banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with MYTH OF I – January 2022

| 22 January 2022 | Reply


We get Tyler Fritzel and Jennings Smith of Myth Of I to discuss new music, influences, and 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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Tyler: Our most recent release is quite a departure from anything we’ve done in the past. Most notably is that it has vocals. Since our inception Jennings and I have always written instrumental material, so this has been a really fun challenge and overall experience to work with. There’s one crucial mistake I made when recording Elis vocals that I missed until it was too late. About half way through the song there’s a line that Eli does but there’s a harmony underneath that doesn’t follow it in the same way. It will forever be one thing that I won’t be able to unhear haha.

Jennings: For anyone familiar with our music, this new single is going to be a surprise. At first listen it sounds like a totally new different direction, but I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. “The Expedition” was actually written in 2014, before we had released anything! It is one of many songs we wrote while shaping our sound, so I look at it as more of a glimpse into our past. Some keen listeners might notice the rhythms have a lot in common with some songs that made it onto our full length, despite being a bit less intricate. With that said, Eli took it and helped us make something far beyond what we could’ve done on our own. Without his involvement I don’t think this song would’ve seen the light of day.

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

Tyler: I had always been very interested in music, from a very early age I was taking vocal coaching and piano lessons. It was until I was 8 years old though that I got my first guitar for Christmas and that was the end of that. I remember one year I broke my hand and couldn’t play guitar for about 6 weeks and being absolutely devastated, that was probably the first time I vividly remember having that feeling of this is what I want to do, and now I cant do it.

Jennings: I actually picked up the guitar at about 9 years old and hated it. The chords all sounded the same to me,  and I couldn’t even do the chromatic 1-2-3-4 exercise so I just gave up. A few years later I started to fall in love with metal and gave it another go, then everything changed. I was playing guitar every waking hour when I wasn’t at school, and I knew I wanted it to be my future within months.

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

Tyler: Oh yeah absolutely. Awake by Dream Theater. My guitar teacher introduced me to this album and I was just floored by John Petruccis phrasing and note choice in his solos on this album. Other than that though there are just so many it would be impossible to cover all of it. So in a summation of all of them Greg Howe, Animals as Leaders, The Contortionist, and RUSH are the big ones.

Jennings: This is a very tough question for me, there are so many. The first band I remember making that imprint on me was Cynic. I was only 13 when I heard Traced in Air, and I would probably have to call it my first spiritual experience. I’d never connected to anything like I did that day, and I still remember every damn minute of it.

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

Tyler: I would love to work with Plini on a track. His most recent release Impulse Voices is a spectacular piece of music from start to finish.

Jennings: I would do just about anything to work with Tigran Hamasyan. The unique-ness of his sound is so far beyond anything I’ve heard before, and those boundaries just get pushed further with every release. Transcribing just one of those songs will give you more work than most full albums.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Tyler: I do a lot of touring outside of MYTH OF I being a Front of House/Monitor engineer for quite a few bands and my favorite thing to do when I get back is to sleep for about 2 days straight haha. I know I can speak for Jennings on this but we love video games, arguably maybe a bit too much. When we should be writing or getting things done we tend to play video games instead haha.

Jennings: Yeah, Tyler was right! I spend a good chunk of my time outside of the music realm playing video games. That and watching anime mostly, anyone familiar with JRPG’s and Hayao Miyazaki would know that just from listening to a couple of our songs. I love spending time outdoors too, but I’m not really the active type. Give me a lake with a bench nearby to chill on and I’m happy.

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?

Tyler: MYTH OF I has a sound that is solely unique. Everyone says that about their own band but it’s true. You will not find something similar to what we do and we are very proud that we have been able to find such a symbiotic balance between technical/groove/and overall experimental sounds. I can’t say there’s been any bad comparisons from fans or reviewers alike. With our newest single “The Expedition” someone recently compared us to Killswitch Engage and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever haha. Its always the bands that people compare us to that I don’t see at all that just make me realize how differently people hear things. For another example someone compared us to Death and I’m sitting here like how? I have only listened to one Death record once in my entire life haha.

