What We Lack Interviews: Tyler McMaster of Eunoia


Chris and Tyler caught up for a quick who/what/when/where/why/how chat about the progress of Eunoia, an indie-emo band from Bucks County, PA. Check out what he had to say below. Make sure you check out Traces of Blue on the Eunoia bandcamp page.

Interview follows:

Who: do you feel your band reaches or appeals to?
1.) I think our band appeals to anyone who believes in the message. Each member of this band, singularly, is following that same message and we’re trying to find our way, but we also hope to help other people with that journey and I think that some people will listen to our songs and understand that and what to take that journey (to a peaceful well being/eunoia) just as much as we do. I mean, some people enjoy our music because it’s aesthetically pleasing to them, but most people that I have talked to are usually moved by what they hear; whether it’s the music or the lyrics.
What: do you see the band doing in the future?
2.) In terms of the future, we just hope to keep making music and doing what we love.  This band has been one of the most positive facets in each of our lives, at this current time, and we don’t really want to end it any time soon.  There is still so much that needs to be said; so much that needs to be written.  Realistically, we just want to play more shows and get our name out there the best that we can.  We don’t really have any plans to tour, or anything like that.  We just aren’t ready.  Nobody knows who we are, practically haha.  We hope to do stuff like that someday, but we’re such a new band, that it just doesn’t seem smart at the moment.  But who knows what the future could bring.
When:  did you realize that you wanted to be in music with this specific band?
3.) For me, personally, I realized that I wanted to focus on this specific band, when I started writing incessantly, at the end of 2013.  I wrote “An Introduction To Imperfect Harmony” and “Empathy,” very quickly, and shortly after came “The Mirror Wipes a Canvas Dry” as well.  The songs were so much more honest than anything I had written up to that point.  These songs felt like the next step in my songwriting.  They weren’t really a specific genre, so I didn’t have to write a certain way, or cater to a certain genre.  It was incredibly freeing, in many ways.  Once Tom and Logan joined, along with Logan’s friend Matt, on lead guitar, that was when I realized that this band was going to be so much more than I had ever previously expected.  Even when Matt sadly departed and we were a three piece for a little, I knew we had to keep going and then when Adam joined the band, it was even more affirming that we needed to do so much with this project, and we’re planning to.
Where:  do you focus the band’s musical effort?
4.) This is kind of tough to answer haha.  I actually write with the band in mind.  I will usually write the lyrics and the rhythm guitar part/basic structure and then record a super rough demo of me just singing and playing it and then send it to the guys and they formulate their parts from there.  When I write, I try to write whatever comes out of me, but I also try to construct certain parts, to cater to each member of the band.  What I mean by that is, especially in the songs that I’ve written recently, I will purposefully put in sections that will be fun for the rhythm section and then maybe a part that would be fun for the guitars.  I also focus equally on the lyrics and my own parts.  I usually want everything to sound cohesive; to make sense and be logical.  My notebook, by the end of a song, will have a bunch of scribbled out sections, or words, and I just edit until I feel right with the song haha.  It’s the same with my guitar parts:  I keep playing the same things over and over, to make sure that they sound coherent and gel together and if they don’t, then I sit with it and play continuously until I get it.  It sounds maddening, but I love it!
Why: do you make the music that you do?
5.)  I write the music that I do, because it’s liberating.  It’s my way of coping with the things that have distressed me in my life.  A lot of my songs are just my reactions and thoughts to what is going on around me at the time.  Sometimes that can be a really upsetting song, or a redemptive and hopeful song.  It all depends.  Writing is cathartic to me, so in many ways, writing the songs that I do allows me to rid my mind of the negative thoughts that I may have at that moment.  It lessens the anxieties that I may be feeling at that current time.  It also gives me the chance to meditate on certain parts of my life that I wouldn’t often think about in my day-to-day; not because they are unimportant.  It’s quite the opposite: i /should/ be thinking about those things, but I have to carry on with my day, so they mostly just get pushed to the back of my mind.  When I write, I can finally address those thoughts and even if they aren’t completely approached at that time, another song will tackle that.  I also write the way that I do, because I want to help people.  I certainly write to help alleviate stress from myself, but I also try to write my songs in ways that other people can take something from them.  I want my songs to reach out to someone who is also struggling and possibly, somewhat, alleviate their troubles as well.  While this is a personal journey, I don’t have to be the only one who takes it.
How:  have you gotten to the point that you are right now?
6.)  I’ve gotten to this point, by continuing to be passionate and driven.  I almost gave up playing guitar when I was about 14 or 15, because I was discouraged and wasn’t sure if I was any good.  I joined my first band in the eighth grade.  We played Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll” at the school’s talent show and people loved us.  That was my first time, in a band, playing on stage and it felt amazing.  Not because people were cheering us on, but because I had never felt a rush, such as I had in those moments, ever in my life.  That was when I knew that performing was going to be an important part of my life.  Shortly after that, I joined the Upper Bucks Alliance for Creative Expression, which is where I would meet Tom and Logan.  That organization helped me to really hone in on my playing and taught me a lot about working with others, especially huge egos.  That was one of the most important things, for me, throughout my decade of playing, was meeting all of the egos that I have in my career.  People who would take the talent for granted and weren’t so concerned with the passion, but the attention.  I didn’t care about that.  I didn’t care that I couldn’t sweep-pick or play the solo to “Eruption.”  I felt more content playing chords, than I ever did, attempting to play a solo.  Meeting those people taught me to always stay humble and never pretend to be someone that I am not.  I see so many people put on a face to seem genuine to their peers, to gain their support and admiration and I can’t be that way.  It’s just not me.  I also wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people who have supported me as a singer.  I /never/ thought that I would ever be the lead singer of a band.  It just never crossed my mind.  I thought that I was a terrible singer; I still, to this day, think I’m not that great haha.  Throughout the years, people have pushed me to sing, to continue to do it, even when I didn’t think that I could.  Brosef Gordon-Levitt was the first band to give me the shot of being a frontman and it made me realize that I really could do it, if I tried my hardest and pushed myself.  Also, the people who have pushed me forward as a songwriter.  Nathan Allebach, of Nathan Earl & Rachel Joy, saw something in me, years ago and pushed me to continue writing, even when I didn’t think that I could.  He always pushed me forward and continues to.  I’ve been in a classic rock cover band, a punk band, a hardcore band, a ska band, an Irish acoustic duo; I played bass in an indie band; I was in a Green Day cover band; I’ve backed up fantastic female vocalists on guitar.  Every moment with every band and artist, has led me to this moment and throughout the good and the bad, I would never trade those moments for anything.  Because they all helped shape who I have become as musician, as well as a person.  I thank them all.

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