Friday night won’t be the first time L.J. Tyson and the Locals take the E.A. Rawlinson stage, but it will be the first time the audience is up there with them.
Tyson and his band will perform an “on stage” concert Friday, where the audience will exchange their theatre seats for a chair centre stage. It’s a new type of show for the Rawlinson, and one Tyson was eager to be a part of.
“I feel like people like me often times are kind of intimidated to go into a theatre like the Rawlinson Centre, maybe just because of pre-conceived notions, or maybe they feel like they have to dress up to go to the theatre or something like that,” Tyson said during a phone interview Tuesday. “This was a presented to me as a ‘laid back, dress casual party’ kind of atmosphere. That’s what I wanted, and I think that fit what my music is about more so than seating bunch of people in theatre seats and just performing at them.”
The Locals will use the new seating arrangement to try out some new music on Friday. The band hopes to get back in the studio soon to start recording some new music, by Tyson said they wanted to perform them for a live audience first.
“Playing these songs live and seeing how people react to them is our main priority right now,” he explained. “We have started the process of recording our album. It’s what we’re working on right now. We have all these songs written. I personally don’t like to go record them in the studio until I’ve tried them out live.”
This isn’t the first time L.J. Tyson and the locals have started performing new music with the intention of creating an album. Tyson said the last effort was derailed as he struggled with poor mental health.
Tyson said it was a difficult time, but he came out of that time stronger. Now, he’s in a better place to create music and perform for the group’s fans.
“Speaking only and honestly, especially if I can connect with someone out there, my mental health just wasn’t right, to do it in that moment,” Tyson said. “I think that’s just almost divine timing. I wasn’t ready, and it just took us a lot more talking and a lot more sorting things out—(the) need to get healthy and to better myself as a person—to now be able to have this new chunk of songs that I’m willing to share with people.”
A big part of that preparation involved talking with his younger brother and fellow band member, Kolton Kimbley. Tyson described his younger brother as the go-to person when he wants to talk music.
In the past, Tyson and his brother have focused on country and folk music, but both wanted to try out a new sound. The results of those efforts will be on display Friday at the Rawlinson.
“I think it’s so easy as a young and up and coming artist to see what your friends are doing, or see what the radio is playing, and just emulate that,” Tyson said. “With the help of my little brother, who is my main go-to guy in the Locals, we have come up with this new sound that I think people are going to enjoy. I think it’s genuinely what I’ve always wanted to do.”
L.J. Tyson and the Locals perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. Tickets are $26 for adults, and $24 for students and seniors. For more details, visit www.earc.ca.