Jennings: Myth of I sounds like your favorite progressive metal band scored the latest Studio Ghibli movie… and it’s a dark one. I try to avoid comparing us to specific bands, but you could also say it’s somewhere between Russian Circles and Animals as Leaders with an added orchestra? I definitely haven’t cringed at any comparisons, but there have been a few that I don’t actually listen to. I’ve found some great new bands to listen to this way, Vipassi comes to mind.

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

Tyler: Jennings and I love cooking so when we do have a full group hang out its generally him and I in the kitchen cooking up steaks or some insane Indian food with our neighbors. As for drinks, that’s all me, I am a huge craft beer guy.

Jennings: Cooking is Tyler and myself for sure. I whipped up a blackberry BBQ sauce not too long ago for some pork chops, I still think about it daily. Trust me, if a singalong breaks out you do not want to be around for that. There’s a reason we’re an instrumental band!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Tyler: Oh I remember this day very clearly. January 31st 2020 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. I was mixing Arch Echo on our tour with Periphery and Plini. Needless to say EVERYONE was at that show, all the Animals as Leaders guys, the dudes in Volumes etc. So I’m mixing the Arch Echos set and I look directly behind me for a brief moment and TOSIN ABASI was standing right behind me and I lost my shit. But I had to play it cool cause you know being on the tour you don’t want to draw attention to yourself or anyone else and you want to act like you belong there. All I could bring myself to say was “Tosin” with a brief head nod and walked away haha.

Jennings: I don’t think this was the last time I was starstruck, but it definitely is the most memorable. Back when I was in high school, I played in a band called Escher. We were playing a show in Raleigh, NC one day with Behold the Arctopus, which was insane enough already. I looked out into the sea of black band shirts while we sound checked, and saw Dan Briggs of Between the Buried and Me standing there. Knowing he was about to watch us play was simultaneously insanely cool and insanely intimidating.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Tyler: The best part of being a musician for me at this point is the ability to write music. It used to be, being really good at guitar but I’m very over that mindset nowadays. But the ability to write music with complex harmonic progression that’s being grounded by a simple yet beautiful melody is the coolest thing ever for me. Fortunately I get to do my dream job outside of music and that being an audio engineer whether in the studio or live its really a treat.

Jennings: The best part of being a musician for me is definitely writing music as well. There’s something so oddly therapeutic about taking our worst emotions and expressing them by wiggling air. The town I grew up in has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, making music has been my refuge from the grief of all those untimely deaths. If I couldn’t be a musician I would be some other kind of artist, maybe a painter. The need to express myself that way is about as natural as eating or sleeping to me.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Tyler: Hmm nothing in particular, I guess maybe what would you dream tour to be on be? For me right now not even MYTH OF I headlining but to tour with Animals as Leaders for a solid two months would be a dream come true. Some solid MYTH OF I headliner runs would be super sick as well though.

Jennings: Hmm, maybe something like – what do you think the future of your genre is? Personally I think purism in genres is outdated. The bands we’re all going to be listening to 20 years from now will have merged aspects of different genres that most of us could never conceive of. We’ve seen the progression from blues, to jazz, to rock, to metal in all it’s different forms… What’s next?

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?

Tyler: Maybe the one we just did with the vocals on a track! haha who knows you know? It may have been a bad move on our end but ultimately Jennings and I release what we enjoy and try not to pay much attention to the what ifs.

Jennings: I don’t think I would change a thing, to be honest. If I changed anything, even better practice habits, I wouldn’t be where I am today doing what I’m doing. I’ll take what I have now over those unknowns any day of the week.

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?

Tyler: Oh that’s a good question. I would say maybe Alan Parsons work on Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. That is such a ripping album and Alan is an OG legend in my book.

Jennings: Looks like our Pink Floyd influence is showing! For me it would have to be Wish You Were Here. It’s such an iconic album, and there’s something so incredible to me about how albums were made back then. I would kill to see how those synths were laid down.




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.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad