The Unemployed Architects seem to have a unique, innate competency to ingeniously present music in multiple styles that all come together to form a unique sound, making this band one to keep an eye out for. They are greatly influenced by real life, drawing inspiration for their music from personal experiences and hardships, allowing them to invoke strong emotions in people. Having released a full length album called "Design to Shine," the band is working to release another next year.
Hailing from the small town of Pontiac, IL, TyJon Charlie, the lead singer and songwriter of The Unemployed Architects, is an up and coming independent musician with a penchant for writing infectious music and relatable narratives. His journey began many years ago in his bedroom as he started to write and record original music. He then performed these songs to live audiences across the Midwest and has been doing so for the last 5+ years with an unprecedented energy and vigor for his compositions. TyJon has managed to slowly amass a small but loyal following with these high energy performances and his unique style of writing.
Armed with big dreams and plenty of passion to spare, he seeks to positively influence the world and connect with like-minded individuals through his music. Concurrently, he has also been setting up his first solo release, titled "Pandemic Relief (LIVE near Normal)," out this February. He has plans to release more original material individually, as well as, with the band.
1) When did you get started?
TyJon Charlie: I've been playing music since I was 14 years old. I started writing music and eventually singing at about 16 and have been playing shows since then. My first bar gig was at 19 and first paid gig was at 20. I've playing across the Midwest ever since.
2) What inspires you?
TC: Any great performance. Live or recorded. Just any sort of full expression really. When musicians/performers rise to the occasion and overcome all the things that make it tough to perform live. I also get very inspired by innovative studio techniques or LoFi music that is still captivating or attention catching.
3) What are your favorite genres?
TC: My taste really ranges from acoustic/singer-songwriter type stuff to rock music. Indie folk is a great genre that can kind of encompass a lot of that music I like as well. I think this is very much reflective in the music I create.
4) What instrument do you play?
TC: Normally, my live performance consists of me singing, playing guitar, and doing foot percussion (a one-man band style of performance). I'm very much a dabble-er though. I would like to say I play piano, cello, drums, mandolin, ukulele, and bass. But I'm a master of none. I've played all these instruments on recordings of my own. I even teach or have taught uke, bass, and mandolin at a beginner level, but I'm not confident enough on those to say I can really play them.
5) What is your recording process like?
When I first started, the recording process was very much; have songs written, go into the studio and record scratch tracks (scratch vocals, guitars, drums and bass), build the song around those, then re-record all those parts. Our first full length record
, "Design to Shine", took us 3 years in the studio ringing in at 14 tracks. After that, I really mostly just started releasing singles, which cut down on the time between releases quite a bit. As of late, I've been experimenting a lot with doing all my tracking at home on my IPAD and then bringing those tracks to the studio to mix and master. This gives me more time to track everything since doing stuff in the studio is so expensive.
6) Do you work with a producer or work DIY?
TC: I have a couple, very trusted, studio engineers that I work with. I usually end up either doing the whole track with or at least work with them on the mixing and mastering process. Erik Nelson at Eclipse Studios here in Normal, Illinois and Jeff Easton over in Peoria, Illinois. They have great ears, the experience, and the know-how to really take the quality of my recordings to the next level.
7) What are your artistic goals as a musician?
TC: I mean first and foremost the goal has always been to put out my songs in the best quality possible. And secondly, to put out live footage to the best possible quality that really reflect what my live shows are like.
8) What are your professional goals as a musician?
TC: To be able to travel across this country, as well as maybe some others possibly, playing my music for a living. Another goal might be to have one undeniably great record.
9) Do you have a favorite story from touring or performing?
We were playing a studio gig as a full band up in Detroit. The people that owned the studio let us stay at their place afterwards. We woke up the next day and we had gotten robbed. They found the car we used to get up there on cinder blocks in an alley a few blocks away. As well as the tires, all the gear we had brought up was gone. Obviously, when this happened it wasn't a fun story, but looking back on it, it was pretty crazy. We proceeded to play a few shows the next week all with borrowed gear. One of these shows was at The Double Door up in Chicago, which at that time was a pretty epic place to have a show. It was a complete struggle and hard time, but I look back on it as a story of us overcoming a very tough situation and coming out better for it. I have lots of stories from the road and if anyone is interested in more stories of this nature, as well as anything else music related, they can check out my podcast called, "The Weekend Warrior Show Recap Podcast
" on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else they stream podcasts.
10) What are your upcoming releases?
TC: I have my first Vinyl release coming out at the beginning of June. It's a live EP called "Pandemic Relief (LIVE near Normal)". I'm so excited to have actual physical records. This release can already be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music or anywhere else people stream music. It's the introduction of my solo, TyJon Charlie releases. I also am going to be on TV for the first time and this releases this Saturday (May 28th) at 10pm. the second episode airs in July 30th at 10pm on WTVP-PBS in Peoria. Also, I'm working on my first TyJon Charlie in the studio, single release as we speak.
11) What are your upcoming show dates?
I have May and June completely booked across the Midwest. Lots of shows in Central Illinois, but I also have shows in Iowa, Missouri, Indianna, and Michigan during this time as well. The best way to stay updated on where I'm playing is to get on the website, www.theunemployedarchitects.com
, follow The Unemployed Architects fanpage on Facebook, or follow The Unemployed Architects on the BANDSinTOWN app/website.
Fri., May 27th at Evangeline's Bistro and Music House in St. Louis - 7pm
Sat., May 28th at The Twelve Bar in Peoria, IL - 7pm
Sun., May 29th at the BenJammin Bash at Lil' Beaver Brewing Company in Bloomington, IL - 3pm (3 piece)
Fri., June 3rd at Clark Bar in Champaign, IL - 6:30pm
Sat., June 4th at the Downtown Bloomington Farmer's Market - 9:30am
Sat., June 4th at Cadillac Jack's in Bloomington, IL - 7pm
Wed., June 8th at The Lunchtime Concert Series in Tipton Park in Bloomington, IL - 11:30am
Fri., June 10th at Houdinis Spirits in LeRoy, IL - 8pm
Sat., June 11th at Golden Fox Brewing in Decatur - 7pm
Fri., June 17th at the Windjammer in Bloomington - 8pm
Sat., June 18th at Bear Island Outdoor Bar in Utica, IL - 6pm
Wed., June 22nd at Schooners in Bloomington, IL - 7pm
Fri., June 24th at Chilly Water Brewing Company in Indianapolis, IN - 8pm
Sat., June 25th at Paw Paw Brewing Company, in Paw Paw, MI - 7pm
Sun., June 26th at the District Tap (northside) in Indianapolis, IN - 12pm
Fri., July 1st at Door 4 Brewing in Decatur, IL - 7pm
Sat., July 2nd at Lock 12 Music in Bellevue, IA - 9pm
12) What is your favorite thing about being a musician in our current time?
TC: My favorite thing is the accessibility in this time period. Anyone is truly able to do anything on their own. You can record it, release it, book it, and promote it all yourself. You can really learn to do anything and be successful if you have the drive and some time to put into it.
13) What is your biggest challenge as a musician?
TC: My favorite thing, the accessibility, also adds to the biggest challenge, which is just standing out in anyway. It is a double edge sword. The well of music only gets deeper and deeper as time goes on and as it gets more and more accessible, so the depth gets exponential. Since there is so much music from the past and people keep releasing thousands of songs everyday, its just really hard to get people to take notice of anything you are doing due to the sheer amount of content out there. There is literally an ocean of music and mine is only one small droplet. That being said, I wouldn't trade it for anything.