By Felix (Nacho) Casado –
1) I had the pleasure to listen to your album Denim XXL and I have to say it’s full of surprises when it comes to the different sounds. You go from Straight out Hick Hop with “Country Boy Swag” to and Urban Country with “Denim (remix by DJ KO)”. How was that experience in the studio and how did all these sounds/lyric come about?
Kalan Miller: The Studio experience was awesome. We had the opportunity to work with some amazing producers and we owe the sound to them. The lyrics came from so many different places, everyday experiences, hobbies, and random moments down to even in the studio lol. We just really put our everyday lives into every song on the album.
Paul Roche: Duuuuuuddee!!! Making the album was a blast!! Tyler actually came into the picture after we had recorded 11 of the 12 songs on the album. He later joined us and co-wrote one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, She Gets Rowdy. Jared and Justin (DjKO) are the truth when it came to making the album. They gave us an outside perspective to our already written music, and it made all the difference in the world! Also, Mike Hartnett produced 2 of the 12 songs on the album, one of which (Bootleg Style) we co-wrote without tour manager Kevin Steverson. Mike done a phenomenal job on those songs along with the other 3 that we recorded with him (One was featured on the MD8 album titled Jacked Up Trucks) He is a hell of a producer himself, so we had a great team of folks that helped us put out this kick-ass album!
Tyler Ackerman: I had the opportunity to write and be in one song on the first album being because I’m newly signed as a front man of Cypress Spring. I got to work with Phivestar Production, DJ KO as well as my brothers Kalan and Paul, and loved every minute of it in the making of “She Gets Rowdy!” Kalan, Paul and myself sat down at the label with a beat DJ KO sent us and I busted off with a chorus in about 5 minutes, and the guys killed their verses as usual. When you work with professionals and have fun doing it, it’s not work anymore, it’s always fun and easy writing.
2) You guys are Florida boys just like myself. Florida is known for being the state of diversity in Cultural and Music. How did you guys find each other and what made you three pursue music? What were all three of you doing before Music?
Kalan Miller: I (Kalan) was actually driving a semi for Budweiser delivering beer. They wasn’t too flexible with my schedule so I quit and picked up odd jobs until I found a job that would work with me. I’ve done music my entire life but mainly rap. Paul and I actually went to school together from kindergarten to graduation. I met Tyler after I graduated when Paul brought him to audition for bass. After that it was just magic. We all share a love for music.
Paul Roche: We’re all Vernon High School Alumni. Kalan and I graduated together and Tyler was a year or two younger than us. Kalan and I actually grew up together from toddlers (Our parents were friends).
How Tyler came about was nothing short of fate. I was driving home one day when I saw a car pulled over on the side of Dumajack Rd. So I stopped to check on whoever it was and behold it was Tyler Ackerman himself. He was trying to fix some fishing poles from rattling in the trunk of his car. We got into a brief conversation about how our music was going. I told him that it just so happens that we were looking for a bass player. He told me that he didn’t know how to play a bass. I knew he played guitar so I just told him that I would teach him. It was about a year into having him in the band that Kalan and I pulled him aside after one of our shows and asked him if he would like to join us as front men and become a signed artist. That’s when the duo became a trio
Before music well…that’s kind of a trick question. See, we all still work full time jobs, but at the time we got signed I used to be a commercial glazer. I installed all kinds of windows, in houses, condos and businesses across the southeast. I worked with glass for nearly 6 years before I had to breakdown and find a job that worked with my growing music career. I am currently an ALI Tech at Reliable Equipment and Lift.
Tyler Ackerman: We all went to high school together, I’ve been with them for 3 years now, and am newly signed. Paul asked me, on the side of the road while I was fixing a fishing pole in my trunk, to play Bass guitar for them. I accepted even though I’ve never played or picked up a Bass guitar before in my life. I later moved to guitar and sang back up. Now here I am, the 3rd member of Cypress Spring.
3) Congrats on having over 20 MILLION STREAMS on digital radio! With that said, how did it feel knowing that a lot of new artist haven’t even reached 2 million and you guys have reached so many listeners? What’s the secret besides having such a different kind of sound?
Kalan Miller: Thank you so much. It’s crazy looking at our numbers. But Point blank if it wasn’t for the fans then we wouldn’t have anything. We try our best to write music that touches people but the people are actually the ones that we owe all of our success to. We are humbled to have such an amazing fan base and we owe it all to them.
Paul Roche: It’s definitely a milestone that none of us ever expected to reach so early in our career. Honestly confidence and positivity is the secret for me. When came out of the gate with our heads high because we knew that we had damn good album and didn’t have a single doubt about it. Stay humble and keep grinding. Hard work is the key to success.
Tyler Ackerman: Stay positive, continue to work and have faith. If the number comes, that’s great! I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world. I stay humble and continue to grow as an artist every day and every show.
4) I see you guys have collaborated with artist like Charley Farley, The Lacs, Colt Ford and many more. What kind of pressure did you feel and did this mean you had to bring your A- Game 24/7? What kind of advice did they give you as artist and individuals when it came to your music?
