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Interview: Tyler “Telle” Smith, bass player for Greeley Estates

Originally Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Written by: Toni Rivera

“You are the music while the music lasts.”- T.S. Elliot

In today’s music scene, good musicians are judged on how much eyeliner they wear the style of their clothes, how attractive they are, or who they know. Nowadays it’s hard to find a musician who is still grounded, has morals knows where they came from, and is just as amazing on the inside as they are on the outside. I recently had the honor, of interviewing someone who embodies all that we long for in a musician and more.

His name is Tyler “Telle” Smith, bass player for Greeley Estates. Read on as he discusses topics such as Christianity, Our new President-elect, and today’s youth and answers a few fan questions.

*As of this interview Telle, was indeed in Greeley Estates. I am sad to say he has since left the band, but I am happy to announce that he has recently announced his joining The Word Alive. NO, he did not leave Greeley Estates to join The Word Alive. Find out more about that another time *

How did you get involved with music? How old were you?
I started playing guitar sometime in my senior year, then started my first band with some friends from school. We were horrible but it sounded good at the time 🙂

You were in many other bands before Greeley estates, how did you end up with this band?
was actually trying out for Blessthefall at the Hurley Studio in Costa Mesa California, while Greeley was shooting some videos. They heard my demo, and asked the label if I could try out for them. Since I knew how to play guitar well enough, I auditioned for bass/vocals and here I am 🙂

How do you like being in G.E.?
These guys are some of the best musicians, and people I have ever been in a band with. So it’s very rad 🙂

I saw you perform at warped tour in San Diego. SO amazing. How was playing warped?
Unforgettable. I seriously feel so blessed to have made it as far as I have and to have played a tour like Warped Tour. It’s a new experience every day and there’s nothing else like it.

You tour a lot. Do you enjoy touring?
I do, but you need balance. Being at home reminds you why you love being ON the road. If you are always gone, it can start to wear on you mentally, physically, and emotionally. I love doing what I love and traveling the country through more than anything.

How supportive has your family been of you pursuing music?
At first, it was rough, but once they saw how serious I was, and what I was willing to sacrifice it became better and better. Now that I’ve accomplished a lot in such a short time they are very proud and supportive, which is so amazing.

Do you prefer playing arenas or smaller venues?
Well I’ve never played an arena, but somewhere in the middle of that and small would be nice haha

Do you prefer doing vocals/scream or playing bass?
Vocals any day. Always have and always will.

Which Greeley estate songs is your favorite to perform live?
At the moment I really am excited to play “Let The Evil Go East”. We have played it once live, and will be on our upcoming tour. I get to do a lot of vocals so I’m happier!

Can you share any crazy and/or humors tour stories?
Haha… Most of those are a secret 😉

Have you have any embarrassing on stage moments yet?
Haha, I’ve had a couple, but nothing extreme. I’ve tripped a few times that’s about it.

What is the nicest and craziest thing a fan has ever done for/to you?
Any time a fan makes something for me gives me a gift card or tells me how much I’ve helped them through something, it means a lot.

Who are some of your greatest influences in life and in music?
In life, I’d say my parents for not giving up on me, and several of my friends. In music, I’d say some of the top ones would be “Brand New”, “Sigur Ros”, and countless others actually.

What are your favorite bands/musicians right now?
Brand New, The Word Alive, August Burns Red, Sigur Ros, As I Lay Dying, City And Colour, and Saxon Shore.

I subscribe to your blog on MySpace. And you being very open, true and kind have inspired many people and have given them the opportunity to open up to you, and you listen/care. How does being this inspiration affect you?
It affects me because it reminds me that I have people looking up to me now, and to a certain extent, I have to really be extra careful. I don’t want to let anyone down as it is, but hundreds, or even thousands of people?? That would be too much. I try and do my best.

*You are an amazing person, caring, and kind, actually take the time to get to know your fans, you have good morals and inspire people. When sadly a lot of “musicians” these days just want to get girls, and the money/fame. How do you stay yourself when many ‘musicians’ are like that? not being stereotypical. I know numerous musicians who do it for music

I guess just keeping in touch with where you came from, what you’ve had to go through to get to where you are and constantly trying to work harder makes you realize you are in a special position. I feel very lucky, fortunate, blessed, everything combined. It’s hard to get wrapped up in that when you appreciate the little things so much.

You’re a Christian, I remember and you have talked about our faith, God, and the Bible before. How does being a Christian affect you as a musician, if it at all does? 
It helps me to focus on why I am a musician, how I’ve got there, which I think makes me appreciate it just that much more.

What do you think about today’s music scene?
I think it’s pretty bad. Most kids download music, and so many don’t come to shows other than to look cool and stand with their arms crossed. I love the shows when kids go crazy, whether it’s singing as loud as they can, jumping up and down, or moshing!

What do you feel/think about today’s youth?
I think that it’s getting worse, but I think that’s just the world becoming more and more corrupt. It just makes me want to try and spread my voice even further to try and help.

It’s such an extreme topic, I have to ask. How did you feel about our new President-elect?
I think it’s scary what has happened and some of the ideas
he represents. However, I hope I’m wrong.

Here’s your chance. If you could say anything to your fans right now, what would it be?
Thank you so much, because, without your support, there are days where I don’t know if I could continue. I appreciate every message/comment that you guys send me, and I would reply to ALL of you if I could!

Fan questions:

You’re not the stereotypical musician, which I see allot of now. How do you stay yourself in all this chaos? – M.R
(I think I kinda answered this above) But, it’s just trying to stay grounded when things start to get overwhelming.

I love the band! Are you guys playing Warped in 2009? – J.S.
No we will not be, at least not the whole thing. It’s usually an every-other-year thing.

How do you feel about Kyle Ford? – K.F.
Haha, who is Kyle Ford??

You can hear Telle, and contact him via MySpace:

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