Sure, teenage pop stars are all over the place (like that little Bieber feller), but we don't as often hear of teenage guitarslingers ripping it up at smaller rock clubs.
However, one such rocker, sixteen year old Tyler Lenius, hits LFK this Friday, Aug. 3 with a show at Barnyard Beer . It's right behind the Merc, for those of you who don't know the music scene that exists beyond Mass. Street! We spoke briefly with Tyler about what it's like to jam with Rick Derringer and spend one's life in clubs while still being five years too young to sample a delicious Barnyard beer.
Check out Tyler's website here and his FB page here. Enjoy the interview.
Chip: So how are club audiences reacting to a young star such as yourself? Are the ladies going crazy, Bieber-style?
Tyler: Bieber can keep all the raving 12 year old fans. I’ll stick to making all the women go crazy…Lenius-style haha! The crowds have been pretty loud and rowdy so I’m taking it they enjoyed it!
Richard: Tell us a little about the "Tyler Lenius sound." How would you describe it? Also, I understand that none other than Mr. Rick Derringer jams with you on one of your album tracks? How did that come about and what was it like hanging with him?
Tyler: The best way that I can describe it is indie rock mixed with Hendrix and AC/DC.
It was a great honor to have the legendary Rick Derringer play one of my originals, “Birds with Broken Wings," on the new EP. [Listen here via Soundcloud]. The crazy part of the story is that we were thinking at the time that Dave Mathews was coming in to play on it but it didn’t pan out. The way it came around was that Warrior Instruments owner JD Lewis had Rick and Dave coming in to look at some new guitars. However, the night prior, Dave got caught up in the storms that hit New York City last summer so he was unable to come. Rick was arriving from another city and was able to make it. Rick has many Warrior guitars in his lineup and has an endorsement with them. So while he was at the factory JD’s son Dran who is the producer for my EP asked if he would like to lay a lead track on the song and he agreed. So that is how it happened. Lucky me! However I was not able to be their while he was laying the track. Our flight left that morning and I missed out on it. I was able to meet with him at the Dallas guitar show last August and thank him. He loved the song. The big problem for me was being able to learn the lead that he played on the track and being able to reproduce it live.
Chip: I heard you're going to be part of a reality show on TruTV? What's the premise? And is it going to be one of those super-sleazy, Jersey Shore type shows?
Tyler: I’m guessing it’s about a young rock star who is charming and vary talented who gets all the ladies…but I’m just guessing. But I can tell you that the only thing sleazy about this show are the ladies in the Dolly Parton wigs that stand at the front of the stage!
Richard: Tell us about your collaboration with Warrior Guitar to produce a signature guitar? Why should every rock band any America be clamoring to get their hands on one of these in the near future.
Tyler: On this tour I’m using three Gibsons and one Fender to get the sound that I want for playing live. With the Warrior guitar that is almost finished I will only use two guitars and they will both be Warriors! JD Lewis, the owner of Warrior Instruments, took the time to sit down with me and ask direct questions such as what sound do you want from a guitar and what type of feel do you want from the neck. I told him that I wanted a guitar that would give me that blues sound that can be found on a Fender Strat and with a flip of the switch be able to get that low end rock sound that can be heard from a Humbucker pickup using a Les Paul. He then handed me a guitar that he just finished and told me to play it! I crapped my pants after hearing what that guitar could do. Two guitars in one! I ended up having it made with a burred redwood. The finish will go from a natural translucent red to fade to black. It should be finished next month and will be on the website. Funny story: while at the Warrior factory, I was looking at a Les Paul that I fell in love with and told JD that I would do anything for that guitar. JD’s reply was this: “It’s just a Gibson” ...and he continued to walk away.
Chip: Being underage and all, are you going to try and sneak in a few delicious Barnyard Beers while you're hanging in Lawrence?
Tyler: I would never sneak alcohol in to my possession…I have a manager for that! Haha
Richard: What's on the horizon for the Tyler Lenius band in terms of music and touring this year? And what about your goals over the next decade as you mature into a jaded rock and roll star!?
Tyler: My goals are to play at all the big festivals and tour some big venues or even open for a larger national act and, judging by our upcoming shows, the future looks good!