Kalan Miller: We were very blessed to have those artist collaborate with us. But in the music industry you better bring your A-Game every time you step up to the mic because there are thousands of hungry artist ready to fill your shoes. Colt has definitely been a blessing in advice every time he is around. You just have to put your heart and soul into everything you do.
Paul Roche: With the names like that being interested in collaborating with us was humbling. They’re all legends in the Country Rap game. So the pressure was there alright! We came out of the gate strong with Way of Life, which is one of our most successful songs at the moment! Danny Boone turned that song to a new level with that killer hook that we often hear being chanted from town to town. The LACs killed their verses and made the song even better. Then onto Drop a Tailgate that featured Colt Ford, he knew exactly what to put in there keep that chill vibe we had envisioned in writing that song. Then on to Charley, he came in with that Nelly feel and absolutely murdered his verse for How We Ride! If we got anything out of talking with those guys it’s that you should always remain humble and associate with fans the best you can.
Tyler Ackerman: It’s an honor to work with artist of their caliber. We always bring our A-game. I try to be better than the artist and musician I was yesterday. I listen and try to learn from every artist and every performance. I feel like I can take something and learn something from everyone, especially The Lacs, Charlie and the country rap king, Colt Ford.
5) “The way of life” is a great song and music video. What does the song mean to each of you besides the lyrics in the song? Does it have a personal experience or are you telling the world an individual story from 3 different points of views, or do you all have the same view?
Kalan Miller: I personally think that it was several different points of views that just so happened to match up just right. We all told aspects from our way of life.
Paul Roche: I’m sure we all have the same view on Way of Life. Not only is it a successful song but it describes us to a T. We hunt, fish, gig frogs, etc. it really is our way of life, and how we choose to live our life from day to day.
Tyler Ackerman: It describes us perfectly and Kalan and Paul killed it with this song. As you can see from the numbers. It’s an honor to be a part of it because of them.
6) According to some sources you guys grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Nelly, T.I. and Ludacris. How did you go from 90’s Country/Rock music to 2000’s Hip Hop and what other influences did you three have besides the artist on your playlists to create your unique sound?
Kalan Miller: We are 3 different people with 3 different tastes of music. But if it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t have the sound that we do. I love everything from throwback hip hop Will Smith to current country Luke Combs. I don’t believe in different genres, I just believe in good music. If it feels good then it is good.
Paul Roche: Well, I grew up playing in smoke filled bars before I was barely old enough to drive. Kalan always did rap. So with our two very different sounds we found a new sound that was unheard of. I believe that is why the album sound is so diverse because we all have very different tastes in music but we all blend together perfectly.
Tyler Ackerman: I love all music, whether it be rap, hip-hop, country, country-rock, rock, metal or country rap. I listen to music and have respect for the music game and hustle. Regardless what genera it is, I’m an all-around music lover.
7) In this new era of music how does “Country Hick Hop” or “Country Rap” fit in with the rest of the Country Genres including “Pop Country” and “Alternative Country”? How does your sound and lyrics divert its self from anything that’s being heard right now and what would you call your music?
Kalan Miller: I would call our style of music just “MUSIC” we put our heart and soul into every song and give it everything we have. I think what separates us from the rest is just the amazing amount of diversity we have as group. We dare to be different. And we’re not afraid to stand out.
Paul Roche: Of course it’s every artists dream to become mainstream. But the end result is that we don’t want to be like everyone else. We have our own sound and if it makes it to mainstream level, then hell yeah! If not then I’m ok with that too. Music is our passion, which will never change. I think Tyler said it best when he said he would call our sound Cypress Spring. It’s a mixture of blues, southern rock, rock, country and rap. Everything we do comes from deep down inside of all of us.
Tyler Ackerman: I’d call our music “Cypress Spring”. We put everything we have into writing, performing and our work. I feel like we have a unique sound. We have a rapper who is more than a rapper and we have a classic rock singer who is more than that. I can’t just put us in one category because we are many things. We love music and that’s what I love doing. You can call it what you whatever you want to call it, country, rap, country-rap or hick-hop, but at the end of the day, its music we pour our heart and soul into.
8) Getting into the music industry is hard, but getting out is easy. What are your plans on staying on top of the game and what are you looking forward into the future of “Cypress Spring”? Are any of you looking to pursue solo projects or keep it together for the long haul?
Kalan Miller: We’re going to continue to try our best to make good music. At the end of the day I’m an artist/writer. When it comes to Cypress Spring I’m going to continue to bring what I have to the table. After what I hope to be many long successful years of Cypress Spring, if God intends me to be a solo artist, I’m going to follow where I need to be.
Paul Roche: I’m going to ride this train till it runs out of tracks. God forbid CS ever coming to an end, but if it ever does I probably won’t pursue a solo career. I’d probably retire and spend the rest of my life with my family. Either way I’ll be happy. We’ve got to experience what most people try for a lifetime to achieve. I will always be thankful that I got to experience it alongside some of my best friends.
