Warner Music Nashville’s Tyler Braden is an artist that is well and truly on the up. His debut single “Try Losing One” has already gained seventy million global streams whilst it continues to rise at country radio and has already topped SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown. His recently released sophomore EP titled “Neon Grave” (available HERE) also features a second version of the song as a duet featuring Echosmith’s Sydney Sierota. The former firefighter and first responder from Slaport, Alabama was a finalist on the first season of NBC’s American Song Contest and has a growing list of tour credits which includes the likes of Mitchell Tenpenny, Brantley Gilbert and Brooks & Dunn.
Tyler has now found his way over to Europe to play for the first time where he appeared at C2C: Country to Country Festival in London, Glasgow and Dublin as part of the CMA Introducing Nashville Series alongside Caylee Hammack and Alana Springsteen, so whilst he was in town, he spent some time at his label to hang out with us and talk about this first trip overseas.
Well, it’s great to have you here dude. “Man, I appreciate it, it’s good to be here. We were saying earlier that it is my whole crew’s first time overseas. I have been to Canada for about twenty hours but that’s the furthest that I have been before.”
How did you find the flight over? A lot of people talk about the jetlag being a real killer coming this way. “We thought we were clever and stayed up pretty late at night. Marisa, my wife was working, and we thought we would stay up late, get up early and be tired so we could maybe sleep on the plane. That did not work out and I slept maybe thirty minutes on the plane, we got here at nine AM and then about five PM I went to bed, and I slept for seventeen hours so that was pretty wild, but I needed it though I guess, and I’ve felt great since. I played a show last night and felt super healthy and super rested.”
I’m guessing of all the things that you may have heard before about coming to the UK, snow in March wasn’t something you were expecting. “Ha ha I did not expect that, but I didn’t really know what to expect weather wise. I did a couple of Zoom interviews whilst I was back home, and I was told it’s really cold. What was funny was how they said we haven’t quite dipped below zero which in my mind, I’m thinking Fahrenheit which definitely would be cold but to me that would be hadn’t dipped below thirty-two, it’s still pretty chilly though.” You had mentioned about your show last night which I got to come along to, which was really cool to see you and Breland play live but also selfishly be able to see more of you live that other people will see on this trip with the way your sets are going to work in the round. The C2C appearances are fresh from the release of the new EP “Neon Grave” which I really like a lot. For a six-track project I think you have manage to showcase every possible element of your music that you probably could with the variety of musical styles across the tracks. For people that hear it and encounter you for the first time, with the variety they may not know exactly who Tyler Braden is musically, so how would you pinpoint what you are about? “It’s cool that you say that because when we do these projects with multiple songs, what we’re trying to do is show every angle of who we are as an artist. Hopefully I’m not one dimensional so all of the songs are who I am as an artist, who Tyler Braden is and it’s just that they all bring their own angle, their own emotional to who I am as a songwriter and who I am as an artist. With “Neon Grave” and “Wrong Right Now” they did start to lean more into the rock field because I’m very rock influenced in my music. The first bands I was ever in were rock covers bands and stuff like that so live shows are definitely more of a rock show when I have the full band there. I want to say all of it really is who I am as an artist, it’s just from every angle and trying to write pieces that are emotionally relatable in different ways. It doesn’t have to mean sad but songs that are relatable in a real-life way, an emotional way and that’s who I consider myself to be as a songwriter. Hopefully that shows the levels to that and the layers to what that could mean.”
With putting the EP out, was a lot of the feeling to be able build around the momentum of how great things are going with “Try Losing One” which was also on your first EP as well but also be a bridge towards what is going to be coming next? “Always, anytime we put out music it’s wanting to grow and build on the previous music that we put out and show the steps that we’re taking in artistry and in songwriting. I definitely think that this EP did that and showing that step back in the direction of the rock sound a little bit then also the duet version of “Try Losing One” is showing the song itself growing and having Sydney (Sierota) there from Echosmith sing on that, she was so amazing and so great to work with. Yes, definitely you asked if that was a growth on that and I think they always are, and we hope that it comes across that way.” With getting Sydney involved on the duet, I know you have a mutual link across your teams but how did the idea to turn the song into a duet come about and what was it that you started looking for a female voice for it and that she was the right fit? “That was kind of an internal idea that multiple people threw out from the label and management that we thought was a great way to add content to the song, to give it some growth and expansion. Sydney and I both have the same management, so we learnt that she had voiced some desire to move into the country space a little bit and I’ve always thought that the lines across genres are very blurred so I’m always open to do collaborations with any other genre. It was great to go that direction because Sydney and Echosmith are all so very talented, like I said before she was so great to work with and it just worked out perfect that we had that connection and were able to link up.”
