Jae Tyler burst onto the scene late last year with his debut EP ‘I’m Jae Tyler’, featuring the singles ‘Life as a Wall’ and ‘Show and Tell’, both of which have spawned very glam music videos that challenge gender norms. Tyler’s influences range from Todd Rundgren and the Cocteau Twins to Selda Bagcan.
What was it like growing up in Oklahoma City? Did you get to see many gigs when you were growing up?
Well, as birth and growth are very different, my time in OKC was quite limited. When I was 8 my family relocated to Onaga, a quaint little town in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. There weren’t many bands to see in Kansas, but I have memories of learning to play drums from the son of the back-up drummer for the band Kansas. Pretty meta.
You’ve written music in Dublin and Berlin more recently – what attracted you to those cities? Have you found that writing has come more naturally since living in Europe?
I’ve only been to Dublin once. I do live in Berlin, and feel that my level of productivity has increased 100 fold since my days living back in the ol’ capitalist juggernaut known as the U.S. of A. There’s something about the cold, indifference of Berlin culture that I find very inspiring. Europe in general feels like the cooler, more confident older sibling within the international family; where as America feels like a hormonal hara-kiri of adolescence running rampant, fucking and fighting to the death.
I’d describe your videos are very glam – were there any videos in particular that inspired this style? What were some of the most iconic music videos you remember seeing when you were growing up?
The director Thorir and I were particularly inspired by ‘Rydeen‘ by Yellow Magic Orchestra, and also the video for ‘Don’t Back Down’ by Tom Petty. I really wanted to channel the drummers in both videos. Both Ringo and Yukihiro Takahashi account for about 75% of the swag factor in both vids.
You recently performed at Iceland Airwaves – how was it? Did you enjoy any of the other artists’ performances?
I really liked it! We played at a bar called Húrra, and it was packed, full of amazing vibes and people and other bands. The band that I think I was personally most impressed by was called Lido Pimienta. Three amazing, Canada-based musicians fronted by a fiery Colombian goddess/prophetess with a message. Check it out, please!
What do you hope to achieve with releasing your music? Is it just to satisfy your own creative desires or do you hope to help people with your music?
I hope to help people through the satisfaction of my own creative desires. Deep down that’s what everyone wants. To break through that seemingly impregnable longing for purpose. We abate the longing in many different ways, but at the end of the day we just love to feel inspired by seeing others do what they feel deeply compelled to do. Or at least I always have.
Who would you regard as your biggest inspirations? (in terms of music and style)
Is there any new music that you’ve been enjoying recently?
I really like Ariel Pink’s new music.
What are your plans for 2018? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
I’m going to release another batch of songs in 2018, so stay turgid for that. Not much of a resolution man, myself. But if I had one, it would be to be more resolute.