An Interview With Michael Tyler On His Debut Album 317
Michael Tyler talks to us about his upcoming album release, the success of Somewhere On A Beach, and making his Grand Ole Opry debut.
We recently caught up with Michael Tyler by phone while on his way to a show in Pittsburgh where he was performing with Tucker Beathard and William Michael Morgan. Tyler has been touring with LOCASH since November as part of their Ones To Watch Tour, which brought him to NYC’s Gramercy Theatre last month.
“That was my first time playin’ in New York City,” Tyler told us. “That crowd was amazing, it was one of my favorite crowds.” Tyler admitted he was a little nervous about performing in NYC. “I didn’t realize the country scene there is just massive,” he explained.
Tyler’s had a blast touring with LOCASH’s Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. “We’ve had some good times out on the road, its so fun with those guys,” he said. In addition to being label-mates at Reviver Records, Tyler has been writing with Lucas and Brust for a while. Tyler co-wrote three tracks on LOCASH’s latest album, The Fighters. “Those guys are like family to me, its been super fun,” said Tyler.
This Friday, March 17th, marks a major milestone for Tyler: the release of his debut album, 317. The title holds a lot of meaning for him. “One of the first times I drove from my hometown of Thayer, Missouri to Nashville I pulled in to my apartment and I looked down at the trip odometer and it was at 317,” he explained. “317 miles from my front door in Thayer Missouri to my old apartment in Nashville. That’s always stuck with me, and I really wanted to dedicate my album to my hometown.” That day will be even more special as Tyler makes his Grand Ole Opry debut Friday night. He’s bringing his family down to Nashville to join him backstage at the Opry. “That’s gonna be the highlight of my career so far,” said Tyler.
Making that initial decision to move to Nashville wasn’t easy. “It was kind of scary goin’ from a town of two thousand people to a big city,” said Tyler. “Nashville is such an amazing city – so many great people there that made me feel at home. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
What makes that woman perfect is way more than skin deep, I’m in love with everything they can’t see. – Michael Tyler, They Can’t See
Already an accomplished songwriter, Tyler had a lot of material to consider when selecting the songs for his debut album. Of the eleven that made the cut, They Can’t See definitely stands out as his favorite. “It’s got such a positive message behind it,” explained Tyler. “I really want my songs to have meaning and to connect with people, and change their mind about some insecurities that they may have. It’s not how people perceive what you look like from the outside, I’m in love with everything they can’t see. That’s what its all about.”
Tyler’s biggest songwriting credit to-date is the Dierks Bentley number one platinum-selling smash hit Somewhere On A Beach. Tyler and his buddies came up with the idea at a writers retreat in Destin, Florida, but they got sidetracked and didn’t end up writing the song until several weeks later back in Nashville. Tyler had wrapped up working one day at his publishing company, peermusic, and he went upstairs to see if anyone wanted to go grab some food. When they told him they couldn’t because they were working on a track, he asked if he could hear it. It was what would become the Somewhere On A Beach track.
The guys were stuck, they didn’t have any ideas. So Tyler suggested revisiting the idea they came up with in Florida, Somewhere On A Beach. They asked what he had in mind, and that’s when Tyler came up with: Bet you think I’m sitting at home, naw. They wrote the rest over the next two hours. Amazing to think about how sometimes those little moments in life can absolutely change things forever. “I’m so glad I went upstairs to see what they were doin!,” Tyler told us.
“When we wrote the song we didn’t have Dierks in mind – we had no clue that he’d like a song like this,” Tyler explained. “When we heard he wanted it to be a single for the new album we were like, Oh my gosh, it makes sense, it’s the sequel to Drunk on a Plane! He did his thing with it and he made it Dierks.”
With his upcoming album release and Grand Ole Opry debut, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular year for Michael Tyler. CMT must think so too, as they named Tyler one of their ’17 for 2017′ artists to watch.