We’ve done quite well to talk this much before getting to talk about the main reason you are here which is to play this festival over the weekend. Three shows in three days starting in London, then heading to Glasgow and Dublin, what have you heard about the audiences and getting to play over here? “The consensus view, which so many people have told me is that the audiences here are the best in the world, and they are the most attentive, the most appreciate, they want to hear every song down to the deep cuts and they want to hear the stories behind them. Obviously, one day I can’t wait to come back with a full band and do the whole show but to be able to do a set like we get to do this weekend in more of a writers round style where we get to tell the story behind the songs to a crowd that is definitely wanting to hear those stories and are very excited. That seems to be the common thing that I’ve heard and that it is the best crowd that you can play for!”
The fact that they do the CMA Introducing Nashville round in the main arena to kick off the night really is a testament to the UK fans in a lot of ways because I can’t imagine that working at too many events in the States when there would be people heading to a Thomas Rhett concert. You will hopefully see that, and I hope you already saw some of that last night. “Yeah, absolutely. I definitely trust that it’s going to work, I actually saw that is what Luke Combs for his tour when he is over here, to open shows with a writers round. I think that’s really cool how that works well enough to be able to do that and bring that over here on such a large scale, that’s awesome.”
Looking at the round itself, you are playing with Caylee Hammack and Alana Springsteen. Have you worked with either of those ladies or played shows with either of them before? “I’ve done a writers round in the past with Caylee at Marathon Music Works in Nashville which was a few years ago and Alana, I’ve met in passing and got to hear her live. I just did a tour with Mitchell Tenpenny and when we played the Nashville shows, he brought Alana up to do a song with him, but we’ve never actually played anything together so, I’m excited to get to play with them both.”
Have you got much time here outside of playing the shows and doing press? Is there some time to explore and maybe tick something off the bucket list? “We don’t have a whole lot of time, but we’ve definitely been trying to find good food, that’s always pretty much the first thing we search for, I think. We tried to stay relatively close to where we’re staying but we found this brunch place called Grounded (in the Whitechapel / Aldgate area) which was really good. We learnt that a lot of dishes come on sourdough bread or at least at that restaurant but it was good. One thing I’ve found here that I’m not used to is the beans with breakfast, it’s funny because we have a restaurant in East Nashville, that is one of my wife’s favourite breakfast spots and they have dishes that do the beans with breakfast which I had never heard of that and it’s just crazy coincidence that here it’s normal. I still haven’t tried it yet though, I kind of don’t change a lot.”
To us the beans thing is just normal, I couldn’t imagine a full breakfast without beans, but I suppose our bacon is different too and more similar to ham you have back at home. Then the other thing a lot of Americans seem to adore food wise over here is Indian food. “I didn’t know that until my manager literally just said that when we were about to fly over here. Quite honestly, I haven’t had a lot of Indian food in my life so one of the goals is to hit one of those places.”
Curry is apparently now the official national dish here in Britain, not fish and chips as some people may think. Fish and chips is nice too, but we would typically have it more on a day at the coast rather than a regular takeout. For Indian food, Shoreditch is the place in London as Brick Lane is the really famous place for the best curry, my US friends are fascinated by a place called Dishoom which is a chain restaurant for curry that has for me a more limited menu and there is always such a long queue outside. The food there is great, but you can generally find something on the next street that is more authentic and have more choice that you don’t have to stand in a line for. Then food wise, Glasgow is totally different as they find ways to deep fry everything like you do in Tennessee but it’s random things like Mars bars and pizza. “Like deep fried pizza? OK I’d try it ha ha. When I think of deep frying, personally I think of fairs, you know like with the rides and everything where you could find a lot of stuff deep fried like Oreos and deep-fried Snickers bars.”
It’s not the sort of thing that you would typically find down here in London or the south east but each to their own. London is very different, people are generally in more of a rush and less sociable with strangers, we don’t like eye contact on the tube and dare even think of standing on the wrong side of the escalator.
Hopefully you find stuff that you like, and this has been a lot of fun dude, really appreciate your time and getting to hang out. I genuinely enjoy you EP a lot and like I said before I like how diverse that it is sonically which gives people the wide spectrum to showcase what your music is all about. You have this dirty, swampy title track that leads into the project then two versions of this beautiful ballad along with three other songs that compliment and do different things which hopefully will continue leading to more and more cool things on the way which people will really enjoy this weekend. “I appreciate that and hope so too, I’m already in love with everything over here so can’t wait to play to more fans this weekend.” The new EP “Neon Grave” from Tyler Braden is out now through Warner Music Nashville and is available HERE whilst you can connect with Tyler socially to keep up to date with what he is up to via INSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK & his WEBSITE.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks