We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Rust and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I really didn’t ever think I would pursue an artistic or creative career. I sort of just stumbled upon it by accident. I took piano lessons when I was a child then didn’t touch and instrument again until I was 20. I got into a bad accident at work my junior year of college and was laid up for a few months so I decided to pick up my older brothers guitar and teach myself. Also, my girlfriend at the time was an incredible musician and songwriter so I suppose I was trying to impress her as well. But I never thought I would turn it into a career. It was about a year after I started playing that our bass player, Jake Statler, talked me in to playing a “small” gig with him. I’ve always been terrified of crowds but he told me it would be no big deal so I agreed. To my surprise there was about 200 people when we walked out on stage that I was about to perform my original songs for. I remember for the first minute or so my voice was shaking so bad it had to be pretty obvious. But there was a pause in the song, I looked over at Jake, he gave me a head nod and the song picked up speed and it just felt like I was meant to be doing this. We really haven’t looked back since. We’ve kept expanding, added a lead guitarist (Kellen Micheal), drummer (Rob Labig), the shows have been getting bigger, and the momentum seems to keep growing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets us apart is our ability to create music that is authentic and honest. Every song I’ve ever wrote has been an honest admission about some aspect of my life. I never try to give the impression I’m someone or something I’m not. I think that’s an important factor in songwriting, especially in country music. To me it’s about telling true stories that have the ability to reach people on a deeper level than face value. If I can get even one person who walks up after a show and says “I can really relate to that song” that’s what it’s all about. I’m one person and one story but we’ve all been through a lot more similar situations than we think.
I’m also just one part of the band. The guys are incredible musicians that have the ability to take my words, intensity, and expand upon them in a way that sometimes words can’t. We’ve had our challenges as a band and personally but we are still pretty early on in this and I’m really excited to see where we can take it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m sure this response is going to be pretty funny for some because I get up in front of crowds and sing some pretty vulnerable songs but I’m extremely introverted. I grew up spending most of my free time hunting and fly fishing with my two brothers and grandpa. I’ve grown pretty fond the silence and serenity of being in the mountains away from the crowds of people. So if my best friend was visiting for a week I’m sure nobody would see us for a week. We would spend the days throwing flies and the nights drinking beer by the campfire telling stories. And as any fly fisherman knows, I would love to tell you exactly where we would be fishing but I just can’t reveal that information. I suppose I can tell you we would be somewhere on the western slope of Colorado.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has always been the backbone of everything I’ve ever done but in particular my wife, Kehaulani Rust. She is amazing and has supported me every step of the way on this journey. She helps out with logistics, booking, and travels to every show she possibly can. She puts up with the late nights between gigs and rehearsals all while running her own real estate business and taking care of our two year old son. She’s motivated, kind hearted, and a go getter. If I can ever be half the person she is I would pretty content.
Melissa Statler Depth of Fiction Photography