Friday, July 17, 2009

Pheaturing Tyler Summers


Hello, welcome to another entry of the Phile, proud sponsor of and Autism is reversible. So, this might be the last entry of the Phile, pholks. Monday morning I am going hot air ballooning and I think I might die. I either will crash or my wife will pay the pilot to kick me out of the basket. My biggest fear is what about if I have to go to the bathroom. Knowing my luck I'll pee over the basket down on my own house. Man, would Jen be pissed. So, did you kids go and see the new Harry Potter movie? I don't give a flying broom about Harry Potter. But I do want to see Bruno. Bruno was the No. 1 movie over the weekend. Gay groups are up in arms saying it reinforces the stereotypes of gay people... that they are always pushing the boundaries of fashion... they’re friendly... they’re in great shape... what a bastard you are Bruno! Elton John said the movie was OK. That should be good enough — he’s the king of gay-sylvania... or should I say queen... Tuesday was Bastille Day. Bastille Day was the beginning of the French Revolution. It was a period of turmoil for France. Napoleon turned up as a hero for a while, then he was kicked out. Then they decided they wanted him back so they put him on at 10 o’clock on NBC... French revolutionaries heard there were political prisoners inside the Bastille, so they broke into the Bastille with a battering ram made of soft cheese. Much of my research is done on Wikipedia. When they got inside, they found out there weren’t any political prisoners, just drunks, thieves, and sexual deviants — like the cast of “60 Minutes.” Oprah again has topped Forbes’ list of most influential women in the media. Second place? Ryan Seacrest. Sad week for Amy Winehouse. She got divorced. She had problems settling the divorce. She and her husband had been fighting over the crack pipes.
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon mission. Some people don’t believe there was a moon landing. There’s a technical name for these people — jerks. The Russians actually sent a dog into space. They had to fire up a Frisbee first, but they did it. And did you see the Space Shuttle go up the other day? That was the sixth try they tried to get it up. It sounds like me on a bad night. This is a weird day for me at the Phile. This is the first time I am sitting at my brand new desk. I am gonna miss my old desk, so in memory of it, here is a picture. Good-Bye, old desk.

Have you heard of the new burger at McDonald's? Burger King has the Angry Burger, right? Well, McDonald's wanted to out do them and came up with the McVagina Burger. I ain't kidding. Take a look.

LOL. Well, on that note I have a really cool guest on the Phile today. Musician Tyler Summer, kids. But first...

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's top ten list.
Top Ten Things Overheard During President Obama's Trip to Russia
10. "I just flew in from Washington and boy are my ears tired"
9. "What happened to the guy who can't say 'nuclear'?"
8. "Did you see the new episode of "Miami Vice"?"
7. "The last guy from the US used to drink all our vodka"
6. "I loved you in Hancock, Mr. President"
5. "Do they sell Marlboros here?"
4. "Mr. Obama, tear down this teleprompter!"
3. "Hey Michelle, do we have any more iPods?"
2. "We'll cut back our nukes but you have to take Rush Limbaugh"
And the number one thing overheard during Obama's trip to Russia...
1. "Let's get a coffee from Tsarbucks"

Walter Cronkite: And that's the way it is, July 17th, 2009.

In return for attempting to obviate civil war, Charlotte Corday is publicly executed. Four days prior, she had assassinated influential French radical Jean-Paul Marat by stabbing him in the bathtub. Immediately after slicing it off, the executioner lifts Corday's head out of the guillotine's basket and slaps it on both cheeks.
Britain's King George V issues a royal proclamation changing his family's surname from Hanover to Windsor. Thus, everyone is fooled into believing that a bunch of inbred krauts are really English. Which is convenient, because England just so happens to be at war with Germany.
With counter-revolutionary forces advancing steadily on the city, the Bolsheviks holding captive Czar Nicholas II invite him and his family into the basement for a portrait. The Romanovs and their servants, expecting a photography session, wind up on the business end of a firing squad. Their bodies are dragged outside and buried in an unmarked mass grave.
General Francisco Franco seizes control of the Canary Islands, signaling the start of the three-year Spanish Civil War.
At 10:18 pm, the merchant ship SS E.A. Bryan, packed with 4,606 tons of ammunition, suddenly explodes at the Port Chicago naval base north of Oakland, California. The apocalyptic blast breaks windows in San Francisco, 48 miles away, and the seismic shock is felt as far as Boulder City, Nevada. All 320 personnel on duty, most of them negro ordnance loaders, are killed instantly.
David Hasselhoff's birthday! Yay for David! Yay for Germany!
Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. In the words of Walt Disney, "That place is my baby, and I would prostitute myself for it."
Premiere of the drug-induced, Big Blue Meanie-infested cartoon Beatle film Yellow Submarine, at the London Pavilion.
Axl Rose is arrested for assault in St Louis, Missouri.
TWA flight 800 explodes off Long Island NY, killing 230 passengers. The explosion, whose cause was not terrorist related, is used as an excuse by the FBI to ask for restrictions on civil liberties.

Okay, today's guest is a singer, song writer from Canada who tomorrow will be playing at a Borders in Franklin, Tennessee. His new album is called "Whatever It Takes" and is available now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Tyler Summers.

Me: Hello, Tyler, welcome to the Peverett Phile, you're one talented sonabitch, you know that? I bet you get all the girls.

Tyler: You sure know how to make a guy feel welcome! It's great to be here. Thanks for having me. As much as I'd like to say that I do get all the girls, it seems like the things I spend the most time with these days are a pen, paper, and a piano. Doesn't seem to be much Rockstar living these days in the music business. We're all just trying to keep our heads above water, and the work never ends...

Me: I purchased your two EP's from iTunes, Tyler, "Whatever It Takes" and "Astoria Sessions". What can you tell me about those two, and do you have any others?

Tyler: Well first of all, I appreciate you picking them up. Both EP's were more or less a coming out party for me. I've always played, or written music, but was never quite sure what setting would set the soul at ease so to speak. I spent years honing my saxophone playing in a Trio back in school, and then went on to writing songs. These EP's are finally where I want to be, and where I want to explore, which is somewhere in the middle. "Astoria Sessions" was a dream coming to reality. For years, I've been a huge Duncan Sheik and David Gray fan, and wanted to do a strings album of some kind. This record was born out of that, and even featured Duncan's regular cellist Benjamin Kalb. Completely surreal. "Whatever It Takes" was a reactionary album. I've been in New York for enough time now to see the hardships that not only exist for New Yorkers, but are reflected in the country itself. America is in a tough place, and this album touches on some of my feelings about where it's at. I'm a powerless Canadian trying to live the dream, and the only way I can have a say is with an instrument, pen, and paper. This album is the cathartic process born out of everyday life here. I also wanted to explore more saxophone oriented things, with further production. I was fortunate to work with a great musician, producer, and good friend, David Little. We just hashed out the songs and went for it. We're definitely proud of what came out.

Me: Before you were a singer, you were a jazz saxophonist, right? What made you take up the sax? I hated that instrument in school.

Tyler: Actually, saxophone came after clarinet. My dad used to teach clarinet lessons down in the basement after I would go to bed, . He is an incredible musician and player, and his clarinet tone was second to none. I always wanted to play saxophone, but when the local music shop showed up to let us take a test run on all the instruments, clarinet was it for me. Shortly after, I took up the saxophone. Maybe because of those "girls" you mentioned earlier. There tends to be a certain element of seduction that exists that is lost on the clarinet. Unfortunately, I spent more time practicing the saxo phone than taking advantage of the positives that came along with it.

Me: What do you think of Kenny G? He's not a real jazz saxophonist, is he?

Tyler: If you mean that he plays the saxophone. Yes, he plays the saxophone. If you mean that he's a real saxophonist, I'm not sure. Does he sell millions of records? Do people open presents to his renditions of season songs? I believe so. I however, don't turn on my iPod and head to the "K's", or take a bubble bath to his music as Ross from friends once suggested he enjoys. I will say though, that trained musicians, specifically jazz people do not respect him because he doesn't meet their playing standards. I will say that he's a great "gateway drug" for people interested in playing the saxophone. I myself was hypnotized by such songs as "G Bop" and "Songbird" in my early years, however, it's like a really sweet candy, you end up with a stomach ache eventually.

