(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #102: Tyla Campbell of The People The Poet

By on Wednesday, 2nd March 2016 at 11:00 am

Ahead of SXSW in Austin in mid-March, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ve been bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions since last week.

The person giving us his answers today is a representative from a band who I think are pretty special. I met Welsh band The People The Poet last year at SXSW 2015, and I’m so pleased that thanks to the benevolence of Horizons / Gorwelion, a scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales, they’re getting another opportunity to perform for everyone in Austin in 2 weeks. Read on for guitarist Tyla Campbell’s answers to this special edition of the TGTF Quickfire Questions. For all of our coverage here on TGTF on The People The Poet, go here.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Ambient indie rock. Or plain and simply rock ‘n’ roll.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
We were lucky enough to be at SXSW last year and didn’t have time to check out the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue, being a guitarist I really respect him as a player. He hasn’t inspired directly as such but John Mayer has and he’s deeply influenced by Stevie, so I would like to get a cheeky selfie with the statue. Of course, we’re gonna be checking out as many bands possible and sampling as much BBQ as we can handle!

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Yes, I’ve been keeping up to date with the announcements. The festival is so diverse but acts that spring to mind include The Cult, Sun Kil Moon, Bloc Party, The new Iggy Pop and Josh Homme project and for nostalgic reasons the band Rooney who I will always remember performing on the programme The OC when I was 15!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
It’s not unusual but last year I forgot suntan lotion, which I deeply regretted! So this year I’ll make sure to pack factor 30 or above! [This is a good tip to EVERYONE. Especially those of you from Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia who tend to sunburn and sun peel easily! – Ed.]

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I’m happy to drink beer all night long, and I’ve especially been getting into my local ales recently. But if I knew the person buying me a drink was loaded with cash? I would definitely take advantage and ask for a double rum and Coke, please.

What advice would you give other bands who have never played at SXSW before?

Try and make a plan of what you want to achieve at SXSW so you make sure that you’re being productive but try and give yourself some spare time to explore Austin and its surroundings. Last year we went to ashooting range on our first day, went to a rodeo on our final day, and went swimming in a natural springs pool!

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
An embarrassing video of me at the age of 7 went viral on my social networks last year due to my brother uploading a video of me rocking out and singing to AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’, so I would have to say that. I was quite impressed that I knew the words to ‘Highway to Hell’ at the age of 7 though!

What was your favourite song as a child?
It was all about car mix tapes when I was younger. Certain songs that come to mind is Joe Satriani – ‘Rubina’s Blue Sky of Happiness’ whilst driving to Cornwall on holiday with my family. That and just the ‘Hall & Oates’ Greatest Hits’. I was lucky enough to see them live at a festival we played recently and they blew my mind!

What song makes you laugh?
Any of the songs that South Park release. Most of the titles you probably can’t publish, so we’ll just leave it as that!

What song makes you cry?
In all honesty the last time I cried would have been at my Grandmother’s funeral years and years ago. So I would have to say Des’ree – ‘I’m Kissing You’, as that was the song played at her funeral and it’s such an emotional and powerful song in its own right.


Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
There’s so many to choose from, I’d probably have a different answer everyday. Today I’d say The Airborne Toxic Event – ‘Sometime Around Midnight’. My mate’s band were supporting them in a small venue in Cardiff so we stuck around, not knowing what to expect but they just blew all our minds! Especially that song, I was obsessed with it for months, I just love how the song just gradually builds every verse and the use of strings is fantastic and the lyrics are just genius.


Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
One of my favourite bands are the Eagles and I was absolutely gutted when I heard about Glenn Frey’s passing. So I’d say Glenn Frey, or the Frey/Henley partnership. They wrote so many great songs together that could soundtrack a lifetime.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
My previous jobs included working in retail and at a screenprinting studio, neither of which I really enjoyed. I was however interested in media at a point, and I studied it for my A levels, so maybe writing for a music publication!

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
One album, you say? Again, a tough one. I think maybe because I listen to it in some shape or form whilst going to asleep every week Sigur Ros – ‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’ (yes, I copied and pasted that). I’m sure that album could help me rest in peace.

Cheers, Tyla, for answering our questions. See you and The People the Poet in Austin, brutha!

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