No rock band is complete without a bad ass on the axe. Luckily for Tech N9ne, he’s had Tyler Lyon since the days of “Riot Maker” to provide screeching guitars to provide that “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that makes great rock and roll.
Tyler Lyon has always been down with Tech N9ne and Strange Music, meeting Tech in the Absolute Power days and laying down the “Riot Maker” guitars for Everready. After a long period filled with solo and group endeavors, he reconnected with Tech in 2013 and has been influencing the Strange Music sound ever since: laying down vocals on Something Else’s “Love 2 Dislike Me”, instrumentation/vocals on the Therapy EP and Tech N9ne Collabos: Strangeulation.
Now the multi-talent finds himself going on the road with his favorite emcee as the guitar player for the Band of Psychos Tour. We caught up Tyler in between rehearsals to find out how they’ve been going and what we can expect from the shows. Tyler also dropped a tidbit about Special Effects, making this
Your journey with Strange has been pretty incredible as it relates to Strange because you were involved in the days of wayback with songs like “Riot Maker” and kind of made a full circle to come back on Something Else, Therapy and Strangeulation. How does it feel then to be going on the road with Tech N9ne on this tour?
I think it’s awesome. It feels like a blessing really. I’ve had a long year this year with some health scares and things of that nature, but I’m really excited to get the opportunity to do this. I know that the other two guys that are going to be jamming are really talented musicians. There’s a lot of different people on that list that would love to be in the position that I’m in and Tech could have picked them. It’s a very humbling thing. What’s nice is that I feel comfortable. I don’t feel like I need to come here and be quiet. If I have an idea musically I can voice it and do my part. I feel like that’s partially why they hired me and not someone else.
You guys have been practicing this week, how is the chemistry between everybody?
The chemistry is great man. You can tell everybody’s professional. Tech and everybody, their road crew, everybody knows their stuff. Then you add us three musicians into it. I think the main thing with us musicians is to stay up on our gear and stuff and Strange has really made sure that we’ve been taken care of in that area. I think everything has been great. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Strange is a well-oiled machine and they’ve allowed us to come in and explain to them what a musician might need in comparison to a rapper or anything like that. We’ve been able to really be ourselves and make some music with them. It’s been going really well. I really like the guys that we’re playing with.
What’s this past year been like for you, being featured on so many great Tech projects? You were on the last three records and I’m sure we’ll see you in some capacity on the next one as well.
It’s been really good man. It’s a great help to be involved in something as big as Strange is and the ability to be a fan still but also help mold certain things in the music. Now I get to influence certain things that I already like. With my health it’s been one of the most stressful years of my life but it was a God send in a lot of ways. I’ve been doing a lot of different music projects over the last couple of years and I’m still going to continue to expand on Evalyn Awake and keep that growing and doing a new record that’s going to be coming out real soon. I’m just trying to network the way you’re supposed to and get everything put together the way its supposed to and continue to grow the right way. Developing relationships naturally doesn’t easily happen overnight. If you really want it to be real you have to do what I feel like I’ve done over the past ten years now. It’s obviously paid off. There’s a lot of opportunities to make money playing music in different ways.
I’ve tried to keep myself open so I could take the good opportunities like this Tech N9ne opportunity. Just being able to do that and not be in the position where you’re not able to take advantage of those opportunities has been huge because that’s been the hardest thing for a lot of people. A lot of talent is out there and they’ll come down with something or a great job comes up or something really important that makes it so they can’t take those opportunities when they come. It’s been great. Trav called me to talk to me about it and I was like “Yeah, it’d be awesome.”
I also can’t wait for people to hear some of the new music that we’ve been working on. We’re just trying to get a progression of what we’ve already done. I mean it’s Seven. The guy’s the best. It’s been really awesome. This year has kind of built towards all this great stuff. After the tour ends I’ll be able to have my surgery and that’s the way my year will end and I think that’s awesome. What a great way to go out, to have a few weeks of touring and enjoying myself and really just playing my heart out then coming home to recover nicely and get ready for 2015, because I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot more coming.
You’re on guitar duties on this tour. Are we going to be able to hear a solo during the set?
Oh yeah. There’s some cool stuff. We’ve made some room for everybody to shine. The other guys that play too – the bass player is a monster on the bass. The drummer, a lot of us have been calling him “Animal” because he’s a wild child on the set. Everybody can really stand out on their own and they’re great musicians. I’m going to do something. I’m trying to sing too so I’m going to be on the mic on a couple songs and helping those guys sing. That’s going to be awesome because I know they don’t typically allow a lot of people on the microphone while they’re doing their thing. I’m humbled by it.
What do you think about the other band members?
They’re awesome. Me being from Kansas City, the bass player being from Florida, and the drummer from Georgia, It’s cool that we all have an opportunity to play together. These are things that you don’t get. I’m a musician and I’ve been doing it for a long time. If you’re in KC there might be a lot of good musicians, but what you’re looking for in particular there might only be a few so you have to relish the opportunity to be able to jam with people like this.
We’ve all hit it off pretty well so far and it seems that everyone’s got a good head on their shoulders. I’ve been on the road before and I know things can get wild. There’s all sorts of different personalities so you have to know how to talk to person A and then turn to person B and maybe they need to be spoken to in a totally different manner. It’s all about knowing how to communicate with different people in a different manner and at different times. A lot of touring is living in that tube that has us all together. The band members seem very flexible and very easy to work with. With people like that it’s really easy to get the job done and continue on the path of tightening the screws, because every time you play, if you’re doing it right, everything should get a little tighter.
From what you’ve experienced and practiced so far, how has the live set up elevated the material?
Tech and Kaliko are already pretty hyped on stage but I’m seeing them more hyped with the band behind them. I hear a little bit more of the airy, growly vocal coming out of Tech. He calls it “That white shit” (laughs) and I said “I love it man, I think it’s awesome.” I love it and I’m absolutely happy to be a part of it.
What would you like to say before we wrap this up?
I just want to say to everybody that if we’re coming to your area make sure you make it out to see this show. It’s going to be rad. Come up and talk to us! Of course you’re going to meet Tech and Kaliko. They’re the most down to earth people in the world. Come and say hi to us band members too. We’ve got all sorts of music. If you really love what we’re doing then there’s nothing but good things to come. Get acquainted with all of us because hopefully we’ll be part of the Strange family for a long time to come.
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