The Pier’s Artist Radar is BACK & will be coming to you EVERY Thursday courtesy of our own Andrew McClatchy! Our radar this week is focused on Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter, Ethan Tucker! Read Andrew’s Interview & pick up 2 FREE MP3s, courtesy of Ethan Tucker, inside our MP3 Massive…
We’ve been big fans of Ethan Tucker for over four years, since he first released his last album, Lost Between. In those four years, this early 20’s musician has a persona and a musical taste that exceeds his young age, and has a musical palette that plays to the sounds of reggae, soul, folk, and r&b.
Based out of Olympia, WA – Ethan has already established an impressive resume playing alongside the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti, Mat. Mchugh and G.Love, just to name a few. He was also added to Slightly Stoopid’s Closer To The Sun Vacation Destination in Puerto Morelos, Mexico at the Now Sapphire Resort from Dec 16-20, 2014. You can read more about that concert vacation destination HERE!
Signed to Silverback Management, Ethan is currently working on his next album, which I have been told is set for release in the early part of 2015. For now, Ethan will be giving away a song from his newest release, exclusively on The Pier. The song is “Roxanne”, which of course is a cover of the classic 1978 release from The Police. The song comes from Ethan’s Acoustic in LA EP, which you can download, in addition to a song from his Lost Between album, for FREE, by clicking HERE!
You can view a video from the Acoustic in LA performance below. The video was shot at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California.
We decided to feature Mr. Tucker because we believe he is an artist that is poised to take the next step in his musical career. He is an extremely talented young man, and it was a pleasure to speak with him about his musical journey thus far, and his future endeavors to come….
Artist Radar: Ethan Tucker
The Pier: How did you get started? Any particular influences lead you to the acoustic, soulful rock, reggae genre?
Ethan: Well I started playing the guitar when I was 9 or so. I watched the Blues Brothers as a kid and I said: “That’s what I want to do” – So I started playing! I just gravitated naturally to the genre as my mom was always playing blues and folk growing up. As a teenager, I got into Bob Marley, Ben Harper, Slightly Stoopid and Sublime.
The Pier: I notice that on a couple tracks you got the guitar and the harmonica going, something along the lines of G. Love…
Ethan: Yeah for sure, but at the same time, I think me and G. Love probably have a lot of the same influences too! Like the old blues stuff, and people who played harmonica as well like Taj Mahal. I just kinda grew up watching people play and thought it was dope, so I started playing it too.
The Pier: Over the last year, it’s felt like you have really started to gain some momentum, even though your last release was in 2012. What do you attribute to that?
Ethan: I think it all comes together ya know? Consistently being on the road & working. That’s really been the biggest thing. The connections that I’ve made from knowing people, like Michael Franti, Silverback and the whole record label, all help, but its all about consistently being out there! Working and playing in front of crowds. People like Michael Franti have really, really helped me out.
The Pier: As far as new music that you’re recording, is that going to be another acoustic album or is it going to be full band?
Ethan: Yeah, it’s got the full band and its also got some really mellow acoustic stuff. It’s definitely got more going on then the first record. It’s not just me and the guitar, it’s other musicians – it was produced by Mario Caldato, who has done Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson, and all kinds of artists. He’s a great producer and (Mario) really helped incorporate all kinds of sounds.
The Pier: Any artists that you’re working with on the record?
Ethan: I did some collaboration with Michael Franti, he helped me out and produced some of it. Most of it is just me really.
The Pier: How did the writing process go for the album – Did you do the writing for other instruments as well?
Ethan: I wrote the guitar and some of the piano parts. It’s really just my songs that I wrote and hiring really good musicians to come in and play their parts, too.
The Pier: For new fans checking out Ethan Tucker, what would you say makes your music unique? How would you describe your music?
Ethan: What makes my music unique is that it doesn’t stick into one genre. I’m not a reggae artist, I’m not a folk artist, I’m not a blues artist, I just play guitar and write songs for whatever I feel like. I think that’s one thing that makes it unique. I don’t go into it with any classification. So one song might sound kind of jazzy, one song might sound kind of bluesy, but I don’t go into it saying ‘I’m gonna be this sound’. It’s kind of it’s own thing.
The Pier: Are there any artists, other than the ones you’re working with on the record, that you would like to work with in the future?
Ethan: Absolutely! The people that are at the top of my list right now are like Gary Clark Jr. I think he’s amazing and I really want to work with him. Amos Lee is one of my favorites right now and would really like to do some writing with him. And of course my boys Slightly Stoopid. I’d love to get in the studio with them and do some stuff.
The Pier: Being from Washington, can you tell me what’s going on in the music scene out there?
Ethan: Yeah I think the area out here is unique. I think that reggae vibe is really strong out here, but it’s not your traditional reggae. I always call it ‘Mountain Man Reggae’. It’s a collaboration – there’s a lot of pacific islanders, a lot of Hawaiians, Samoans & people from Guam that bring that style in. But at the same time, we’re in the Northwest where a lot of grunge music came from with a lot of history of rock n’ roll ya know? Jimi Hendrix and Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Soundgarden and all these bands. We really have this Hodge-podge of sounds and culture! That’s what really creates that unique sound because there’s so many styles coming into that one thing that it’s kind of created it’s own brand inside that genre of music.
The Pier: Yeah, to me it always seems to represent that “homegrown” effort…
Ethan: Yeah, it’s very “do-it-yourself” and in the music scene, the musicians are the promoters. It’s very community, and the bands up here are friends and its not a competition. It’s very much about ‘Hey lets come together and make music’ – it’s about everybody!
The Pier: If you had to compare your music from ‘Lost Between’ to this new release, how would you say you have adapted as a person or as an artist? How has your music evolved?
Ethan: I just feel like it’s a little more mature. Some of these songs are songs that I have had for years and are as old as any of the songs from Lost Between. But with time and work, these songs have kind of gained a maturity. Spending time with people like Michael Franti have helped me refine my songwriting, and I feel like the songs are definitely a little more grown-up. It showcases a little bit more of a variety of styles that I use, and not just an acoustic guitar. It’s more of a “real” record, and with Mario Cataldo bringing out those elements, it sounds good.
The Pier: Well thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me, I’m stoked to hear the new record next year!
Ethan: Yeah for sure, thank you guys as well.
Watch: Ethan Tucker – “Roxanne” (The Police Cover)