We had the good fortune of connecting with Reece Lyons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reece, why did you pursue a creative career?
Why DID I decide to pursue an artistic or creative career… That question can sometimes be daunting as the years go by and I become older and what I hope to be wiser. I guess I could have a couple answers to that. I’ll try to break it down into the past VS the present although the answer could be ever changing…
At the ripe age of 12 I picked up my first guitar given by me by my grandmother. I had no Idea what I was doing yet I couldn’t seem to set it down. From the mahogany neck to the melodic sound the strings made, even the distinct smell of my grandmother’s house that never seemed to fade even with time, it became almost a comfort to me, like some kids with a blanket or teddy bear. It was all I really wanted to do or play with, A shiny new toy that was never losing its luster. I started to position and press down as hard as I could with my tiny fingers in ways that sounded different yet somehow right. An understanding of what I was so attached to began to blossom. I had no idea of what chord structures were at the time, yet I was creating E minors to F’s to C’s to G’s to what became music that I had no idea was in me. I couldn’t stop, I wouldn’t stop, it was the best part of me, little did I truly know at the young age of 12 that this would be my forever.
After few years, it was time I find my voice as I started actually writing full songs with lyrics and melodies. Pages and pages were flowing out of me like I couldn’t find enough words in the English language to mash together into song. From singing about the sun and rain, to writing songs for my mother or about this week’s newest crush, it was no longer a hobby but a passion. All I wanted to do was play and sing and see what my young creative mind could come up with next.
As high school came and went, it was time to head off to college. While my fellow classmates were off to study finance or business or something safe and realistic like that, I knew I would always live with that “what if” voice in the back of my head. It would be asking the same question every day if I hadn’t chased my forever dream and passion. A forever haunting if you will and a ghost I knew I couldn’t outrun. I was sure, and I mean I was SO sure that the answer to the “Why did I pursue an artistic or creative career?” was that I was going to be rich and famous, and everyone would hear my music across the world, and I would die a legend… Looking back on it, I sometimes miss the naivety and the constant “overdrive mentality” of an 18 year old, eagerly passionate yet ignorant guy. It really was fun to just believe that all you needed was a big heart, a six string and a book full of lyrics to make it in Hollywood… And so off to Hollywood I went!
The live shows… I mean WOW, there really is no feeling like being up and down the famed Sunset Blvd playing your own music at venues you’ve only dreamed of or have seen on movies and T.V. The classic Viper Room, The Roxy, House of Blues, Hotel Café, The Whisky A Go Go, I mean c’mon man! For a 21 year old kid, I swear there could have not been anything more cooler than that. I really was living the dream and the memories of those first shows will forever bring a smile to my face. But then you start making the same loop, the same runs, playing the same shows to the same faces of friends who always support you even if it’s a copy and paste of the party we went to the month before. It starts to lack luster. The drive starts to dissipate and all of a sudden you go from that 18 year old, “the world is my oyster and I’ll own all the pearls” mentality to wondering if this is it. Just playing the same shows. Not going anywhere to further the “pursuit of my career”. Then the doubt sets in. All musicians go through it. You ask any one of us and if someone tells you otherwise, they’re either lying or still in the world/oyster phase but it’s a necessary evil I believe, the doubt that is because then you’re set in front of a path where you chose if the music was lust, or is love.
I now know that the music for me is love. What at one point felt like a burden, feels now more like therapy. Felt like a disappointment, feels now more like pride. It has since brought back a level of happiness that I once missed, and I know the pursue will forever be a love of mine.
So, now the question begs to ask why DO I decide to pursue an artistic or creative career… That question is now less daunting as the years go by and I become older and what I hope to be wiser. I guess I will have a couple answers to that. I’ll try to break it down into the present VS the future although the answer could be ever changing…
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
.I think after the year we have all had together, I’m mostly just excited to play live again and go back on tour! I’ve also noticed that my music is starting to shift slightly to more of a Blues Rock sort of style and I really can’t wait to get those songs on a new record to start sharing. It’s always fun and exciting when musicianship starts to explore other styles and genera’s that I wasn’t normally comfortable with yet just feel right now.
The main reason for what little success I’ve had, that means the absolute world to me, is the undying support of my friends and family. Always encouraging me to push the boundaries of my music and absolutely demanding I write more! But being a musician is never easy. There will always be a grind, but you have to love the grind and there will always be the need for drive, and you have to embrace the drive. One of the biggest challenges I’m still working on overcoming is the demand for perfection from myself. My dad once told me that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my music and that nothing I write will ever be good enough for me yet it’s perfect for others. I constantly need to remind myself that I’m allowed to write mediocre songs once in a while as long as I’m still writing! And so I think that’s just one of the excuses I use for the all too common writers block I go through.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn is what I had mentioned in the opening question of just learning to love the music instead of lusting over what it can give me. I started to not enjoy what I once loved and have had to come back around and relearn what I loved about music when there were less superficial thoughts, needs and wants attached to it. Realizing that giving into the music brings me happiness is more important than expecting that the only happiness attached to music is fame and fortune is such an important lesson that has kept me going.
I think what I really want the world to know about my story and music is that the most important thing to me in my musical career is to just simply bring joy and happiness to whoever hears my music, or to hear one of my heartbreaking songs and to use it as temporary therapy as I do for other songs. In layman’s terms, I just want it to bring whatever emotion you want to feel at any given moment. I write for myself, but I also write for the listener. Hopefully you can enjoy my music as I have enjoyed many others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many wonderful things the City of Angles has to offer that after 13 years of living here I KNOW I’ve only barely touched the tip of the iceberg! But I’ll try and plan out a perfect weeklong trip that I’d love to take you on…
Monday- You have to start your LA trip off right by going to the beach but let’s beat the crowds (even on a Monday), we’re going to Malibu for the day. After that, let’s go up to Malibu Wines for some wine tasting and dancing to live music then I’d say dinner at Malibu Café.
Tuesday- Tacos of course! If there is one thing that LA is known for, it’s all the AMAZING street vendors you can support and eat from! Everyone has their favorite taco vendor that they swear is the best but I’m taking you TO the best, Angles Tacos in north Hollywood. It’s already a weekly occurrence for me so why not tonight! If you want to sit down somewhere then We’re going to Salsa and Beer. Its a must as well.
Wednesday- I would take us up to the Getty Museum. It is absolutely stunning to say the least and so rich with history and culture. It’s definitely an all day event as I’m a total nerd and have to read every little fact and plaque they have on display. You can also have a picnic on the beautiful lawn overlooking the city.
Thursday- Is it Thursday already?? There’s so much more to see though! Ok, busy day. We take a lovely stroll around the Hollywood lake then go up to the Griffith Observatory. Try to actually rush me because I’m still reading every little fact about space and what not and we have to see the planetarium show there as well. After that, we go down into Hollywood and load up on a Fat Sal’s sandwich because it’s cheat week and you’re on vacation! Then were bar hopping up and down Hollywood Blvd because we have to see the Chinese Mann’s theater and the find your favorite celebrities star on the walk of fame. We definitely check out Scum and Villainy, the Star Wars themed bar on Hollywood too. Then we rush to see an improv show at The Groundlings. Phew that was fun.
Friday- I would want to spend the day at Universal Studios and see all the great shows they have. WaterWorld is a must, and the tram ride is a have to. Did I not mention Harry Potter World? After, were in my neighborhood near North Hollywood so let’s meet up with some friends and hit up Lankershim Blvd in the Arts District. Dinner at The Federal, a huge margarita at El Tejano, Pool at Brickyard, classic arcade games at Player One then a night cap at the best bar NoHo has to offer at Brews Brothers. Honorable mentions: Comedy at the HaHa Club and live music at Skinny’s Lounge
Saturday- Let’s head downtown and check out the fashion district and I hope you’re hungry because we go to Smorgasberg, a permanent food truck extravaganza where whatever your craving they have 10 of. But don’t over eat because we have dinner reservations at Perch LA, the most stunning rooftop restaurant and bar with French cuisine and where I have held my birthdays 8 years running!
Sunday- let’s assume your flight is very late at night because were skiing in Big Bear, 2 hours from the heart of LA and one of my favorite places in California. We are definitely hitting up Murray’s and Peppercorn’s for dinner and drinks.
If you were staying longer, I would have to say Disneyland and Six Flags are a blast and It’s always wonderful going out to Avalon on Catalina Island for the day as well. Also, I can’t forget to throw in a mention for Downtown Long Beach!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I know its stereotypical but my mother, Michelle Lyons has always been and always will be my number one fan.
My late Grandmother who always encouraged me to be the best I could be and who was my best friend and rock throughout my younger years.
My late childhood best friend, Casey Chrisman, who pushed me to be half the musician he was.
Garrett Dutton, AKA G-Love, the most creative artist and my number one influence for music.
The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, cost me an arm and a leg but really taught me more than just experience ever could.
Shaun Greene, my best bud who helps, encourages and supports me more than I do myself.
Ricardo Rosas. The only musician who will forever be irreplaceable in whatever other band members we find, truly the only other permanent band member we will ever have.
Andrew Grossman is a phenomenal sound engineer who has also helped develop and create some of our best work through his sheer dedication as a friend and incredible amount of talent.
Maire O’Connor is a very large reason for every bit of success I have come across. She knows more about the business aspect and marketing than I ever could. Her sheer dedication and determination to the success of the music is truly a blessing because I can then be able to focus on the writing and the art, while she takes the reins for every little thing behind the scenes that is equally important to the success.
Other: ReeceLyonsMusic@gmail.com https://open.spotify.com/artist/169PPGCZAhjmgLpDeRYJ2R Also on all other streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, iTunes, Deezer and Tidal