If you haven't heard about Ty Segall yet, you maybe have been living under a rock over the last 4 or 5 years. In this time, he put out more albums than you can count on 2 hands and gave the world some of the finest rock'n'roll tunes to date. Segall is one of the most interesting and versatile figures in rock music today, so listen up.
Ty Segall loves fast-paced rock'n'roll, sweets and comes from the Bay Area, San Francisco to be more exact. The town has a prospering garage rock scene with bands like Thee Oh Sees (their frontman John Dwyer is one of Segall's closest mates) and The Fresh and Onlys hailing from this area. He started to play in some punk rock bands while attending college before he went solo with only 19 years of age.
|How it should be: crowd going crazy, band going crazy|
Playing guitar and drums simultaniously, he also spent some time playing as one-man band. When he put out his first albums, Segall played wild, angry garage punk, every song was about 2 minutes long and like a shout in the crowd's face. And yeah, this crowd was and is still going all crazy at his shows, for example this little story he told Noisey:
Noisey: The last time I saw you play was at the Hoxton in Toronto.
Ty Segall: Oh yeah. Was that the one with the bouncer coming up on stage?
Yeah. What happened there?
The bouncer was being a complete asshole. He was just rough handling all of these kids that were stage diving. I tried to talk to the security when we play, like, “Hey man, the kids are probably going to stage-dive and jump around. Don’t interfere unless someone’s getting punched in the face.” And this guy just really, really rough handled the kids, shoving them really violently, giving them insane whiplash. And I kept telling them, “Don’t fucking do that!” And he kept doing it, so I just grabbed him and tried to push him into the crowd. He was way bigger than me [laughs] and we had a bit of a stand off. And then the guy falls! [laughs] He was being such a dick. He was seriously hurting girls. Like violently shoving girls. It was just insane.
The first two albums he released, the self-titled Ty Segall and Lemons show his rather raw and wild side, shredding the electric guitar and screaming his lyrics out to the world.
The best thing about his music and his journey as a musician is that you can clearly see how he developes, how he tries different things and just never slows down. Known for his rapid-fire release speed, he released an average of 2,14 albums per year - from 2007 on.
Besides his solo paths, he also runs different collaborations with some close friends and fellow Bay Area musicians. There is the Ty Segall Band, in which he plays with Mikal Cronin and others. They put out Slaughterhouse, a heavy piece of a record with a lot of fast pace guitar shredding and wild, aggressive songs. The most outstanding track is maybe this one, a cover of a classic 60's song. You won't encounter a heavier version of this one, I promise.
Other non-solo projects include a collaboration with his bandmate Mikal Cronin, Reverse Shark Attack. A short and gnarly piece of an album. In 2012 he teamed up with White Fence to release something a little bit different, the dreamy, power-pop inspirated LP Hair. It's a slower than his other works, more laid-back and is full of good vibes.
Speaking of 2012, one thing has to mentioned: in this year Ty Segall released three full-length albums. Three fucking LPs. Besides Slaughterhouse and Hair also his solo record Twins. The title is a reference to his divided personality he pointed out in various interviews. While going totally crazy on his shows, he seems more like a down-to-earth guy when it comes to everyday life. Twins all about fuzzed out guitars and heavy, hooking melodies.
The latest solo record he released sees Ty Segall taking back a step from his wild garage punk roots. Sleeper is an all-acoustic album he put out last year, while struggling with the death of his father. It shows off a different side of the prolific rocker: slow and melodious, this album is easily his most stripped-down one to date. The lyrics circle mostly about sleeping and dreaming, no doubt that Segall reaches the peak of his songwriting with this LP.
I really wonder how this guy can be so prolific and still deliver solid-to-awesome records all the time. One of the most interesting minds in rock right now, thats for sure. The only question is which tracks and albums he is going to put out in the future, one can only be excited about his stuff.
To finish off this little hymn on Ty Segall, I picked some of my all-time favourites. Listen through, you won't be disappointed!
text: David Tiefenthaler