I started the blog to write about the things that I like, and the music that I listen to. I have always enjoyed sharing my discoveries with friends, families and people I just met. Blogging is a perfect way for me to do so. Another great thing about blogging is that I get to meet new people and write about them. Tyson Swindell is one of these lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting online. He contacted me initially to review his latest project L’Aventure. I didn’t receive the package until this post was written. I ended up interviewing Tyson.
Can you introduce yourself to the readers? Who you are, where you from, what do you do/make?
Howdy everyone! My name is Tyson Swindell, an artist from Austin, TX, USA. I create music, books and digital content.
How and when did you first start making music?
I am from a musical family. My father is a jazz singer and mother played piano. They started me on violin at age 3, and I have played string instruments ever since.
What kind of music do you make? How would you define your style? Has it evolved since you first started?
I can play violin, viola, piano, guitar and I produce, write and record electronic music. I have played in indie, punk and metal bands over the years and have toured North America dozens of times!
What is your creative process today? Where/how do you find inspiration? Do you use any specific gear?
I try to write or record music for at least 1-3 hours every day. Some times it’s fruitful, other times it’s exploratory. I find myself rotating through instruments as I discover or rediscover them. For example in 2018 I focused on the piano, then in 2019 I used the ukulele to write, 2020 found me using acoustic guitar a lot and my next release will be an electronic album using a lot of baritone guitar. It’s boring for me to have to stick to using the same instrument over and over!
Can you talk about your latest project? What made you decide to have both the tape and the zine?
My latest release, titled L’Aventure, is a further attempt to make my music exist outside of the digital barriers musicians have to compete in these days. I wanted to offer something tangible and textile with the music. As I wrote the songs and music, the path sort of just revealed itself to me. I wrote the songs first as poems, then slowly converted them into demo songs before putting an official single on Spotify. About halfway through the process, I realized that I needed to just release all of the pieces together in a tidy package. The package contains the poetry book, the demo cassette and the official single as a download (along with some other goodies). The demo and the official single can be streamed online separately, however. I purposefully tried to be vulnerable and honest with the audience with this release.
I believe that you’ve also worked on your music videos? How was it?
Yes, I have a handful of music videos which I made on my own or with other artists. I love performing and the craft involved in video creation, so it was an easy decision. It helps to surround yourself with creative, positive people!
With all the hats you are wearing, do you consider yourself to be a musician or more of a 360° artist?
I just say that I am an artist these days, but music is my #1 love in life.
Can you share 5 songs that you always go back to and why?
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven is a powerful, moving piece that stirs me to my core. I always go back to this song for various reasons.
In Dreams by Roy Orbison is a bittersweet song written by one of my all-time favorite singers ever. This performance was captured live and is an incredible feat. Roy Orbison is also a Texan, and I love his songwriting style, it’s so mysterious.
Europa by Santana this instrumental song gives me vivid life memories from different, random times in my life. I can remember hearing it in a bar in Paris one late night as an adult, and I can remember hearing it at a quinceañera slow dance as a kid. All good memories.
Stand By Me by Ben E King I mean what is there to say about this song. Classic, breathtaking, honest lyrics, powerful performance all around. Gives me the chills and is a karaoke favorite of mine.
Don’t Know How To Keep Loving You by Julia Jacklin This whole album is an obsession vibe. This track specifically is so good and when I saw her perform it before the pandemic started, it is a memory I will keep forever. Her band was perfect, her voice was mixed perfectly, the setting was bliss.
Don’t forget to follow Tyson on Instagram.