‘The rest of the band call me Momma Carter’: An interview with Issues

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Recently I caught up with Issues vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn before the sold out first show of their UK tour at The Talking Heads. Despite having flown through the night and next to no sleep, they were very chatty and told me all about having buried the hatchet with Woe, Is Me, their future plans for an album and the nickname that the rest of the band have for Tyler.

How would you guys describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?

Tyler: There’s quite a few ways you could describe it, I guess. Really heavy pop could do it, I suppose. I usually just tell people rock and roll, because there’s so many sub genres to rock music, but basically, it’s all rock and roll, at the end of the day. Also, I really don’t like the attitude people give me when I say it’s metal combined with R&B, because they don’t really get it. If I just say rock then let them listen to it, then they start to get it.

Michael: Yeah, basically, our music’s a little bit of everything!

How did Issues get started after you left your old band?

T: Well, I left and went solo, I was really into R&B, hip hop and pop. The other guys left around the same time and it turned out we’re all really big fans of nu-metal and urban metal, those kind of genres which combine metal with more of a hip hop sound. So then we just got together and started writing songs and it all started going from there.

What kind of music do you guys listen to, when you’re not playing?

M: I love playing metal, and there are some metal bands that I’ll listen to. But, if I’m just chilling out on my own then I’ll listen to anything but! I just want to chill out with something that’s a bit different to my job.

T: I really listen to any style of music, but it depends on what kind of mood I’m in, and I like to take all those different influences back into the music of our band, as that’s what makes us unique, I think. We’re all pretty diverse in terms of the music we listen to. We liked the new Justin Bieber record a lot though, his melodies are pretty catchy! You can’t hate on songs that catchy!

How did you manage to get two collaborations [with Scout and Fronz]on your first ever EP?

T: Well, both of the people that collaborated with us were our friends, who we’re very supportive of. It seemed like a cool thing to do for fun. The Fronz feature came about organically, because when we wrote the song we thought how cool it would be if he was on it, and he really liked it. Then we were about to tour together and it just happened that way.

Have you got any other collaborations planned for your forthcoming album?

M: Yeah, we have two so far, but I’m not sure if we’re allowed to talk about it yet! But yes, there will definitely be a couple on there.

T: Sorry, we just can’t tell you quite yet!

Do you regret any of the arguments and acrimony that came when you left Woe, Is Me?

M: Well, we’re all cool with them now, there’s no beef there any more. First off, just after everything happened, we kind of butted heads with them alot, but we’re over it now. They’ve moved on, we’ve moved on, it’s all good.

T: I don’t feel the need to re-write history; what happened, happened. And honestly, I don’t think we’d be where we are as a band today if none of that had occurred. It is what it is.

Do any of you guys have diva tendencies when you’re out on the road?

M: Well, I think we all have those moments where we get in our little moods and fight over dumb stuff, but at the end of the day, we usually realise that it’s stupid. Tyler’s a bit of a clean freak though.

T: I’m very, very OCD about cleanliness and it gets to me when the guys don’t pick up their shit! The rest of the band call me Momma Carter because I run round after them picking up after them! The smaller the space, the worse it gets. At some point you have to start chucking shit out the windows!

What plans have you got for the future of Issues?

M: We’ve got some new music videos coming up and hopefully we’ll be coming back to the UK for another tour soon.

T: We’ve also got some new music coming up, as well as the videos. And, like Michael said, at some point next year we’d like to do a full European tour. We’ll see what we can do!

Issues are touring North America this autumn.

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