Tyler Ackerman: We will continue to love what we do and continue to do it for the right reasons. Continue to work hard and stay humble. I feel like you can’t hold a true musician to one set of music. For example; I don’t rap, I sign and I have other music that I’ve written and recorded that doesn’t fit what we are doing as Cypress Spring, as its more country. I’m Cypress Spring and will always be, but I’m also Tyler Ackerman, and that will never change. Granger Smith/Earl Dibbles Jr. is a prime example of two different things, but both with music.
9) Do you ever run into creative differences when it comes to a project or do all of you give the same input and have always work well with one another? If so, what’s your secret and what advice would you give to other groups?
Kalan Miller: Creative differences is what separates us from others. We have learned to combine them creative differences. At the end of the day we are a TEAM. And we will always work together.
Paul Roche: The short answer is no, we always collaborate with each other and brainstorm about ideas. We all come to an agreement and stick with it. It works, so why fix something that’s not broken.
Tyler Ackerman: We work very well together. We have a system that works and we don’t change it up. We feed off of each other’s energy and ideas.
10) “Cowboy up or Sit down” is the motto for your music. Why and where did this come from and how do you integrate it in your everyday lives personally and as artists?
Kalan Miller: It is actually from a song that we have not recorded. It means give it your all or nothing at all. No matter if it’s at your job, school, music, relationship whatever you’re doing just give it 100 percent.
Paul Roche: Kalan actually coined this phrase and I’m pretty sure it came from a song we wrote called Cowboy Up. We don’t put up with any bull and are not afraid to voice our opinions. If you don’t like it, sit down.
Tyler Ackerman: No Answer.
11) It seems like your fans are here to stay, but recruiting new fans is a challenge for many artist. In short words can you tell us something about you guys you want your current fans and new fans to know about the group and what to expect once they listen to your music?
Kalan Miller: We appreciate ya’ll more than ya’ll will ever know. We can’t put in words how much ya’ll mean to us. Keep Rocking with us and we will do everything in our power to keep bringing ya’ll our best.
Paul Roche: That were not just any ordinary artist. We’re entertainers, but will also kick it with our fans every show. We’re not afraid to go out and meet new people
Tyler Ackerman: We do this for ya’ll! We love music and we are more than grateful to be able to do what we do, and ya’ll make it possible. Thanks ya’ll!
12) Touring can be stressful mentally and physically. How do each of you coupe with this and what kind of support do you give one another? Please share the craziest story while touring.
Kalan Miller: I usually just throw in my head phones and listen to Lacrae. We are more than a band. We are more like brothers. We don’t keep anything from each other. If one of us is going through something then we all are. The craziest moment to me was when we was pulling into a hotel and out of the blue police pulled up everywhere. They were reported that a truck and trailer matching our description we’re hauling stolen goods. They frisked all of us searched the vehicles as cop car after cop car after cop car pulled in LOL. It got to the point the lead officer told the other police that there was already plenty of cops on site lol. They were really nice about it and after they realized it wasn’t us they let us go.
Paul Roche: Once again, Tyler said it best, we respect each other’s boundaries but we lean on each other when times are hard and stressful.
Tyler Ackerman: We know each other pretty well and respect each other’s boundaries. Craziest story on the road so far for me would have to be Tulsa, Oklahoma. I booked a hotel at a place where I never should have, but the reviews were good online. We pulled up to a nice hotel filled inside and out with Hooligans. We weren’t even there for 5 minutes before a fight almost broke out because one of them wanted a ride, which we respectfully declined. They punched the trailer and proceeded to curse at us. So that wild country boy attitude came out of us and we ended up leaving and staying somewhere else, about 36 miles away close to a casino and we had a good night afterwards.
13) Every artist has a past. How did your family and friends feel about your decision on leaving your past and pursuing your music career? Were they 100% supportive? If you received any negative support, how did you overcome it and what would you say to them today?
Kalan Miller: Tbh besides the band. The only people I have left from my past is my parents, grandparents and my stepdad. They have had my back through it all. My mom never for one second gave up on me. This music has costed me a marriage, engagement, and several jobs. But on the real it showed me who had my back and who didn’t. The only thing I would say to the people who walked out on me is thanks for doing it back then. I don’t hold grudges. If I see anyone of them I’d say what’s up. Life’s too short to live with regrets. “COWBOY UP OR SIT DOWN”
Paul Roche: Most of my family and friends have supported the CS movement from the get go. Of course we’ve had people tell us we’d never amount to anything but here we are today. The fastest selling artist in Average Joes history. Also fastest artists in AJ history to reach 20mil streams EVER. Of course we’d never be petty and say told ya so. We remain humble. We would never stoop that low.
Tyler Ackerman: My family was extremely supportive and still are 100%. I left a Law Enforcement career to do what I do now.
Wanna check out their new album? Click Here!