I ran into Tyler Zlatkus at the Barrington Coffee House. He had been in town for the past week and was finishing up his stay by playing one last open mic. Just the night before he had played (and even hosted because Mike Romano didn’t show up) the open mic at The Treehouse Coffee Shop.
He just recently recorded his six song EP, Pendulum, featuring songs such as, “Puppet Man”, “Forget You” and the title track, “Pendulum” which can be found throughout the audio interview below.
Zlatkus started really getting into music during high school where he formed a band with a good friend of his called The Dimensions which he called, “more of a trippy, psychedelic band.” His friend, “looked just like Jimi Hendrix and played just like him so he couldn’t stand not playing any Hendrix covers.”
At the age of 17, straight out of high school, Zlatkus moved out to live on his own. “I’ve always been very independent,” he said. Living on his own wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be so he produced local bands in Washington to afford rent for a while.
He was living with Josh Jones at the time. They lived together for a year and created a few bands over that time period. Zlatkus became heavily influenced by the Beatles at this time and soon earned their entire catalogue.
Naturally, they started a Beatles cover band called British Export, which has gone on to be a three-time winner of the Liver Pool Beatles Fest in Europe. They played for the remainder of Zlatkus’s stay at their apartment. Ultimately, the two had a falling out and Zlatkus not only moved out but also left the band.
“I really enjoy playing music for people and letting them take the spotlight as well but my solo stuff is always just me,” he explained. “I wrote a lot of my older music when I was happy. My first album can be condensed down to one girl, just about,” he said while laughing.
“About five days before I came here to Jersey I played an open mic called the Mandolin Cafe. I met this producer named Anthony who needed studio musicians. So, I layed down some bass on a few tracks he already had and he offered to record my album [Pendulum] for free!”
Because of Zlatkus’s background with recording and producing, as well as his many instrumental talents, he basically created his entire album by himself. “He checked in on me in the studio here and there, but It was really all just me.”
He recorded his EP in only 5 days so that he would have something to sell when he came to New Jersey. Unfortunately, he did not prove to be a good salesman.
“I tried selling them here but no one will buy them so I’ve given about 30 away so far.”
He was asking only five dollars for the CD so I decided to buy one. After purchasing it I asked him how much it actually cost him to make the CD.
“It didn’t cost me anything [to record the album]. It was just five days of hard work. Plus, the whole, lifetime of learning an instrument and that’s a lot of work too.”