Me: Was it easy to switch over to piano? Do you play the guitar as well?

Tyler: It was easy to switch over to piano. I actually started on piano when I was about 4, and have been playing all my life. I also had a stint with guitar, and still explore it from time to time. Part of me however is kicking myself about how obvious it was all along for me. I spent a few years working on guitar and songwriting on guitar, when I could already play piano. Not only that, I grew up with Billy Joel and Elton records playing all the time. Finally I've found where I need to be, and it feels great. It just took some time.

Me: Tyler, you live in New York, is that the city? Are you from New York? If so, you must be a Giants fan, right?

Tyler: I do live in New York, and my monthly rent would attest to the fact that it is indeed the city of New York. I am not a Giants fan. In fact, I am a lover of hockey. I grew up in Canada, and have it in my veins. I will say however, that last years Superbowl was superb. To be in NYC for that was great. I am a huge sports fan, and can appreciate passion no matter where I live.

Me: Recently you toured Texas, and Canada. How was that like? Did you tour by yourself or take a band? Any luck you coming down to Florida?

Tyler: It was great. It is something that is going to be happening a lot more for sure. I can't begin to describe the feeling of getting up and playing music in front of people. It's fun making records, but showing up in a new city, meeting new people, and knowing that at some point you'll be back to play and hang again, it's great. It's like a drug. I will absolutely be coming to Florida soon, and I hope to see you there!

Me: Have you ever met any of your idols? Who are your idols, anyway? And please don't say Kenny G. LOL

Tyler: I have met a few, and it's never gone well. I consider myself to be pretty together in social situations. Not too bad at keeping a conversation going, but in a few situations, I felt like I was 12 staring into the eyes of a girl I had a crush on since 2nd grade. If you think about it, you listen to these people on albums, over and over again, and then when it comes down to them standing in front of you, it's like nothing else. You want so badly to tell them how you feel about their music, but when you do, you just feel like an idiot. I find most of the artists I met are just so down to earth, that when you do talk about how much power their music has on your life, they just don't seem to understand how they're capable of doing it. It's an interesting psychological situation. To you, they changed how you think about the world. To them, they still have to put their pants on one leg at a time.

Me: I read a review of one of your shows and it said you played piano, sax and beatboxed. I still have no idea what beatboxing is. Can you explain it to me?

Tyler: I never really understood it either, and am still working on it. It's become a new thing in my live shows, so I'm finding new ways to do it. Basically, it's when you make sounds with your mouth, that resemble a rhythm of some kind. It's a really amazing thing to see when it's done right. There's guys that can literally sing a hook while doing it. I remember hearing Rahzel while I was at University, and it blew me away. There's also this guy named "Joseph" who was on the French Idol contest. There's videos of him that are ridiculous. For me, it's purpose is to add a new energy to a solo show. I was searching for a live element, and was always creating beats, so I figured why not loop them?

Q: So, in February you moved to Nashville, eh? Why Nashville? I interviewed a lot of musicians from Nashville. That is a hot bed for talent there, you know.

Tyler: There are some amazing people down there. My main reason for the move is to have more freedom to create and make more music. I'm in this for the long haul, so I needed to find somewhere that was cheaper, allowed me access to tour, and still inspired me from a music scene standpoint. I love songwriting, and some of my favorites are there. When I turn on my iPod, most of the stuff is from the south, so why not?

Me: You played with Johnny Reid. I think he's from Canada. Are you good friends?

Tyler: I did play with John for almost a year. It was incredible. He's actually from Scotland, and moved to Canada in his teens. He lives down in Nashville, and does a lot of his touring in Canada. He's an incredible singer, and the nicest guy on the planet. I've learned so much from him, and am constantly inspired by how he handles himself, and the artist that he is.

Me: You also played with Spoon and Feist. I put an interview request to interview Feist but never heard anything, maybe you can put in a good word for me. Also, Spoon is a very cool band. Did you play sax or piano for them?

