Tyler Ramsey, on the heels of the late-September release of his third album, The Valley Wind, shows no signs of slowing down.
October will see the singer-songwriter and guitarist for the Grammy-nominated rock band Band of Horses touring to promote this latest solo release (with a stop at Jammin’ Java Oct. 11) and joining his band at the Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans before taking off for dates in Australia. All of this, not to mention his wedding last Saturday, makes for one busy fall season.
Ramsey made time for the News-Press between the album release and his wedding to talk about the new album and balancing his work with Band of Horses and his solo releases.
LP: Even though it’s your third solo album, do you still get the post-album-release jitters?
TR: Yeah, I think that’s there. I definitely lost some sleep the night before it came out, mostly out of excitement. I’m really ready for people to get to hear it, and that’s just part of the fun, really, finally saying “here is the record” after putting so much work into it and waiting for the release date. It’s always a good feeling.
LP: For fans of your first two releases, will there be any surprises on this album?
TR: I think there might be a few. I’ve taken some different approaches to things that kind of happened in the studio that seem a little bit different from what I’ve done before. Some of the sounds are a little different. There’s a little more electric guitar in this one. I think it’s kind of a logical evolution of what I’m trying to do.
LP: Your website describes the recording sessions for this album as “intense.” Howso?
TR: It was a short period of time, like five or six days. I originally thought we would go in and get basic tracks done, lay down the basic groundwork for what would be the rest of the record. It turned out that we just kind of went for it. We tried to capture it all in that period of time, which can be pretty intense when you’re really trying to do proper performances of the songs and capture whatever emotion is behind each individual song. It was a bummer to leave the studio in the end. We felt like we were doing something really good and we were doing the songs the way they needed to be captured. All of that added up to somewhat of an intensity.
LP: How is Tyler Ramsey the solo artist different from Tyler Ramsey of Band of Horses?
TR: I feel like I am such a part of that band at this point. I do express myself through what we’re doing. I think as far as the band goes, they’ve been more and more open to collaboration on the last record and on the record we are working on, so that feeling of being able to be a part of what is going on in that way is really a good feeling. As far as what I do, I think it’s consistent, it really is. The solo thing is me and whatever happens is on my shoulders as far as what I release and what it sounds like. The band situation, trying to all work together and come up with something everyone is happy with. I think the two go together quite nicely for me.
LP: What was it like to join Band of Horses some years after its formation?
TR: I think there was a little period where I felt like the new guy, for sure, but the guys in the band are such good friends of mine. They are such fantastic people, and were so welcoming to me, it felt like a natural fit, really. And now it’s been going on four years and it feels like I’m at home when I’m with them.
LP: How do you balance working with the band and as a solo artist?
TR: I think getting out on the road can be kind of a block as far as being able to be creative when you’re constantly traveling and playing shows, but all of us in the band have learned over the past couple of years more and more to get into a space where we can take advantage of our own time and be productive. We hide out in rooms and work on music, and when we come back together the next day for the show, then somebody’s got a new song or a new idea. It’s an interesting process to learn how to take advantage of that time when you’re out there. It’s so important. There’s a lot of downtime when you travel. You can either take advantage of it in a good way, or end up pacing around and waiting for the next show.
• For more information about Tyler Ramsey, visit tylerramsey.com.