We caught up with Cale Tyson after his announcement of his new record Introducing Cale Tyson.
Where are you based currently? How has that shaped your creative taste and writing?
I live in Nashville, TN. I think originally Nashville made me appreciate the world of country music more. It also made me work harder than I ever had before moving here. Now, I think it mostly makes me cynical. I like being cynical, though, so it’s alright.
You've announced a new record Introducing Cale Tyson. When's it due and who's putting it out?
It’s actually a compilation of the two EPs that I put out in 2013 and 2014, so there won’t be any new songs on it. It will be the first vinyl release I’ve had, though. A little indie label in Nashville, Knife Tapes, hit me up about doing a vinyl release a few months back, and we decided to go for it. I have a lot of fans who ask about vinyl at shows, so this’ll be good to satisfy their vinyl needs. Plus, it kind of encapsulates the whole traditional country style I was really going for with those two EPs.
The title is misleading for those who've been listening to your EPs for years now. What makes this record your introductory record?
We didn’t want to call it “Cheater’s Wine EP + High On Lonesome EP,” because that’s too long - so Introducing… seemed like a better fit. It’s basically the first two releases I ever had, and I think it’s fitting that it’s an introduction to my first real studio recordings and direction.
What were some influences during writing and recording of this record?
At the time, I was listening to purely country music that was recorded pre-1980. There were about three years of my life that I just dedicated to researching everything traditional country had to offer. To list a few artists, I guess I’d say Gary Stewart, Merle Haggard, Delbert McClinton, Terry Allen, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt... All the big ones – they’re big for a reason.
You're plotting a tour that'll bring you to Asheville, NC. What's one thing you look forward to about touring? Anything you dread about hitting the road?
I honestly love being on tour. There is no better feeling to me than traveling across the country playing in a new town each night. Of course, it sucks to play a shitty show every now and then or have to crash on someone’s floor and wake up with a fucked-up back. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though – at least not anytime soon.
Have you played in NC before? If so, where and how'd it go? Who were you with?
Yes, I actually played at the same venue, Jack Of The Wood, about six months ago. I liked the town, but had a terrible sinus infection at the time. I was with a pedal steel player, though, who made up for my lack-of-voice with extremely loud steel licks. Hopefully, I won’t bring the sinus infection back with me this time.
Will you be playing solo or bringing some friends along with you?
I’ll be with a full band this time.
You've also been announced on the SXSW lineup. Will that be your first time playing the festival?
I’ve been down to SXSW about three times now. It’s absolute madness and every year I wonder why I do it at all. Then I remember that Austin, TX is my favorite place in the world and get there as quickly as possible.
You're among a suite of new country artists whose sound clearly pay homage to the honky tonk and outlaw country stars of yesteryear. Who are some of your favorite modern country music folks?
It might sound weird, but I haven’t listened to hardly any country music lately. As far as the somewhat-neo-traditionalists go, I like Margo Price, Robert Ellis, Andrew Combs, Jonny Fritz, and Erin Rae.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been obsessed with that Andy Shauf, The Party, record for the last three months or so. Also, Cass McCombs, Bill Callahan, Kevin Morby, Wilco, Michael Nau, and Marisa Anderson have been revolving on my stereo lately.
Any new bands you're excited to watch in 2017?
Is it weird to say myself? I’m going in a whole new direction this year and I think it’s going to confuse a lot of people. That’s exciting/terrifying to me.