Tyler: I had a lot of fun playing with both Feist and Spoon. I kind of fell into the gig when they needed another horn player. Their musical director recorded one of my earlier albums, and we played a lot of gigs together when I was back in Canada. So when they came to NYC, he gave me a ring. Both Feist and the guys in Spoon are fantastic people, and were so welcoming to myself and the other guys that played horns. It's amazing to see the time both bands have put in on the road, and see how much they've blown up. Just hard working musicians who love it, and spent years honing their craft, and building a base of people who enjoy their music.

Me: How was Letterman? Did you perform on his show as a solo act or with another band? I bet that was a thrill for you. Also, you were on Leno and the Today Show. Do you get nervous playing on TV?

Tyler: Letterman was great. I was on there playing saxophone with Spoon. It's funny, when you live in NYC, you never do the touristy stuff. In fact, you mostly curse at them for stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures. Letterman is one of those tourist places, so I never actually went to the show in all the time I've been here. It was great to see the show, and be a part of the backstage situation. I remember P-Diddy, Puff, or whatever you call him was there. It was like waiting for a King to arrive. Hilarious stuff. None the less, it was a lot of fun. We ended up playing with the horn section from the show itself, which was great, because there was a fellow University of North Texas alum in the band, Tom "Bones" Malone. Would definitely love to do that again at some point.

Me: Tell me about working with Robert L. Smith. He worked with Billy Joel, Tyler. I bet that was intimidating.

Tyler: He is incredible. I've never met an engineer that makes you feel more comfortable, and allows you freedom to do what you're there for. I was totally intimidated. It was funny actually. We were sitting there listening to a playback, and I was about to go in and lay down a piano track on "Astoria Sessions," and he started talking about working with Billy. I of course pushed him further for more details, because Billy has been an idol of mine for years, and he told us the story of "And So It Goes." Basically, Billy came in before anyone else, and Bob was the only one in the studio. Billy was saying how he had just written a song and wanted to try it. 3 takes later, the recorded version of one of my favorite Billy Joel songs was done. The very version of "And So It Goes" that's on "Storm Front" was done that day. Then Bob say, "Ok Tyler, ready to lay down the track?"

Me: So, what are your plans for the year? I really like your music and look forward to seeing what you come up with next. Do you have any advice you can give the Phile readers? Any websites you wanna plug?

Tyler: Definitely working on the big, full length album. I have a few songs from previous records I'm playing live that I'm very excited about, and I'm hoping to use a few of the ones from "Astoria Sessions", but blow them up with full production. I'm looking at heading back to Ontario/Quebec in late summer, and then hitting the studio in the fall for the album. Hoping to take the next 8 months or so to write, and hone in on some of the things that further the sounds I'm striving for. Someday, I hope that after a few seconds, you'll know it's a Tyler Summers record right away. Completely different, with an element of familiarity. I'd love to plug a site or two. I'm on all the necessary places: Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and my own personal site. However, you can get links to everything, buy stuff, and listen to my two EP's on my myspace My EP's are available for purchase on iTunes, and you can download the single "New York, USA" off of "Whatever It Takes" for free at http://tylersummers. com/download/freedownload. html.

Me: Tyler, I hope this was fun for you. You are a young kid with a shit load of talent, and will go far. Remember me when you play Radio City Music Hall, okay?

Tyler: This was a ton of fun, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate not only the kind words, but the fact that you consider me young. With people like Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers out there, I feel like a grandpa! I have a feeling that if Radio City comes calling, I'll be needing a ton of comp tickets to give to all the incredible people that helped me and supported me along the way.


What a cool guy, eh? Go see him on tour and tell him the Phile sent you. Also, buy his CD, or at least download his free music. Thanks to Tyler and Wikipedia for a great interview, and to you the readers. I never thank you enough. Well, that's it for another entry of the Phile. I will either be dead or back on Monday with another entry. If I do come back the guest will be John Allen, lead singer from the band Charmed City Devils. Wish me luck on Monday as I fly over Central Florida in a hot air balloon, and have a good weekend. Spread the word, not the turd.

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