Music. The point of the struggle. The reason behind the pain. The meaning of pleasure.
And for those of us who struggle with vulnerability, music opens the floodgates and allows us to feel: To cry. To laugh. To scream. To dance. To fall. To rise. To love.
And as an artist not afraid to use music to convey his own vulnerability, Tyler has one message for anyone who feels lonely, unwanted, and unloved: it will get better.
My main passions are music and acting, I’m doing everything I can to turn that into a career, whether it’s being a touring musician making enough money to live comfortably or acting in TV shows and soap operas. Growing up, I was in bands and thought that if I was able to just experience touring, I’d be happy with that and would be good to settle into a regular job.
But when the band I was in reached a point where we were touring and doing shows, even though we weren’t making a lot of money, I realized it wasn’t enough to just experience that and go to a regular job. I’d found what I feel like I’m here to do. And even though the thought of it not working out scares me to death, I think about how powerful and important music has been in my life, and I realize I want to be that for someone else. Music is more than just something I listen to, it’s helped me in my most vulnerable, life-changing moments.
For example, when I heard “Great Romances of the 20th Century” by Taking Back Sunday, it made me feel so much. One of the first times I really listened to it, my brother was moving away from home. He was someone I really looked up to and had a big influence on my life, especially when it came to being a man. At that point, it was summer going into freshman year of high school, and he would have been a senior. The point where we were supposed to become friends, not just older brother and younger brother.
Music is more than just something I listen to, it’s helped me in my most vulnerable, life-changing moments.
My mom told me to write a letter to him that he could read when he got to St. Louis, so I started writing it. And when the song came on, I started bawling. I’ve never been a really big crier but that moment was important because I hadn’t realized that I felt so deeply about not being able to establish that deeper connection with my brother.
I can’t really say that I would have been able to understand that’s what I was feeling at that moment in time. The actual meaning of the song doesn’t have anything to do with that, but the way he delivered it and the chord progressions really resonated and spoke to something deep within me that allowed all of those deep emotions to come out. That inspired me to begin writing and performing.
One of my favorite songs I’ve written was for my old band and it was called, “The Down Low.” And at the time, most of the songs on our band’s EP were high-energy, shout-along stuff. But this song was more stripped down and acoustic, more vulnerable. And because this song was about my really bad break up with my high school sweetheart, it was full of so much emotion. Whereas the other songs were talking about how I didn’t need her and that I was better without her, “The Down Low” was just about how I felt.
When people meet me or encounter my music, I want them to see and experience the intimate and vulnerable side of me. So, when they get lonely and feel like no one understands or cares, in that moment, I want to be there through my music, reminding them that it will get better.
When we played the song during our EP release show, we only expected people to just nod. But everyone shouted the words with so much emotion and at the top of their lungs. And each show after that, when it came time to sing that song, it became the most powerful moment where I could step away from the mic and listen to the entire crowd sing it back to me. Knowing that a song that represents one of my most vulnerable moments connected with people in such a powerful way was indescribable.
When people meet me or encounter my music, I want them to see and experience the intimate and vulnerable side of me. I want them to know there’s more to me than just the guy with a confident exterior–I have doubts, get afraid, and feel lonely, too. So, when they get lonely and feel like no one understands or cares, in that moment, I want to be there through my music, reminding them that it gets better.