EMQ’s With Geoff Tyson
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Guitar Maestro Geoff Tyson. Huge thanks to Geoff for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Geoff Tyson, I played guitar for T-Ride, Snake River Conspiracy, and Stimulator, and have toured the world with Joe Satriani, Ugly Kidd Joe, Tora Tora, Duran Duran, the Go Go’s, Filter, Queens of the Stone Age, Monster Magnet, and A Perfect Circle.
How did you come up with your band name?
Dad and Mom thought of it for me 😉
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I grew up in Berkeley California. I went to high school with Alex Skolnick, Charlie Hunter, Tim Armstrong, Kevin Cadogan, Dave Edwardson, and I studied guitar with Joe Satriani. The first time I saw Metallica, I was 13 years old and they were playing at a little dive bar called Ruthie’s Inn. I was too young to get in, but the place was so packed that they couldn’t shut the doors, so I watched from outside on the street. The Bay Area is also the home of Exodus, Megadeth, Death, Slayer, Exodus, Possessed, Death Angel, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, Green Day, Third Eye Blind, and D.R.I. So, I guess you could say it was a pretty cool scene.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
“Drinks With Infinity” is my latest release. It’s my first guitar instrumental album. It was recorded in Prague, Czech Republic during 2019 and it’s now being released on Cargo Records worldwide.
‘Strawberry Napalm’ Video
‘Six Weeks Of Tina’ Video
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmore, Alan Holdsworth, Satriani, and Jeff Beck. As a musician and producer, Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Duran Duran, Black Sabbath, Motown, Russian classical music, and Om Kalthoum.
What first got you into music?
My mother dragged me to classical piano lessons from 3 years old and I played until I was 12. I learned all the typical pieces you might expect to be presented to a kid. But then when I first heard Eddie Van Halen, I knew that piano wasn’t for me and that guitar was my calling. I was lucky to find Joe Satriani, who at the time was teaching guitar at a small music store in Berkeley, and he took me in as a student for over 2 years. Then when I was 15, I started tracking for the band that would become T-Ride, which was the first production by Eric Valentine. Eric got me deep into recording, engineering, and production as an art form.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’d like to do a mash up with Radiohead, Deadmau5, and Tom Waits, produced by Jack Puig. That would be wild!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d love to be popular enough to play Glastonbury, but I’d enjoy playing more at the MTV Varna Bulgaria beach festival for the sun, sea, and scantily clad music fans.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Chlamydia. Thanks Krista.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Drink lots of water, wear a mask, and quit Facebook. Oops, is that three? Hmm somehow they all seem related.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Chris Cornell was an inspiration to me as a singer and composer. He left us too soon.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love that every day is different, nothing is predictable, anything can happen, and you get to meet wonderful people from all over the world. By far my least favourite thing is loading the gear after the show. Has anyone ever told you about post-show swamp ass?
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Most USA major labels, radio stations, venues, and on-line music portals are owned by 3-4 corporations. I feel that it has ruined what was once a thriving music scene that encouraged originality and risk-takers. I’d break up all these companies and open the opportunities up for artists before shareholders. Let musicians compete on quality, rather than shareholder value, and the music fans win.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Dark Side of the Moon” is a classic, beautiful collection of intelligent, well performed and produced songs that take you on an emotional journey. It’s a masterpiece.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
As long as the music is cool, the format is all about context. I love putting on a vinyl at home, but it gets complicated trying to drag the system to the beach, finding a 300-meter extension cord, getting the sand out of the power amp and so on. Mp3’s are cool and convenient and I love the fact that I can delete a shit song.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I’ve played a lot of big festivals and big venues. I played at Madison Square Garden with Duran Duran and that was a great life milestone. But my favourite shows are always the small intimate ones. I was offered to play a few songs after a friend’s band in Barcelona once. With just my acoustic guitar, I went up to play a short set from my new album. But the audience was yelling “One more! One more!!” and they wouldn’t let me leave the stage. I ended up playing for 3 hours, and after running out of songs that I knew, improvised ones that I didn’t know. I had to stop because the club was closing, and after I got off stage, I was dragged to the bar for victory beers and it was brilliant.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d definitely run a porn-star astronaut circus. That seems like an obvious choice.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I’d invite Dave Chappelle, Angela Merkle, David Bowie, Christopher Hitchens, and Madeleine Albright, and we would drink absinth and do MDMA.
What’s next for the band?
I’m trying to figure that out now. COVID ruined all my summer USA tour plans, and it doesn’t look like things will be stable enough to plan anything outside a small selection of countries for a while. I have some music videos in production and a few offers here and there to compose some movie soundtracks, so I guess I’ll try to stay creative and keep creating content.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Jaffa Cakes are neither living, nor dead. They occupy a space between light and shadow, wanting only satisfy an endless obsession with power, relentlessly nourishing its pure, concentrated evil, so that, when the time is right, it can rain down sorrow and death upon the world, feasting on our bitter tears. It’s also not bad with coffee, but only evil coffee.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yea my new album is great and you should buy it, drag your record player to the beach, and listen to it.
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