If you're looking for a hot spot in Boston to hang out at this Friday night, my obvious answer for you is Brighton Music Hall for Tyrone Wells. One of my favorite venues is lucky enough to be hosting Tyrone while he's out on the road for his national tour in support of his latest album "This Love." Whether an avid fan of Tyrone or if you're just hearing his name for the first time, there's something for everyone to enjoy from his catalogue and his live performances as he'll be playing not just songs from "This Love." While busy being on the road, Tyrone was kind enough to answer some questions for NeverBeenHeard and talk about his excitement for coming back up to Boston, so to help prepare you for Friday's festivities --
Congratulations on charting #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart with your independent EP 'Metal & Wood' and also with 'Remain' making waves on the US Billboard charts. What other moments have been highlights of your career?
Tyrone Wells: Thanks Emily! There are a lot of highlights.. but probably what I am most pleased with, is the fan base around the nation that has continued to grow, with very little to no radio play in most markets.
How did you first get into music and what made you decide to pursue this full-time?
TW: I've really loved music from childhood. I grew up in a very musical family. I have four older sisters that are very talented.. a couple of them are also great songwriters. I started getting serious about music in college and it turned into a full time career shortly after graduation college.
Who are your biggest influences as a musician? And on a different note, what are you top three played albums you're currently listening to?
TW: Stevie Wonder. Patty Griffin. John Foreman.
Top three albums right now would probably be:
1. Early in the Morning - James Vincent McMorrow
2. To the Pine Roots - Iain Archer (plays guitar for Snow Patrol, great singer songwriter)
3. Fulfillingness' First Finale - Stevie Wonder
The older albums feel a bit more full-band, even if not, but with this album it seems you've chosen to go a more organic route. How was this decision made, and how do you feel with the finished product?
TW: I've always loved albums that are a bit more sparse in production, so I set out to make the type of record that I like to hear.
With that, were any of the songs more produced once in the studio and maybe even finalized before you and the producer decided to go back to square one with the final product?
TW: As a matter of fact, yes. I recorded one song 3 times for this record. The first two times, I felt like it was growing into a bigger production than I wanted it to. The song is called "For Who I Am". I've been playing it for a couple years live, and I always have the band leave the stage while I play the song. I'm used to hearing only my acoustic guitar and voice in the song. So we scaled it way back, production-wise, and tried to give the starring roles to the guitar and voice.
With as much material as you've created, do you find it hard to pick nightly setlists? Obviously, the main focus is to tour and promote "This Love," but do you play a little something from everything?
TW: Yes.. it's very hard.. I always take forever to write setlists. I'm only playing 3 or 4 songs from the new record.. and then for the rest of the set list, I try to play the songs that people came to hear.
Since you're embarking on a national headlining tour, does this mean you'll be going on the road with a full backing band, and if so, who does the band include - does it cover all or most of the instruments that are played on the album?
TW: My current tour has a 4 piece band. I sometimes also tour as a duo or 3 piece. For the current "This Love" tour, I play acoustic guitar, ukulele and sing lead. Eric Nelson plays electric guitar, keys and lap steel guitar. Bryan Taylor plays drums and percussion. Aaron Bishop plays bass. We do a pretty good job of recreating the albums when playing live.
Where are you going on this tour that you haven't played in awhile?
TW: I think it's been about a year since I've played the Southern States and the upper East Coast, so I'm excited to be back in all of those markets. Of course I always love playing in Boston.
As Metric poses in one of their songs, "Who would you rather be - The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?"
TW: Musically speaking, I’d rather be the Beatles. For life span and ability to rock until I’m absolutely geriatric, I'd be the Stones.
If you’d like to listen to or find out more about Tyrone Wells, please follow the links below:
To buy tickets to Friday night's show at Brighton Music Hall, you can click here.
Photo credit: Danny Vasquez.