Singled Out is a feature focusing on the stories behind a song, as told by the artists who made it. In this edition, guitarist and vocalist Sean Tyler discusses the opening track from his NOR THERE EP, titled “Drive Me Home.” The song, as he explains, stands at a crossroads, bearing sonic inspiration from Link Wray while leaning thematically toward the abstract.
villin: The slow burning aspect of “Drive Me Home” invokes something of a shoegaze vibe, and definitely feels informed by the blues, but stylistically it’s very much at home within the EP. What inspired the sound to develop as it did on this song and why did you choose to open the release with it?
Sean Tyler: I love slow and mid-tempo music; it tends to be what I write most of the time. I’m happy the blues influence is felt. The riff was inspired by Link Wray’s “Rumble 69.” I think that was buried in my subconscious somewhere and showed up in the “Drive Me Home” riff. It’s a different key, different chords, different time signature, different everything, but the spirit of that guitar riff made an impression on me when I was a kid.
The song order was all by feel, I liked the way the record felt when “Drive Me Home” opened. I seldom make artistic choices based on my intellect, it’s all feel.
villin: Taking one of the song’s lyrics out of context, the line “I don’t hear when I speak” speaks to a trap I’m prone to falling in, where I talk more than I listen, which at times distances me from maintaining a mindful presence with people. What were you thinking of when incorporating that line in the song?
Sean Tyler: I want my lyrics to be open to the interpretation of the listener. We’re always trying to make sense of what we’re hearing and seeing so I play with that. I think it’s beautiful that “ I don’t hear when I speak “ made you think of that.
villin: The EP’s title, NOR THERE, would seem to be the latter half of a statement such as: neither here, nor there. What is it that you’re referring to with the title, and how does that represent the songs encompassed by the release?
Sean Tyler: “Nor there,” to me, means freedom from my need for meaning. For me, art is an escape from my need for life to make sense. Making music is about feeling so meaning is neither here nor there. At least to me. Plus, I like the way it looks.