The internet has been both a blessing and a curse for music. While Lars Ulrich is still probably nursing his wounds from his Napster crusade at the turn of the millennium, there are thousands of benefits for rock fans that previous generations have never had the chance to enjoy. We’ve access to more music than ever before, yet there’s still a chance that everyone’s favourite new band have been lost in the shuffle and are going unnoticed at shows, both in major cities and ones off the beaten path. In fact, geography can be damning for any band – with or without the internet at their disposal – and it’s something that has affected West Midlands five-piece Tyler Mae. This is something they aim to correct in 2015…
“It’s mad that Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK, but there’s not really much going on in regards to the live music scene” says Matt Lafferty, producer and vocalist for Tyler Mae. “Some people have compared it to London culturally, and from a certain perspective, I’d agree. It’s diverse and it’s open, but we haven’t got the underground scene that the capital has. I’m not looking to diss Brum at all – there’s a lot of good things happening; there are creative people trying to build things and it’s on us to make that scene.”
Tyler Mae – whose line-up is completed by fellow producer and MC Luke James, guitarist Reece Gocan, drummer Stuart Hodges and bassist Matthew Parry – create a heady mix of dubstep, grime and metal. This year saw the release of the confrontational double A-side Warriors/Do Or Die.
With the addition of crunching guitars to their rumbling, heavy basslines and a razor-sharp MC prowess, the West Midlands quintet’s shows have a ominous and distinct feel; they’ve got the same rowdy atmosphere of a sweaty rock club gig, or a late night grime rave with little being lost in the translation. It’s a distinctly British take on electronica, rap and rock that Matt hopes will elevate the band to the same heights of some of their influences and huge genre crossover success stories like Cypress Hill and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.
“We almost remix ourselves live,” explains Matt. “Nothing too extreme, but we like using heavier stuff live because that adds a certain vibe to a show.
“Every genre we fuck with, we’re flipping on it’s head” he adds. “We’re trying to do things differently. I think people in general are more receptive to hearing genres clash now. People aren’t just like, ‘I like grime and that’s it’, or whatever. That can only be a good thing. We had fun with the heavier sounds over the past couple of singles, but it’s not all we’re about. The next EP will sound different again. We intended to keep flipping it and keep making it difficult for Tyler Mae to be boxed.”
Tyler Mae’s recent single Zlatan is available for free download and they play Sheffield Corporation on the 18th of December with Chase & Status and Tek-One. For more information, check out the band’s Facebook page.