As promised, folks, here is the first installment of the new music artist series featuring ::
Jenny & Tyler are the lovely married duo that were so gracious to be a part of our series here on the blog. Instead of my rambling, I’ll just let them “talk.” :) Enjoy.
1. Who would you compare your sound to?
We’ve been compared to The Swell Season, or a JJ Heller meets Matt Hires.
2. Where does your songwriting process start?
We’re both writers and the process is a bit different for us individually. Tyler always has a song going on in his head. It may be just a melody, it may be lyrics, it may be both. He takes whatever is going on and goes from there. Jenny is a bit more of a sporadic writer, meaning she writes maybe a song or two each month. She always starts with lyrics and adds a melody from there. We usually bring rough versions of songs to each other and complete the songs together.
3. Do you like writing solo or with others better?
We find writing with people other than each other to be extremely challenging, mostly because the process generally isn’t as organic. You schedule a time to write, come up with a topic, and go from there. When we’re at home writing, we wait for inspiration to come, and sometimes bring the other into the writing process.
4. Where do a lot of your songs come from? (i.e. personal experiences, friends, experiences, etc)
Songs come from personal experiences, our experiences with God, our relationship, issues that we see other people or groups of people dealing with, etc. Songwriting allows us to look at the world, process what’s happening, and sing about it. It’s extremely liberating.
5. How/when did you get into music?
We both come from musical families. Tyler’s dad is a jazz pianist and a classical composer and conductor. A lot of the jazz-esque stuff you hear on This Isn’t A Dream is definitely inspired by Tyler’s musical upbringing. Jenny’s mom is a singer and her dad played in a bluegrass band in college. Both of our families recognized that we had musical talent early on and encouraged us to explore and pursue it. We’re really blessed to have families that are so supportive of our career.
6. Who/what are some of your biggest influences?
Tyler grew up listening to a lot of jazz, but he also listened to Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Nirvana, etc. Tyler was very influenced by Jack Johnson when he really got into songwriting and you can definitely hear it in his early stuff. What wonderful little gems those songs are. :)
Jenny listened to a lot of country and Christian music growing up. She also has a deep love for Sixpence None the Richer and sort of learned to sing while listening to Leigh Nash.
7. If you had to pick, which of your songs is your favorite and why?
Jenny: This is ridiculously hard. Right now my favorite is Song For You off of our new record. I love the message. It’s about how the Lord has pursued us and loved us from the beginning. I think the melody and the driving guitar and mandolin match the message so perfectly. When we first landed on the arrangement I knew it was something truly amazing.
Tyler: Called Beauty. It comes from Ezekiel 16, which talks about the nation of Israel being unfaithful to God. It is a picture of my relationship to the Lord. When I am faithless, He is faithful.
8. When you’re not performing/writing music, what do you like to do?
We really like to cook and bake together. Tyler has really mastered the art of bread making. His bread is so so so delicious. We love making pizza and homemade pasta, and Jenny has a deep love for chocolate. We have a group of friends in Nashville that we hang out with. When we’re home we really just like to spend quality time together.
9. Who is your biggest inspiration to succeed in this industry?
While we’re definitely inspired by independent artists like Andy Davis, Matt Wertz, Sandra McCracken and other success stories like Mumford & Sons, we are most inspired by our families and friends who know us well. These folks inspire and encourage us to keep working hard. When we feel like giving up we don’t look to the hard work and success of other artists as much as we look to our families and the Lord for support.
10. What is the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is having the opportunity to unapologetically communicate how you feel or what you’re thinking. We get to sing things we couldn’t speak, and if we were to speak wouldn’t be heard. It’s kind of a self-indulgent job. At the same time, there are tons of folks out there who are thinking about the same issues or feeling the same things. It’s incredibly humbling and amazing when we hear stories of how our music inspires or encourages others. It feels like we’re part of a community.
11. What is the worst thing about being an artist?
The nature of being an artist is kind of odd. You’re basically in this position where you’re sort of opening your arms, and shouting at the top of your lungs, “look at me! Like me!” It’s this catch 22 where you need people to like what you do, but you don’t want to care about what other people think. It’s a balancing act. Learning not to take yourself or others too seriously is really important. It can be rough when people are really critical of your art. We’re learning to take criticism for what it is and grow.
12. What is the number one thing you hope people get out of your music?
Honestly, our desire is to communicate the gospel. That is, that we need something bigger than ourselves to save us from ourselves. We believe that salvation comes through Jesus.
Just for Fun: :)
13. Who are you listening to on your ipod right now (or walkman, CD player, record player or whatever your poison is)?
We’re pretty obsessed with John Mark McMillan, Laura Marling, Sandra McCracken, and Mumford & Sons lately.
14. What is your favorite television show/movie?
We’re big Christopher Guest fans. Waiting For Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Spinal Tap…we love ‘em all.
15. Who would you trade lives with for a day?
Tyler would love to be Spiderman for a day. The whole climbing buildings and jumping and flinging spider webs around thing is pretty awesome. Jenny would trade lives with Emily Dickinson.
16. What city is your favorite place that you have lived/visited?
We actually really like Minneapolis. Admittedly, we’ve never been there for the cold, snowy winters. We love the coffee, the people, and the lakes. It’s just beautiful.
17. Tea or Coffee?
Tyler likes tea. Jenny likes coffee.
18. Besides music, do you have any other extraordinary talents? (it can be as serious or crazy as you want to confess ;) )
Tyler can roll his stomach like nobody’s business.
19. Who is your favorite author/book?
We’re both C.S. Lewis fans.
20. Give us a quote, by you or anyone else, just something that seems to stick with you.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper
21. If you could send a message to your fans/future fans, what would you want them to know? (you can do this in writing or even a video message to them!)
We love you. We appreciate you. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Special thanks to Jenny & Tyler for taking the time to do this little interview. Aren’t they awesome? Not to mention they are just ridiculously cute together (as you can see in the video below!). They just released a new music video which is below, this song has seriously been on repeat for…let’s just say a good long awhile. ;) Check it out, as well as their twitter, facebook, youtube, and website. Also, they have been so gracious to include their music on noisetrade as well, so swing by there and download some music and if you’re able, leave them a nice tip, they definitely deserve it. :)
Thanks again, Jenny & Tyler!