Inquiring Minds

Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights Ready to Reload

While this is going to be their first appearance at Ziegfest, the Dallas-based Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights have brought their brand of southern-fried soul and debauchery to Houston several times before.

One particular Houston night sticks in Tyler's mind.

"We were playing at the Warehouse Live and we were playing one of our songs called 'Time for Love,' which is like this song about everyone coming together and uniting and stopping war --you know the message of unity," Tyler says. "Well, a fucking fight breaks out in the middle of that song and two guys are like going at it.

One of the security guards came up and they grabbed this guy and he wouldn't give up," he goes on. "He was like going crazy or had super strength or something, but they got to where they like, one of the security guards picked up a folding aluminum chair and like knocked this guy over the head with it to get this guy to calm down.

"It was kind of bizarre and ironic that it was in the middle of that song," he adds and laughs. "I think that's the only really strange thing that has happened while we were playing in Houston. Everything else has kinda' been expected."

While the band is still touring somewhat on their major-label debut album Pardon Me, which Tyler calls their introduction to the world, they are about to go into the studio with Jay Joyce once again at the soundboard.

Tyler is currently in preproduction and still writing until he polishes out the hits he's going to need to top the Lights' debut.

"We're getting pretty close and we've just been writing a lot," he says. "We are spending a lot more time than we have before on any other record."

The album is expected to be released on the Atlantic Records subsidiary, F-Stop Music. Tyler says he also expects to record the album in a Nashville church-turned-studio that has been revamped by Joyce.

There will be some changes with the upcoming record, promises Tyler.

'I think I've learned some lessons from the last couple of albums and with this album I'm just trying to take the time that really feels necessary inside my gut that tells me that I've got the right songs, and the right vision, and the right concept instead of just going blindly at it," he says. "When we went in to record the last record, we weren't really trying to paint a picture.

"We're picking the best ones this time and writing for the concept of the record. We're trying to make it more I guess, flow a little better and make the songs complement each other. I think we did that well and I think Jay [Joyce] helped on the last one making it that way, but as I look back you know, there's always going to be things that I wish we would have done differently."

Tyler said the band's set list for Ziegfest is going to include some material from Pardon Me and some new songs as well. There will also be a cover or two for those in the crowd who may not be familiar with the band's work.

Saturday at the Ziegenbock Music Festival, Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 N. Sam Houston Pkwy W., Gates open at noon.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Woods
Contact: Eric Woods