Interview: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Talk New Album 'Pressure'
When Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown had their massive summer tour cancelled supporting Nickelback and Stone Temple Pilots, Bryant didn't let the pandemic woes stop him from doing what he does best. The original idea was to release an EP filled with songs that were recorded at Bryant's home during quarantine, but an EP quickly turned into the band's fourth studio album Pressure, out now via Spinefarm Records. Rock Is Dead spoke to Tyler about the at home recording process, making music with his wife Rebecca Lovell (Larkin Poe) and his new BBQ'ing obsession.
What were the main challenges of recording an album during quarantine?
To be honest with you, this was the most fun I’ve ever had making a record. There were certainly some obstacles that came along with recording it in my home studio, but most of those obstacles encouraged us to think outside the box. In the past, I’ve always enjoyed going for a dinner break or something and allowing a few minutes for your ears and your mind to reset. There was none of that on this record. We were fully in it from start to finish, as we couldn’t go anywhere else.
With Noah recently leaving the band and you picking up a lot of the bass parts, how did you view these songs differently from a bassist perspective?
The thing I loved so much about Noah’s playing was that he always held down the low in without being obnoxiously flashy. I definitely took a similar approach and just tried to keep the spirit and the attitude of what we’ve built over the years in tact. On the majority of the songs, we took a “less is more” approach. With that said, there are certainly some “Oh look who’s wearing a bass now” moments.
Sonically, will the new album be similar to your past work or will fans be surprised at the new music?
Sonically it is similar, but I think we covered some territory that we haven’t covered before with the songs!
Did you find that diving into making an album allowed for a sense of escapism from all the craziness going on in the world?
Absolutely. This record gave me something to put my hope and energy to. We wanted to take the pressure we were feeling and use it to make something special.
What was the best part about working with Rebecca and what was she able to bring to the table?
Rebecca is one of the greatest singers I know. She came down to my studio and sang through “Crazy Days” a couple of times and then she was gone. It was just easy and felt totally natural.
Not many rock albums have come out this year with many artists opting to push their releases until touring can resume. What made you guys decide to go ahead and release an album anyways?
I understand that people are holding back their releases. Our mentality is that we’ll just write more songs and make another record. “Pressure” felt too appropriate to not put out. We also felt a strong need to give our fans something to sink their teeth into until we can get back to touring.
Touring is so important to rock music specifically, how do you guys plan on engaging with fans and showing them the new material without live shows?
We’ll do some more virtual shows, virtual meets and greets, and keep making and releasing music. The idea is just to make the most out of the tools that we’ve been given.
Do you have any personal favourites on the new album?
“Like The Old Me” is one of my favorites. So many Shakedown songs sound larger than life, but that song just sounds like life to me.
Last time we spoke you were making your own hot sauce at home. Have your culinary skills evolved since then?
These days I’ve really been enjoying BBQ’ing outside. It’s also become a bit of an obsession. Few things are as relaxing as sitting next to a smoker while it’s billowing smoke with a resonator and playing a little blues.