Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown – Feeling Under Pressure 
By Dave Schwartz

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown is a blues-based rock band out of Nashville, TN.  Their latest record, “Pressure,” is a strong dose of emotion and truth that is as good for the soul as it is for the ears.  Tyler called into DaBelly a few weeks back to talk about their latest record and the joy of making music.  Checkout the interview! I

DB:  Congratulations on the new record and thanks for calling me back.  I appreciate it.  The new record is called “Pressure” and is due out in about a week.  I would like to hear all about it. 

TB:  The record was recorded in lockdown.  It was sort of our way of taking the pressures that we felt and at the start of this.  All of the tour dates were canceled and pretty much the year was canceled and we said, what do we do?  Well, let’s make something.  Let’s make the most out of it.  Just try to dive into being creative and sort of do the thing that makes us really happy which is music.

DB:  Now I was reading that you had something like 30 or 40 songs that you picked through.  It sounds like you were cherrypicking your music.  Talk a little bit about having that kind of backlog to choose from.

Tyler Bryant & THe Shakedown

TB:  I have an obsession with songwriting.  It’s something that I do every day.  It’s something that I would do even if it weren’t my job.  And, I have a studio in my house which is equivalent to an alcoholic living in a bar! (laughs) So, I just do it all the time.  Every day I just try to make something like a Shakedown song or whether I’m listening to a Townes Van Zandt record over breakfast and then just write something to satisfy myself.  We did end up with quite a few songs to choose from.  A lot of them, Graham (Whitford) and I wrote together.  Some I’ve written by myself and with other friends of mine.  We just sat down with a list of all of them, talked about it as a team and decided which ones to go for and then from there we went after just about all of them!  (laughs),

DB:  That leaves you a little on the insane side.  You’re in a position where you have to pick from your children.

TB:  It is a tough process because, this band, we don’t do anything unless the three of us agree on it.  There were a couple songs where I said, "Guys – this song – we have to do this song!" But if they don’t agree…  We try to find common ground because ultimately this is something that we’re all part of.  I feel like everyone has to be 100% behind every move.  There were some songs like “Hitchhiker,” for example, they kind of stem from, maybe we were working on something and maybe the vibe wasn’t happening.  Suddenly a riff gets played and all of a sudden, your kind of fallowing that moment of inspiration.  Next thing you know you are lost in the woods and can’t get home.  (laughs) ,

DB:  Yeah, songs often have a nature to themselves.  They sort of come to life, at times surprising you.

TB:  Yeah.  There are so many songs on this record that I wrote and then, at the end of the process I would step back and wonder if I was even here for this song!  Where did that song come from?  (laughs) ,

DB:  It’s amazing!  So, you had some guests on this record.  Charlie Starr from Blackberry Smoke, your wife Rebecca (Lovell, one half of roots rock duo Larkin Poe).  Spend a moment on having the opportunity to work with your friends and family.

TB:  It’s no secret that Noah Denney, our bass player, left the band in February.  Noah brought a ton to the Shakedown and when he left, one of the things we really missed was the high harmonies that he always sang.  And so there were a couple of songs, “Crazy Days” and “Hold My Breath” where we needed that high harmony.  We were really missing it.  And so I thought, who are the two best singers I know?  One of them happened to be my wife, Rebecca, and the other was Charlie Starr who’s a really good friend of mine.  So, I called Charlie and I went upstairs and asked Rebecca if they would sing on the songs.  Rebecca came right down and sang and made the song way more awesome.  And Charlie sent a vocal over and – I just feel like both of them are just so talented and helped to elevate these recordings. 

DB:  For some people it can be a real challenge.  I guess this is a dangerous question but, for some it can be a challenge to work with family.  But even more so working with family on something that’s artistic and involves so much passion.  It sounds like you have a very natural and positive relationship with your wife Rebecca.

TB:  Yeah, I mean there have been ups and downs in that regard but when we first started dating, I think we were a little more competitive with each other and we realized pretty quickly that there was no health in that!  (laughs) So the goal has always been for me to support her and her to support me.  Always add to and never take away from.  I have been fortunate to cowrite songs with her and vice versa.  I just engineered her next album that’s coming out next month.  They were on it since May and it was recorded here in my studio.  It’s great that we can both be there for each other.  Especially during this time when so much of the music industry has become lean and mean and sort of do it yourself.I

DB:  You have a single off the record – “Holding My Breath.”  Please talk about choosing the song and why it makes such a great single.

TB:  That song was actually written before the pandemic, believe it or not.  The lyrics sound like they were written as a reaction to 2020 unraveling the way it has.  But it was written prior to that.  As we were making the record, the song resurfaced and we couldn’t deny that it sounds appropriate.  I think we were just trying to channel all the feelings that we were feeling into that particular song.  There’s something about the way the chords and the melody works with them that is just sort of brings on an emotional feeling and I like it.  I think it shows a different side of the band.  I’m just really proud how the song turned out and I had a blast making that video as well.

DB:  Try to contrast this record with your last.  Do you find that, with so much legacy material my question is about the band’s growth.  Perhaps because you had such a backlog of material to work with, the bands growth happened in a different way.  Please try to contrast the records.

