For the past year we’ve been asked what this new McCoy Tyler project is and how we- The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men- are involved in it. Rather than explaining it ourselves I figured I’d have McCoy Tyler himself tell you. So I sat down with McCoy to get the inside scoop on his upcoming EP, his new band, and this Single Release Show at Moe’s Alley on April 13th. Here’s the interview.
Kellen Coffis: Okay we’re here with McCoy Tyler from The McCoy Tyler Band, or is that not what your band is called now, or is this a different “McCoy Tyler” all together?
McCoy Tyler: I’ve almost exhausted all iterations of my first and middle name. What once was the McCoy Tyler Band is now simply McCoy Tyler- though if you are in the marquee lettering business, you may know me as Tyler McCoy. And if you happen to be Sleepy John (from KPIG) you likely know me as McCoy Tyler from Happy Valley. I don’t know…I’m from the Santa Cruz Mountains and my name is McCoy Tyler, that’s all there is to it at this point. You probably shouldn’t believe anything you see out there…
KC: Got it, Tyler. I think I understand now. So Mr. McCoy, I hear you have some new music you are releasing. What can you tell us about this new music?
MT: It’s the shortest album I’ve ever recorded that has managed to take the longest amount of time. It’s loud and soft, sometimes upbeat and sometimes moody and self deprecating. It’s pretty damn self deprecating now that I think of it- especially the single. You should listen to that one if you really want to get in touch with some things. And by things, I mean your emotions. Or perhaps I mean my emotions? Let’s just say, this is not a record for the calloused and hard-hearted- it’s for all the post-college, 20-something, sad sap artists out there who are dissatisfied with the current state of things- like politics and the constant nonsense that pervades our Facebook feeds and keeps us feeling mostly hopeless and sad. Let’s just say, it’s a really uplifting single. And you should definitely listen to it.
KC: Hey man, take it easy on Facebook. Please don’t offend our readers. So if this project is just called “McCoy Tyler” does that mean it’s a solo project?
MT: In the sense that there are a lot of ripping guitar solos taken on this record, I would say yes. In the sense that the recording features me, exclusively, definitely not… Were you to ask me if this project was a collaborative effort, I think that would be a more apt definition. And, by chance, were you to ask me if the record features performances by The Coffis Brothers and Mountain, well…I would have to say, absolutely.
McCoy Tyler and Kyle Poppen. March 24, 2017 Rio Theater, Nexties Awards. Photo by Allison Garcia.
KC: Hmm The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men? Never heard of ’em. Are they some sort of rootsy Rock & Roll band that blends Folk, Rock, Blues, and R&B with harmonies that only brothers can create? I’ll definitely check them out. So how’s it going playing with this new band? And how did this collaboration come to be? Did you just look for the five best looking guys in Santa Cruz or something?
MT: I would call it more of a creative rendezvous than a casual gathering of handsome dudes- because that just sounds weird. Though for the sake of our upcoming show, it certainly doesn’t hurt that we are all strikingly handsome.
KC: Call it what you like, but it is what it is. In your previous band you wrote the songs, sang the lion’s share of the lead vocals, and were the lead guitarist. Has your role changed playing with the Coffis Brothers?
MT: In the sense that I’m still playing guitar and singing, not much. I’m still on the acoustic guitar quite a bit. Though this project has allowed me to get back into my electric guitar playing in a way that I couldn’t with TMTB. It’s Rock & Roll music with a songwriter sensibility. It’s just tender baby. But with a bit of edge- like if the Eagles let Joe Walsh sing more and he decided to really take on the role by staying (slightly) more sober.
Kellen Coffis, McCoy Tyler, Jamie Coffis, Kyle Poppen, and Henry Chadwick. Moe’s Alley October 15, 2016. Photo by Effie Benjamin.
KC: I see you have a healthy number of shows under your belt with this group, and have even done some traveling. So what’s so special about Thursday, April 13th at Moe’s Alley?
MT: As much fun as touring can be, nothing beats playing to the hometown crowd. This show will be special in a couple of ways- first off, my buddies Dan Too and Pat Hull represent two of the best songwriters in the area, in my opinion, and I get to see them play. So that’s really just selfishness- booking a show with two musicians that you really like. But second, Thursday April 13th happens to be the day that we release the first single off the new record. It’s called “26” and I’ve been told that it’s perhaps the best thing since sliced bread.
KC: I’m on a no bread diet so this song may not be for me. I’ve heard those Coffis Brothers are sorta jerks. Do you have any dirt you can dish out on those guys?
MT: I’m going on the record here and saying that Henry Chadwick is really the only nice one in the band. And it’s only fitting that he engineered, mixed, and helped produce the new record. Oh, and he also played drums. I think we drastically underestimate the arm length and general perseverance required to engineer and play drums on a record. He’s a frizzy-haired mad man with a penchant for talking to himself during the recording process, and I honestly feel like the rest of us just sat around and drank beer while he did all the heavy lifting. So yeah, the rest of those dudes? Just a buncha have-beens. Or have-yet-to-be’s. I guess time will tell…
The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men with McCoy Tyler. Don Quixote’s, January 7, 2017. Photo by Effie Benjamin.
KC: Well, I think at this point in the interview we’ve whittled our readers all the way down to 4. So what would you like to say to those last 3 readers to get them out to Moe’s Alley on April 13th?
MT: If you are fans of good music performed by strikingly handsome dudes, it truly is in your best interest to attend this show. And if not, it’s a Thursday night and what the hell else had you planned on doing?
KC: Thanks, Ty. That was informative, and for the most part, tolerable. I’ll try to scrounge up $10 but if you could throw me on the guest list that would be great. See ya April 13th at Moe’s Alley.
Aidan Collins, Kellen Coffis, and McCoy Tyler. October 15, 2016, Moe’s Alley. Photo by Effie Benjamin
McCoy Tyler- Dan Too, Pat Hull opens – Moe’s Alley, April 13th
$7 adv/ $10 door