CEREUS BRIGHT

Introduction

Our May 2021 Artist Discovery pick, Cereus Bright, the musical moniker of singer/songwriter Tyler Anthony, re-evaluated his relationship with music after the band he founded a decade ago slowly faded. His newfound creativity manifested itself as a solo project, “removing himself from the rigors and valleys of professional musicianship, writing songs as he’d first done – in the margins.” We’re thrilled to offer our members his new album Give Me Time on exclusive silver and black splatter vinyl!

“With Give Me Time, I wanted to look back and look in,” says Anthony about his new record. “I wanted to find some sort of generosity, not just defaulting to anger. Honesty became very important to me. good things happen and hard things happen. I wanted to explore those places and everything in between.”

Tyler very kindly answered a few questions for us to get to know him better as an artist, learn about the music that inspires him, his dream collaboration, his favorite vinyl, and more! Keep reading for his answers.

Q & A

What was the first album you ever owned on vinyl?

The first vinyl I really fell in love with was a Willie Nelson compilation album called “The Best of Willie Nelson.” I love modern records on vinyl, but there’s something magical about listening to older songs on vinyl, and that record particularly can transport me to another place. It’s a record that I could play over and over again. The joke is that I think I stole it from a friend (sorry, Jake), but it’s the vinyl that I’ve listened to the most.

What have you been listening to lately?

There’s an incredible amount of new music coming out right now, but some artists that have stopped me in my tracks recently are Madison Cunningham, Madi Diaz, Becca Mancari, and Cassandra Jenkins. I’ve also come across an older artist Ted Lucas whose self-titled album from the ’70s was re-released in the last few years. It’s an incredible, timeless folk album that I’ve been listening to a lot recently.

Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

As cliche as it may be, New York City holds a special place in my heart. Because of touring, I’ve been lucky enough to have a number of visits and explore it more than I would have expected. The sheer bigness of it all, the amount of people, culture, food, entertainment, hidden gems, and history it packs in so tightly is mind-boggling, especially coming from the spaciousness of a place like Knoxville. It’s truly a magical place.

What is the best live show you’ve seen, and why was it the best?

Hard to choose “the best”, but here’s one I know I’ll always remember: Years ago I had just finished reading Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, recounting her life in NYC as a young artist, my wife and I were planning a trip to go and visit New York. To my amazement, Patti happened to be performing a special birthday show with her long-time friend and collaborator, Lenny Kaye. After shamelessly calling in every favor I could, we were able to attend the sold-out show, and it felt like I had stepped right into a book. To see not just Patti, but a number of her old NYC friends that I had just been reading about was an incredible, unforgettable experience.

What are some things you have to have on the road with you?

It’s been a minute since I’ve been on the road, but “back in the day,” when we pulled up to a gas station, you knew exactly what everyone in the band would be getting. And 99 times out of 100, I’d be walking out with some kind of BBQ chip. Outside of the food world, prepping for a tour usually meant I was downloading an enormously long fantasy audiobook (i.e. Wheel of Time, for you fellow nerds out there).

What is the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the road?

Way too many stories to choose from, but one that always stands out is the time we decided to drive through West Virginia mountain roads in the middle of a colossal snowstorm. We had played at a ski resort the night before and woke up to inches and inches of snow, so much so that we had to push ourselves out of the parking lot. That should have been a sign to turn around, but we stubbornly decided to make our way down the mountain. It became clear very quickly that we had put ourselves in life-threatening conditions as we slid around the roads, barely able to see through the windshield, and having the windows freezing on the inside. It was truly a miracle that we made it through (and played another gig that night).

Who or what influences your music?

I find that the music I gravitate towards usually tells a story and that stories, across different mediums, are what keep me engaged, paying attention, considering, empathizing, and imagining. Poetry, especially in recent years, has been a source of a lot of reflection and inspiration. Poetry has an incredible ability to pay attention to the small things, to draw out something mystical or magical from the ordinary. When I sit down to write a song, I try and hold a similar posture of paying attention to what’s right in front of me.

What album do you play on repeat, and what do you love about it?

Midlake’s The Trials of Van Occupanther is an album I come back to every month or so. I listen to it all the way through, every time. It’s one of my favorites because it feels otherworldly, separate and distinct, somehow, from so much other music. And, although I know it’s loved by many, it still feels a little secret and special, like something only I listen to. It’s singular and timeless, truly a classic for me.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

One of my sonic heroes is Blake Mills. His mastery and nuance with sound and song and production constantly inspire me. Plus, it’s obvious how much he loves music. Each of his projects feels motivated by a desire to make something fresh and meaningful, something for him, never pandering. Sheesh, he’s so good. Blake, call me!

 

Members can add Give Me Time on exclusive silver and black splatter vinyl to their box for just $20 through May 31st!

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