Rising Country singer-songwriter Tucker Beathard is making waves in the US with his debut single Rock On.
The son of songwriter Casey Beathard, Tucker has been picking up plenty of critical acclaim for not only his own songwriting but also his impressive guitar skills. He’s currently on tour with Dierks Bentley for the Somewhere on a Beach tour and he made his first trip to the UK this past week.
I caught up with Tucker before his support slot at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in London to talk about the buzz around him, find out what he thinks of UK audiences, and to talk about his forthcoming debut album.
How has the UK been treating you since you got here?
I love it. It’s great. So far it’s everything I expected it to be; great crowds, great listening crowds, people who seem like they’re thirsty for new music so it’s always fun as an artist to play for those types of people who respect what you’re doing.
It’s not a bad way to experience the UK for the first time in the company of Dierks Bentley is it?
Not bad at all (laughs).
I spoke with Dierks about this tour a couple of months back and he couldn’t praise you highly enough. What’s it like to have an artist like that in your corner?
It means the world to me because he’s such a good guy and well respected in the music business. If you have someone like that on your side…it really means the world to me.
Your single Rock On is being released on 27th April here in the UK. What’s the story behind the track?
When I first got into song writing I always thought a little differently and I like to look at songs in different ways. That’s one that I came up with the hook and it pretty much says ‘rock on girl, go on and do your thing, I don’t care’ and the man comes back and says ‘I should have put a rock on or whatever’. I like to play on words and once I come up with the hook I try to make it as good as possible. It’s one that just came to me and it’s kind of a simple hook. Most writers, especially when they hear it, think ‘damn, why didn’t I think of that?’ (laughs)
Rock On was originally part of The Demos, Vol 1 EP you released last year. Why did you decide that was the song to launch yourself with?
When we put it out on Spotify it got a lot of good reactions and people were already gravitating to it. I don’t know if it would have been my first pick honestly but at the same time it’s not a bad song to get your foot in the door with. I was fine with it because it still shows enough of who I am of an artist and gives a good enough representation of who I am as an artist and what I’m doing.
That EP showcased a lot of variety. Is it important for you to be able to do different styles that represent your influences?
100%. That’s what’s always been tough. Even right now, you have one song out on the radio so people think of you from that one song. It’s tough because there are so many different sides. Some shows you only get 30 minutes to play and I’m like ‘I want to show them this song too because there’s this side of the story and this influence on this song’. I just listened to every kind of music I could growing up – a lot of rock influences – and I just moulded it all into one thing.
UK audiences have a tendency to really listen and pay attention during shows. How have you found the audiences over here since you’ve been touring with Dierks?
Really cool. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to come over here in the first place. Last night I had somebody yelling from the crowd asking for a song I’ve not even record that’s not out anywhere and she must have heard it from somebody’s video. I was like ‘how the heck do you know that song?’ It’s cool that they do their homework and actually pay attention and listen. It’s great.
You’re on tour with Dierks for pretty much the rest of the year. Are you going to be working on an album during that time too?
I’ve started working on it. We’ve recorded an album but I don’t know if we’re going to record more and weed some out. I’ll be finishing up the album in that time and hopefully coming out with a full-length album in August; that’s the plan. It’s going to be tough to reach that goal. I don’t even know if that’s possible but that’s what we’re going to try to do.
Will you be taking a mobile recording studio on the road?
I guess so! Recording at 3am (laughs). It’s good!
With the reaction you’ve been getting from crowds in the UK and Ireland, would you like to come back for your own headline shows?
I was just talking to my manager today actually. I want to come back here as much as possible. I respect the people over here. Whether they’re sitting there and listening and they do or don’t like it, they’re making their own judgement on it and listening for themselves. I definitely want to come back here for sure.
Has the reception for Country music here surprised you?
Yeah. I was wondering what the Country music scene is like over here. There’s a lot of bands over here that I grew up listening to, and I still listen to, that you’re all into but over in the US they haven’t blown up yet. For example, Kings of Leon are one of my favourite bands and I respect y’all for actually picking up on the great music they were doing. They were superstars over here before anyone knew who they were over (in the US). It’s a shame and disappointing.
C2C: Country to Country is our big Country festival here in the UK. Is that something you might like to get involved in?
I’d love to. That’s awesome. It’s cool to see how wide of a reach Country music can spread. I had no clue what the Country scene was like over here but it seems like there’s a good amount of people that are picking it up. It looks like it’s continuing to grow and it’s really cool so I’d love to do that.
Going back to your song writing. Are you planning to write for other artists too?
I have so many songs man. There’s so many that I want almost just take off my hands. It’s not the goal for me writing for somebody else but if I write a song, listen to it back and it’s not me, I’m all for pitching it to another artist. On the other hand a lot of the stuff I write is riff-driven from a guitar riff – that’s how I get inspired to put words around it. It’s more of a unique thing in the Country scene. A lot of the Country writers base around chords so I almost don’t want to give away my thing to someone else if it’s a lick or riff or something. I’m all for getting another artist to sing one of my songs if I don’t want it.
I was talking to Kip Moore recently and he was telling me he has a vault of songs stored up for future projects…
Same here! I really try to weed them out. I may love these songs here but think I should probably wait until the next album. I’m trying to put together an album that fits as a project. There are plenty of songs I love that aren’t going to be on the first album but I won’t forget about them.
Do you have a group of people that you can test your songs out on to get honest feedback?
I kind of just leave that to playing live. I don’t ever do any cover songs live. Even if we’re playing an hour and a half I do all my own songs. You’ve got to see what feels good or what doesn’t. Not only that but I’ve got a big family and friends so I’m surrounded by a lot of good people. It’s a team effort.
You’ve got a hectic year ahead but if there anything else you want to achieve before Christmas rolls by?
(laughs) Not burn myself out, that’s number one. It’s all exciting and it’s all fun. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, see the progress and see what happens, making steps and reaching goals along the way so you can look back with the band and the group you’re with. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.
Rock On is released on 27th April 2016. Listen to the song below: