The Scared Crows Interview
Interview with Tyler Forrest of The Scared Crows and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
TF: Yo! Tyler Forrest here of The Scared Crows. I’m a songwriter and all around musician/performer based out of North Hollywood, CA.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
TF: I grew up in southern Louisiana in the New Orleans area. I discovered my knack for writing music as a teenager. I remember staying up all night with my guitar when I was supposed to be sleeping. I spent my early twenties performing original music around the south and eventually moved to Los Angeles on an acting gig, where I formed The Scared Crows. It’s been a dream come true.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
TF: Influence and inspiration comes and goes rapidly. Right now I’m stuck on jazz classics. Musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. But, three months ago I was hooked on the 1975. I really admire other songwriters, especially my peers. As far as non-musical influences, I really take inspiration from screenwriters and film makers, like Steven Spielberg or James Cameron. Those guys know it all from music to photography. They are such gifted people with a worldview unlike anyone else. The greatest story-tellers on the planet.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
TF: Although writing original music is my number one, I am passionate about other things. I love screenwriting and photography. My life mission is to produce art that incorporates all of the above. I want to tell great stories that have a real influence on people, whether it’s a song, movie, photograph, or painting. I strive to live a life of experience and I want to share it through my work. Ultimately, though, I am happy writing and performing my own music and maintaining a stable, humble life with it.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
TF: We started The Scared Crows with a large repertoire of songs I had been writing for years before. What I love, though, is how every element of he band has a distinct voice. I’ll bring a song idea to the guys, but it doesn’t become a complete song until we all come together and everyone writes their parts. We will direct each other and jam on a tune for quite some time before committing it to a record. While I am the primary songwriter, it’s the collaboration that makes the unique sound. The songs are about all sorts of things. I’m really big into theme and will write albums centered around a central sentiment. I try to stay unbiased in my writing and I don’t like mixing politics with songs. Lately I’ve been writing jazz-inspired romance songs.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
TF: I love going out in the field and doing it the old fashioned way. If you ever come to NoHo, you’ll probably bump into to me passing out flyers on my bike. Promoting your band and your show is hard work. You can’t be lazy. I love meeting new people so really it’s just an excuse to go out and engage with the community. Social media definitely helps these days, too. Promoting through Instagram can definitely be affective for getting new eyes and ears on your material, but I still find doing it on foot is the best way to promote. At least the most fun way. People recognize passion.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
TF: Optimistic answer: It makes it easier to market your music. Everyone has a chance to distribute and advertise their work, which is great. But, the downside to streaming services and iTunes is that the music market seems to be over saturated with mediocre music. Because of technology, anyone wanting fame can exploit these services and what we end up with is a huge trend wave of crap. But, I also think it offers new opportunities to stand out. It allows someone with a fresh sound or unique voice to reach new audiences without the commitment to a record label.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
TF: Sunday Morning Comin’ Down by Kris Kristofferson. I especially love the version recorded by Johnny Cash. It’s a sad song about searching for meaning in life. It really gives me the feels and I really enjoy singing it. Go give it a listen and read the quote from Johnny on the Wikipedia page.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
TF: Mainly how bad songs from non-musicians get lots of attention and make lots of money. I’m not searching for fame or anything so I’m not comparing myself, but I feel like the ones in control could be offering the world something of a little more taste. I also can’t stand hesitant drivers and waiting in long lines.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
TF: One thing that comes to mind is when I was performing in Louisiana, we opened up for a popular touring band at the House of Blues. We promoted be hell out of that show and it sold out. When we performed, it was all of our fans front row singing along. I don’t know if the show would have sold out without us and it really put it all into perspective. Hard work and persistence pays off.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
TF: I’m always working on something and it changes rapidly. Romance album, refining The Scared Crows album, booking shows, endless practice. My main project though at the moment is a music movie titled Strings. It’s an indie rock drama about a musician who struggles to maintain balance between love and pursuing his dreams. Featuring an all original soundtrack. It’s pretty sick. The Scared Crows is actually a product of the movie. You can check that out at www.strings.la
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
TF: Right now we’re focused on building an audience locally around NoHo. We have a few venues we frequent and we’ll do pop up shows pretty often. At our shows, you never know what you’re gonna get. We recently did a rock night with lots of jamming and audience interaction. I think the next show we’ll do a chill night where everyone sits down and drinks wine. I’ll play a piano and sing songs from my softer, more emotional repertoire. Nonetheless, I promise you will be moved and have a memorable experience.
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