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A Dirty Dozen with DAKOTA ELLIOT TYLER from SILENT THEORY – May 2020

 

According to a recent press release: “Idaho Rock Band Silent Theory has released the Official Music Video for their new single “Six Feet Under”. Created by Jon Kuritz of Make Waves Media House, “Six Feet Under” presents a poignant statement on the state of mental health awareness and treatment in the US. Silent Theory is made up of brothers Mitch, Scott, and George Swanger, as well as Robert James and Dakota Elliot Tyler. They are currently located in Moscow, Idaho, but finding worldwide success. As of January 2019, they signed with Paul Crosby Management (founding member of Saliva), released their latest single, “Six Feet Under,” and are currently finishing a new album to be released later this year.” We get Dakota to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release is “Six Feet Under.” It’s a song that we wrote during the spurt of shootings happening from 2017-present, but it is not a stance on gun control AT ALL. This song is about the evolution of radicalized hate fueled by toxic communities who feel the need to shoot up public places to get their message out. Terrorism is designed to scare you into thinking that it can happen at anytime to anyone, and it works. This song is about the mentality of the attacker, not about the apparatus they use.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I actually, started with my flirtation with rap. I didn’t like gangster rap, I loved story tellers. Artists like Immortal Technique, Slick Rick, Nas, Ghostface Killah and Eminem. I continued pursuing that avenue until I was about 19. Even though my favorite genre to actually go see or play was rock. I loved Linkin Park and Mudvayne, but I was also a huge fan of Hardcore bands like Earth Crisis and Fugazi and Killswitch. I just couldn’t pull off anything hardcore. My values were there but I just wasn’t heavy or literate enough to say what I really wanted to. I fell into the style of rock I play now, which I have been writing more as an anti-genre commercial metal, because that’s what I love to write. I’m not a great singer by any means, nor am I a great screamer, but I have the capability to write what I’m thinking now in a more generalized way, and it works for us. It’s incredibly flattering to be compared to bands like a Perfect Circle or Deftones, ( I don’t always agree but I see it.)

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

In the beginning I just set myself the goal of performing on stage. The show that really pushed that on me was when Shinedown played a small club in Boise, ID around 2007. I was able to be front and center for that and halfway through I got such a euphoric feeling of clearity, like “this is what I’m going to do someday.” There was a 2nd show that really gave me the courage to join Silent Theory. That was when a band called, Fair to Midland rocked the hell out of The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. I can’t explain the epiphany but from everyday forth I was focused on making a living writing and performing music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Immortal Technique/Eminem, Fair to Midland, Deftones, Killswitch Engage, and Linkin Park.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I don’t know, It would have to be a screamer that I love like Sam Carter from Architects or Winston McCall from Parkway Drive. Wishful thinking but AMAZING musicians.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Well, we get a lot of the “If Deftones and Tool had a baby,” or if “Chevelle and Linkin Park had a baby” comparisons. Those are fine, but I was once compared to Weird Al Yankovich so…ya. Cringe.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The live show. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. It’s the reason we ALL keep doing what we’re doing, because it sure-as-shit ain’t the money. Drugs? Not with our families! This isn’t the 80s anymore. We grab a book or our phones and we are in our bunks and on our way to the next venue. I did get pretty shitfaced with Hed (PE) last tour though…

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Oh man I don’t have correct answers for this but ill give it a shot. George and Bob are the cooks. Both have experience in a culinary background. I would probably be the one to get drinks in, as the rest of the band is kind of over that. It is a toss up on who would have the acoustic guitar between Scott and Mitch but seeing as all of us can play, it could be anyone.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I don’t really get super star struck because I don’t believe musicians should act like “Rockstar’s” but Shinedown stayed at a hotel I was working the night shift for. Now, because they were my inspiration for getting on stage I got a little nervous. They were super chill guys and it gave me a glimpse at the kind of hard work Brent does for that band. He was in my lobby for like 3 hours just plugging on different platforms and keeping his presence up on social media. It showed me a new level of this business I never took too seriously. I may have moved away from their music as of late but those guys will always have my respect.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I would be behind the music as an engineer/producer. I dabbled in Pro-tools TM a little in college and helped some of my friends make a pretty decent mixtape. As I’ve absorbed knowledge from the guys we work with now, I think I could definitely work behind the board.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

No. I’m a firm believer that your mistakes give you knowledge you wouldn’t normally have obtained through success. I would make all the same mistakes again without a doubt. I do have a story of my naive nature though. Back in 2013-14 I was in my first band with some of my local friends. We met someone from L.A. who promised us the world and fame and record execs and too-good-to-be-true shit, etc. Now my dad is a smart guy, he says “get everything in writing!” so I did. This sketchy guys sends us over a contract saying he would take care of our housing, mixing, mastering and recording all for the low price of $4,000 and with googly eyes, I convinced 3 other dudes to pack up their shit and move to L.A. to chase this bogus promise. Then things started to get fishy. We get there and there is no housing for us, as promised. We end up crashing in our drummers, cousins back yard for 2 months. The studio has been changed from the renowned Revolver Studios California to some random ass rinky-dink studio downtown. We are asked to pay lump-sum amounts for recording, mixing and mastering separately (this is all after the initial $4000 was sent by the way!) I would say somewhere around $11,000 we get a call from the studio saying they haven’t received a single payment yet… This motherfucker was pocketing every single penny. We found out it would have roughly cost $3,200 to record our 6 songs where we were at. My parents, the saints that they are, told me to collect the masters and get in my car and drive home before he tries to take any more money. I did just that. Feeling defeated and like a total idiot we came home to Idaho. I learned so much from that experience. First, there are a lot of con men out there who sprinkle truth on top of their lies to manipulate you into paying them. Second, if it sounds too good to be true (and it took no discipline to get the offer) its bullshit. Third, don’t take the word of one person or even 2! Talk to everyone involved. Had I just asked our engineer what the bill was to do these songs, this could have been avoided. Fourth and final thing, don’t be so eager to “make it.” Don’t try to be “Famous” because that pulls the wool right over your eyes. The true mentality should be, make the music YOU love. Write the music YOU want to write. If people love it, then your following will grow. Trying to take the shortcut and meet “the right person” to get to the top, will just lead you to meeting the people that want your money.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Pearl Jam Ten. Apparently, Eddie Vedder thought the mixing of that album was too commercial and I would have loved to have heard it in its rawest form. A young Eddie Vedder in the Mother Love Bone turned Pearl Jam would have been a hell of an experience. I think that album is one you can put on from start to finish (if you liked 90’s grunge).

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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