Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown’s fifth album, Shake the Roots, is their first for their own label, Rattle Shake Records.
Having built a rep for their direct, no-frills approach, the new record doesn’t deviate from that template but does add a host of new tonal colors, with the sound of resonators and acoustic guitars shaking up the sonic mix.
What led you to set up your own record company?
“Whenever you’re on a record label, not only are you giving a piece of the ownership of your art away, but you’re also expecting every single person at that company to like what you do and to work as hard as you would to promote the record.
“Doing it this way, we’re able to cherry-pick the people we use to go out and work with us. That means we can get people we’ve had good experiences with and people who are passionate about the Shakedown.”
Did you feel you didn’t receive enough support in the past?
“There’s ups and downs with everything. I don’t have any overwhelmingly negative experiences because, ultimately, those companies all wished the best for us and tried their best, but I guess their best intentions aren’t always going to cut it. My biggest problem was never financial; it’s the pace that we can release things; like, I’d say, ’Let’s do something for Record Store Day!’ – and by the time they agreed it was too late.”
The new album has a lot of acoustic material on it, which is a shift for the band.
“We actually recorded a whole acoustic record before this one, which is just sitting waiting for us to decide what to do with. We started to write more rocking songs, so that became our focus, and we ended up pulling some things from the acoustic project for this record. I got really inspired by some resonators that I got from Mule and Paul Beard – a lot of resonator sounds on this album.”
You’ve been doing a lot of production work. Has that had an impact on the way you worked for the new album?
“Absolutely. I think that the more you do something the better you get at it and that’s really been true of our work on this record. We did cut some songs completely live, like Tennessee but then we really labored over others – it’s all part of the process though, being true to the moment.”
There’s a lot of hard riffing on the album. What inspired that?
“I feel like ever since we did the Rock Or Bust tour with AC/DC, whenever we get together to jam, it’s impossible not to want to play like AC/DC after having listened to them so much.
“Off the Rails on the album is a total nod to those guys. I guess we’re always trying to pay respect to the artists who influenced us, but keeping true to the spirit of who we are.”
- Shake the Roots is out now via Rattle Shake Records.