Back in April I saw Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown open up for Blackberry Smoke and while I had their album, the live show was amazing and really made me a fan of their music. After their set I talked to Caleb Crosby, drummer and co founding member of the band, and told him I’d shoot over some questions if they were up for it. They have been a little buys touring Europe with Guns and Roses and now back in the US again, but Caleb took the time to finish up the questions and got them over to me this past week.
JG: With you and Tyler being the first 2 guys in the band, and starting off pretty young, how did the “sound/vibe” of your music evolve from when you guys started the band? Did you guys have a specific sound you were chasing or just started writing and what we hear at the shows is what came out?
CC: When we first started, we definitely had a strong blues influence, with a slight tilt. Bottom line — we just wanted to rock. But our sound is always changing. We never think too much about it. We have always just created what feels good in that moment. And it’s all evolved into something different today. We are definitely more song driven. Each road experience we have leads to new approaches to songwriting – resulting in different vibes. At the end of the day, we just want to constantly make honest music that is fun and transparent.
JG: It was super refreshing to see and hear real Rock and Roll. What kind of response do you guys get to your music and are you surprised by the fan base that you have?
CC: I wouldn’t say surprised, but we are humbled when people come to our shows and buy our albums. Outside of the US (South America, Europe and the U.K.) especially, we have felt a huge growth in the last two years. Showing up to a place we’ve never been before and having a big turnout… that’s a great feeling. A buddy in Billy Gibbon’s band said to me one time – “The music travels more than we do.”
And I’ve realized the more we travel how true that really is.
JG: I saw that the bus/van broke down a while back and Tyler had to go ahead of you guys and do the gig solo. While I’m sure you guys were bummed out to not be able to preform as a band, it really shows a huge level of respect and trust as a band to do that and I commend you all on that decision. When this stuff comes up on the road, how do you guys make the call? (View Video Here)
CC: We just decide what is best for each situation. We may come to a different conclusion tomorrow if it happened again.
As long as Tyler is there singing and slinging, we are good.
JG: Along those lines are you guys setting up and tearing down at each gig of is there a crew you travel with?
CC: Depends on the tour. We have our crew that is different personnel based on where the tour is. But we definitely have our core family that is always with us. Our stage manager/tech – someone that wears many hats, “Logie T” – has been with us for five years. We don’t know what we would do without him. It’s important to keep your family close and consistent.
We value that.
JG: When you’re on the road and wrap up a show at midnight or 1 am will you guys get in the bus and try to write or is it just too hectic to get anything done?
CC: A lot of times it is difficult to write on the road. But it definitely does happen occasionally. We use soundcheck as a time to flesh out ideas, throw paint and see what sticks. Tyler has a mobile rig handy just in case something needs to be recorded. Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. It’s important to always be ready.
JG: You guys have obviously been at this for a while and opened for Guns n Roses again this past summer. Are GnR, Aerosmith, or Blackberry Smoke, the pinnacle of where you guys want to be right now?
CC: We want to be headlining the same venues we are playing with these bands. The theaters with Blackberry Smoke, the arenas with Aerosmith, the stadiums with GNR… And we won’t stop until we do. That is the goal.
JG: I’ve seen R&R bands like Guns n Roses come in like a hurricane and then get slowly moved off the radio and replaced with the current line up of “hit makers”. What bands are you guys seeing out there or who do you listen to that, like you guys, are picking up the mantle that’s been left and resurrecting guitar driven music?
CC: There are a lot of bands out that are carrying the torch. Rock isn’t dead.
Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, Royal Blood, The Struts, Greta Van Fleet.
This new wave of rock recognition feels good. Very refreshing. People still want to hear the human element in music. Something that is raw and honest. And being a part of that movement is very exciting.
Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown bring serious heat to each performance and I look forward to catching them again on their current tour with Clutch and Sevendust. They continue to hold their own with serious heavy weights and prove night after night that they are what Rock and Roll is, was, and will always continue to be.