GEOFF TYSON is a guitar player that I had not heard of before. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?>
-The recording process was originally very regimented, planned and contrived. I worked really hard to get drums and bass recorded for 14 songs only to find that every track at that point was completely shite, useless. I’d been making vocal oriented music for years and assumed that the same process would be applicable for these instrumental tunes. Wow was I wrong. After a brief period of shouting madly at my computer screen and imagining how I could blame it all on someone else, I relented to the idea that I had to start the whole album again from scratch. From that point, I didn’t really have a system, I just improvised most of the main themes of the album and then took the production forward when I felt I had something good enough to expand on. So, in that sense, I really have no recollection of the album process. It just sort of happened. My main feeling is that I’m still surprised when I listen to it and I don’t hate it.
What was it that made you settle on using your own name? How well known are you for people to pick up on your name?
-My name is the best name. Many people say it. They say “Geoff Tyson” and then they say, what a great name, possibly the best name. That’s what they say. Everyone is saying it. I have the best words, big beautiful words, and one of those words, possibly both of them, are the best and they are Geoff Tyson.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s astounding and humbling. The response internationally to this album has been great and I’m happy to connect with people from all nationalities and all cultures with a common love of guitar. And I’m especially grateful to be able to rise above the din of all the amazing players out there and be lauded for the compositions and productions that I’ve somehow created.
What impression do you want the fans to get?
-I hope people will personalize it. I remember times driving to work when I was a teenager, singing along to Aerosmith and Prince from my car radio. Those were the soundtrack to my life, and I will always connect those sounds with those beautiful times. Although we live in an unusual era, and I hope that you all don’t associate my music with COVID, solitude, death, and misery, but if you do, I hope it will be because I made your times a tiny bit more manageable.
I am a huge fan of LP artwork. How important is it to have the right artwork for your album?
-The artwork for “Drinks With Infinity” was designed by Sammy, the 9 year old daughter of my ex-girlfriend. I knew it would one day be my album cover as soon as I saw it.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a downside to it too?
-I believe there is a layer of superficiality that comes with the technology. But what I see from city to city when I play concerts, is a solid, well connected, family kind of scene in every city. One that exists not as a result of popular trends, but in spite of it. We use these tools to come together in person so I see that as overwhelmingly positive. The downside as an artist is when you get sucked into the rabbit hole of pandering for ‘likes’ and then getting caught in the echo-chamber enough so that it influences your creations non-instinctively.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-When I play live, there is always someone in the front row, digging heavily on what I’m presenting. That person is my whole meaning in that moment, I don’t know this person, but the fact that I’m connecting with this stranger, through whatever grooviness I’m presenting, is so magical to me.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-The original primal emotional context of musical passion is still there in all of us. It has always been. But the perversion of art and business has made a weird hybrid of contrived offerings, pandering to short term emotional impulses, in my opinion. My friend came over the other day, excited to play me a song where the girl singer was talking about controversial sexual things. I found it unlistenable, but I was then bombarded with an explanation about how the song expressed a twist of some social paradigms and represented empowerment. Fair enough. But was it the music that was doing this? It was about the whole package because it was part of a context of social struggle.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-For me, all the work of writing, recording, marketing and writing interviews such as this one hold only one purpose: That is so I can get out live, to the stage, and play and be in the moment to offer the guests a once in a lifetime experience. It is the culmination of all the effort, that climaxes in those fleeting moments where we can all be together. With the extraordinary situation that we are all in at the moment, clubs closing, thousands of people sick, it is troublingly difficult to make plans, at least within the old paradigms. There is a lot of chatter about “the new normal”, but I can’t find any connection with that reality. Live music isn’t just about the band. It’s about the scene, and the people that go there to meet people with common perversions, weird desires, questionable fashion choices, and a common love for bad life choices. Where else can us freaks find each other than a good live show? In what place can we find community and love that didn’t embrace us in the real world?