I had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler Farr on Satuday, ahead of his show with Jason Aldean at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. Tyler entertained a number of questions on his tour bus for me and showcased why he is not only one of the most talented artists in the country genre, but easily one of the most humble. I hope you enjoy what he had to tell me:
MTMS: I see you wearing a Georgia hat and there is Georgia stuff all over your bus here. But, didn’t you grow up in Missouri?
Tyler Farr: I did. A lot of people ask me that, actually. You need to thank Rhett Akins, not Thomas Rhett, his father, of the Peach Pickers. They are some of the biggest songwriters in Nashville and happen to all be from Georgia. And they are die hard Bulldogs fans. When I moved to Nashville, Missouri really was not that good, so I did not have a team I rooted for like that. I did not get into college football until I moved to Nashville and walked into a room full of them cheering. I also now root for Missouri since they came to play in the SEC last year. But if Missouri plays Georgia, I just put all my colors away so I don’t get my home state mad.
MTMS: Well, coming from Missouri, was there any particular artist that influenced you?
Tyler Farr: My grandpa, he passed away when I was a Junior in school and he was like a father to me. He gave me my first guitar when I was 13. But I did not start playing until I was 16. He used to sit me on his lap and sing me old Hank Williams songs. My Mom and Dad used to sing a lot. My Dad actually was the last person to make All-State Choir before I did. And then my Step-Dad sang with George Jones. And I actually went on the road with George Jones for a month when I was 16. I rode the bus with the Jones boys and babysat George and Nancy’s grandkids.
MTMS: Did you ever go out or have a drink with George Jones?
Tyler Farr: I did not. This was post-Lexus wreck. So he kind of calmed down. But with some of those stories, I am glad I was not around for the drinking days. I’ve heard a lot of stories from my Step-Dad. But as far as music, he was a big influence.
MTMS: In terms of causing trouble, I heard you are part of the Redneck Rat Pack with Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, and Randy Houser. How did that name come about?
Tyler Farr: Yeah. I mean don’t put me down with that list. Nah, I’m joking. They are my buddies. The Rat Pack was not country, they liked their scotch. And me and my boys drink whiskey, and probably too much. I take it as a compliment to be put in with those guys.
MTMS: Any chance you guys will record a song together or even an album like the Highwaymen did?
Tyler Farr: I hope. I would love to sing with Randy Houser except he outsings whoever he sings with. It’s just not fun to play with him at guitar pull, belting out that big voice. How can I follow that? After you sang Anything Goes … thanks Lee, I have to follow More Than A Memory. They are all great talents. I hope there is a tour in the making in the future.
MTMS: Who else have you worked with?
Tyler Farr: A lot of people. Willie Robertson, Colt Ford, Josh Thompson. A lot of these guys have been good to me and I am happy to be put in a category with them. I take it as a compliment.
MTMS: I know you talked to Broadway (of www.country925.com) about hearing Willie Robertson rap on Colt Ford’s album, but did you hear him sing with Luke Bryan on the Christmas album?
Tyler Farr: I missed that one. I have not heard it.
MTMS: It was called Have A Hairy Christmas. Will he be on your next album?
Tyler Farr: No. No. He can stick to the duck calls. I love him. He does a heck of a job as a marketing genius. I have a shower loofah someone gave me for Christmas of his face. I do not use it anywhere. It still has its tag on it. I just can’t get myself to wash down with a Willie Robertson loofah. It may even be made of his beard hair.
MTMS: So he won’t be on the next album, will there be any special features from anyone?
Tyler Farr: Jason Aldean will.
MTMS: Can you tell me the name of the song?
Tyler Farr: Yes, it’s called Damn Good Friends.
MTMS: What is it about?
Tyler Farr: It is one of my favorites on the album. The main gist of the song is that you have a couple hundred buddies, but only a few damn good friends. It talks about breaking down, stuck out and the tow truck is taking too long, so who do you call? It’s an edgier take on You Find Out Who Your Friends Are. So, it talks about going into a bar and kissing on a brunette when an ex shows up and you see its going to be 3 on 1 and you need to call your friend. It also talks about getting married because I’m going through that as Lee just got married. I think he has had a litter of kids. And Jerrod is now engaged, so I felt like singing something like All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.
MTMS: So the next album will have some contemplative type songs?
Tyler Farr: Yeah, with the new single A Guy Walks Into A Bar and the one with Jason, it is going to be a bit deeper.