couldn't be more excited about it. Taylor Guitars gave me an amazing guitar to perform it live with as well. More than grateful to Bravo TV and Taylor Guitars for the opportunity.
TMM: What has been your most memorable musical moment so far?
TB: I would say playing the Firefly Music Festival was pretty incredible. It would be incredible to be invited back someday.
The Music Mermaid: Finally, what’s next for Tyler Boone?
Tyler Boone: On November 3rd, I am releasing a new blues EP titled Live Sessions with 5 live tracks recorded at the WSBF Sessions in Clemson, SC, and then shortly after releasing a new single early next year from the new EP. Also hopefully Boone's Bourbon will be released later this year. Always working towards a new project.
Photo by Darrin Salberg.