TB:  Well the “Truth and Lies” record, there really wasn’t much of a different scenario.  I mean, there were 40+ songs going into that record as well.  (laughs) Like I said man, it’s an alcoholic living in a bar!  This is what I enjoy doing.  I’m constantly at it and so the pandemic gave me, not to say the pandemic is a good thing – it’s horrible – but I didn’t need an excuse not to go to social events any more.  Hope, we’re isolated and I can just hold up in my studio and not leave.  I guess the main differences were that “True and Lies” was recorded in a state-of-the-art studio.  We’re talking about one of the nicest studios in the world.  This record, “Pressure,” was recorded in my basement studio.  Do you know what I mean?  This record is much more down and dirty which I think that, for a band like ours, I prefer that kind of approach.  Our music isn’t like a bouquet of flowers.  We’re a down and dirty bluesy rock band.  So, with a song like “Hitchhiker” yeah, go ahead and throw a microphone in the bathroom.  Every song is meant to sound like you’re shooting a shot of bacon grease anyway!  It was just kind of a no rules approach.

DB:  I don’t think I’ve ever heard that phrase before – shooting a shot of bacon grease!  (laughs).

TB:  I wouldn’t recommend it!

DB:  That is a great analogy though. You play seat-of-the-pants, blue jeans rock ‘n’ roll.  There’s a solid groove to it and the songs I’ve heard from this record sound great. 

I was going to ask a question regarding the pandemic.  This is a bit unusual so please, hang with me on this.  Many of the bands that I interview have commented that this pandemic has been a curse but, at the same time it has forced musicians to reevaluate themselves, to redefine what is important to them.  This pandemic has put people in a cage and the result is that the cage has forced them to find new ways to creatively express themselves.  So, strictly regarding their music, there has been some positive consequences to this horrible experience.  Do you have any thoughts about that?

TB:  Yeah, I mean obviously, all of us musicians have some extra time on our hands.  And some of us have chosen to dig down deep and figure out what to do with their time.  I think that it’s easy to just accept that touring has been canceled and to sit back and watch Netflix.  I know I’ve done my share of that as well.  But if you’re a lifer, which I consider myself a lifer because I would be doing this regardless if I was making money doing it, I would be trying to find someone to jam with even if I didn’t have a show to rehearse for.  You know what I mean?  I know you get what I’m saying.  This is something that just happens and so these songs were already being written and if anything, the pandemic only influenced how they were recorded and the intention in their delivery.

DB:  I get it, the contrast of what a person does with who a person is.  What a person does, changes.  The pandemic can affect that.  A creative person finds ways to endure.  A creative person will always be creative.  So, you have a challenge.  You have a great album to introduce to the world.  Promotion?  Touring?

TB:  The whole music industry has been shaken quite a bit.  I know bands that have lost their booking agent.  Out booking agent has taken a different job, which I can’t blame him.  He’s not making money booking bands.  So, it’s a weird thing.  We do have a new booking agent and we are looking at the possibility of touring next year.  But for right now, I see people announcing tours for next year but I don’t know if anyone believes that there is a lot of certainty behind that.  So, right now we are focusing on our album release show.  We’ve prerecorded the show, rented lights, brought out all of our sound equipment – we basically created our own venue.  We got some cameras and crew and put together the closest thing possible to a real show.  So, that is on our website.  There is behind the scenes footage of the making of “Pressure.”  And there’s a chance that we’ll hang out with fans and chat while the show is broadcasting.  We’re doing a European broadcast, a U.S. broadcast and exclusive merch items.  We’re doing virtual meet and greet hangs with fans.  You know, we’re just trying to make the most out of releasing an album right now.  I think a lot of people have shied away from releasing music right now because we can’t tour and promote the record on the road.  We’re just doing the best we can to make sure that the steps we take are the right ones so that we can provide the best experience for our audience.

I want to thank Tyler for spending a moment with us here at DaBelly.  Be sure to checkout their new album, “Pressure,” and try to catch one of their broadcasts.  As always, check out their socials! 


No. Title Length
1. "Pressure" 2:24
2. "Hitchhiker" 3:22
3. "Crazy Days" 3:50
4. "Backbone" 2:48
5. "Holdoin' My Breath" 4:12
6. "Like The Old Me" 3:51
7. "Automatic" 2:54
8. "Wildside" 3:22
9. "Misery" 3:34
10. "Fuel" 2:49
11. "Loner" 3:33
12. "Fever" 3:32
13. "Coastin' 2:31


  • Release:  October 16th, 2020
    Spinefarm / Snakefarm Records
Tyler Bryant & THe Shakedown - Pressure 

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

Tyler Bryant - Lead guitar, lead vocals (2009-present)

Graham Whiftord - Rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2010-present)

Ryan Fitzgerald - Bass, backing vocals (2020-present)

Caleb Crosby - Drums (2009-present)



For More Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
:

http://www.tylerbryantandtheshakedown.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TylerBryantAndTheShakedown/

https://www.instagram.com/tbshakedown/

https://twitter.com/thetylerbryant?lang=en

 

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