Tyler Hilton

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Some first saw this next artist when he was opening for Hanson yet some saw him as the king himself Elvis Presley to one you loved to hate on One Tree Hill to playing Taylor Swift'€™s '€œDrew'€ but no matter what you may think of him, Tyler Hilton writes some mighty good love songs. He may not have been the biggest artist on mainstream radio but his presence was surely known and after a bit of hiatus and writing with some larger then life artists like Lady Antebellum and Michelle Branch, he'€™s back and for good! Releasing a new EP '€œLadies and Gentleman'€ to preview some of his new record coming out very soon, he was a perfect fit for direct support on the latest Spill Canvas headliner this past Spring.
I got the chance to share a coffee with Mr. Hilton during the tour where we talked about everything from how he first got interested in doing music to how he believes the new material is doing to the varied tour he found himself on with The Spill Canvas, AM Taxi and New Politics. I saw what I believe to be the true Tyler and he showed it through out the whole interview. I'€™m looking forward to what he puts out musically and hopefully his roles as musicians carry on to his real life career!

If you could tour with any three dream artists/bands, who would they be?
Okay, Jackson Brown would be awesome. Um, John Mayer would be really cool and probably Patti Griffith. That would be awesome.

What made you personally get interested in doing music as a career?
I was really young and I didn'€™t know there was much of a career in it. All I knew is I wanted to be Elvis at some point. I was just thinking you know like when I was a kid, I just wanted to be like that and I just kept singing and I wanted to be like Robert Johnson or some kind of blues man all through out high school. I thought I was going to be a poor musician like always until I got signed right before I went to college. I was like '€˜woah this is like, I guess I can do this for a career'€™. Otherwise, I was just going to go to college and then just travel around playing music you know.

Then it'€™s been a while for new music for you but you have the new EP out I believe and then the new record coming out later this year. What can fans look forward to with this record, like is it different then the first ones?
Um, it'€™s different in that this is the first record that I'€™ve ever had to like sit down and make because the other ones I had already written when I wasn'€™t a professional. Like the first record I put out, I was just in high school and then the second record I put out was right after high school so they were all songs that I had written before so I never like sat down and made the record and had written it as a professional musician. This record was all written on the road and then a lot of it was written, when you know I was actually kind of sitting down and just thinking and just wanting to write songs which I never really had kind of happen before and this is kind of the first record where I'€™ve opened up and written with other people on it too. I think the reason is that what I ended up doing was like I wanted the record to sound like really great, have it say what I wanted it to say and what I was kind of feeling and I just kind of could picture it and I just wanted it to sound like that so I really kind of tried to work with people who I thought could make it sound like what I wanted.

You'€™ve been on this tour for a while, and it'€™s been a while for you between tours. How have the shows been?
Really good. I didn'€™t expect that. I thought maybe kids would have gotten the record and maybe know some of the lyrics but not know all of them or I didn'€™t even know this many people would have gotten it but every night we'€™ve been playing, people have been like singing all the songs in the crowd. It'€™s been crazy. It'€™s been really cool, I can'€™t believe it.

Then what would you say is your favorite part of touring?
Definitely like the being on stage part you know. It'€™s such like a twenty four hour situation like being on the road but being on stage is the best. I love it because every night'€™s different. It'€™s not the same thing and every night the crowds are different and they want different things. It'€™s just all different every night. There could be some people you really like hanging out with in the front row or maybe in the back it'€™s really exciting. I don'€™t know, but it'€™s just all kind of different. It'€™s really fun.

Then what can fans maybe look forward to with these live shows?
I think in the scheme of shows it seems like just a pretty light hearted show. We have a lot of fun and especially on this tour, we only have forty five minutes so we'€™re just like really excited to be out there and it'€™s not that serious. I mean it'€™s just really a lot of fun you know and I really like it. We just want to always feel like really good and really happy and really helpful and I feel like the audience feels that way when we leave. I feel like everyone'€™s really had a good time.

You'€™ve been doing music for a really long time now. how do you feel you'€™ve really grown as an artist from like the first record?
I think I'€™m less inclined to set career goals for myself now and more inclined to set like personal or creative goals like I want to be happier when I'€™m making music that makes me smile or that inspires me as opposed to being like I want to be selling out venues or I want to be selling millions of records. I think when I was a kid I was like '€˜woah, I want to be a rock star'€™ you know and now I think it helps me more to just try and follow my creativity and see where that takes me.

Then I know you'€™ve had a charity for kids. How did that first come about like why for this specific cause?
Well, I'€™ve always really liked reading and it really helped me creatively and also with like a lot of different situations that I'€™ve encountered in life and when I was kind of thinking of charities to be a part of it was probably just on a drive or something and I was just kind of thinking that I can'€™t solve every problem in the world and there'€™s no one charity I can get involved with that would really change everything and I really wanted to kind of think how I could make it better for the world. So I started thinking that like if we help child literacy, it kind of gives kids in all different areas of the world a base for knowledge and a base for intelligence that will eventually maybe help them help themselves and their areas they'€™re in. Reading is just kind of a universal thing. It'€™s just like this skill that everyone should be good at or can learn from.

Then with the new record, what can fans look forward to, maybe more touring, shows?
Yeah especially since it'€™s been so long since I'€™ve been in the studio like touring I think is going to be something I really want to get back to.

Then, if you could collaborate with any other maybe artist that you'€™ve toured with, who do you think they would be and what do you think the material would be about that came out of it?
I would actually really like to write with Nick, the guy from Spill Canvas. We keep talking about it and I think that would be really fun. Actually it'€™s weird. This is one of those tours where I'€™ve always kind of written with or hung out with a lot of people that I'€™ve toured with pretty much everybody actually that I'€™ve toured with. These guys I haven'€™t with and every band on the tour I really like and I love their song writing and I'€™ve talked to all of them about writing with them already so hopefully it will work out you know.
And they'€™re all really different. Like AM Taxi is more classic rock.
Yeah, they remind me of like Bruce Springsteen meets The Ramones or something like that. Like he (New Politics) writes really great classic songs but like they'€™re also like kind of dirty BCBG rock kind of stuff. AM Taxi just writes super pop hooks but they like remind me of the Beastie Boys or something and then Spill Canvas is just like a cool pop punk band.

If you weren'€™t doing music, what do you think you would be doing?
I don'€™t know. Maybe something creative of some sort like I mean I really like to write so maybe some kind of creative writing or something like that I think would be really cool or I don'€™t know. I really like performing too so who knows. I'€™m not sure. Maybe I'€™d be like in advertising or something.

What was the first record you bought?
First one I ever had was Bebe King '€œBest of'€ I think it was. I thought that was so cool. I loved it. No, the first record I guess as a kid, must have been, was Elvis'€™s golden records. I guess that was the first one ever. Yeah probably my first one was Elvis when I was really young.

Then the first concert you went to?
Well, I had seen like so much live music when I was a kid because we used to go to like different bluegrass festivals and folk festivals as a family and my uncle used to play. I mean like the first concert I went to when I was like, '€œI want tickets to see that'€ was like well I saw the Beach Boys when I was really young but like the first '€˜woah, I can'€™t believe I'€™m here'€™ is when I saw Johnny Lang in concert. It was like when I first started high school. It was the main thing! I was like '€˜aww this is awesome'€™.

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