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Recess Interviews: Tyler Williams

With their 2011 eponymous debut album, The Head and the Heart charmed listeners with a harmonious, folk-pop sound. The Seattle-based band will release their second album on October 15 and are currently on an international tour with a stop at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC on October 21. Recess’s Sid Gopinath sat down with drummer Tyler Williams to discuss being yourself, writing new music and creating “Let’s Be Still.”

R: What do you hope to achieve with your music?

TW: It's mostly just ourselves being honest about the way we view the world. Hopefully—and I was thinking about this yesterday—our music is just an extension of our personalities. And there’s really no posturing to it. So, I think, it’s helping people realize that they can be who they are without having to worry about it.

R: What have you guys learned from working on this album? Has the group dynamic changed at all?

TW: Yeah, it definitely has. We’ve just gotten better at listening to each other and trying out ideas before we set them down. We’re putting a lot of weight into what John and Chariot and Josiah have done with crafting the songs. We kind of just edit them and come in and add our parts. It was a much more group oriented record.

R: Where does the lyrical inspiration come from?

TW: On the last record, it was just about this dream we had. We’d all moved away from our family and given up on, I don’t know, normal life. I guess it was just like, “This is what we want to do; this is what we are.” I think this new record is more about the consequences of doing that, of following your dream. This one feels more like, I don’t know, “after the gold rush”: when everything is great in your business life or your career life, but you have these people at home, maybe, and they’re suffering.

R: Is there any one song that you find especially meaningful from this album?

TW: I feel like the title track, 'Let’s Be Still,' is a good way to sum the album up. That and 'Another Story.' Those two lyrics are some of my favorite.

R: Do you think the songs turned out more polished this time?

TW: They sound bigger. They came out sounding how they sound live. I feel like that first record sounds a little muted, a little dry. When we went into this record, we wanted to make it sound a little bigger, a little fuller—more how we sound live.

R: Are you guys worried about expectations?

TW: We’re not really. We’re kind of happy and proud of what we’ve done. We feel like once we get it out there and people can hear it, it will just be another side of the band. It feels like a natural progression from the first record. It’s more waiting for that to happen.


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