Photo: Paul Chelmis

Tyler Boone Dodges Cliches With “Jealousy” (premiere + interview)

Americana rocker Tyler Boone wraps up a successful year with a video for "Jealousy" while growing his second career in the bourbon business.

Tyler Boone wraps up the year with a new video from the title song for his EP, Jealousy. Straddling the lines between rock, blues, and Americana, the tune is a slow-building, shimmering number that finds the South Carolina native in fine form, weaving a deeply emotional and plaintive spell over the listener, before the song reaches its devastating climax. Its final embers prove as memorable as anything else he delivers across its all-too-brief four minutes.

The songs on Jealousy were initially released as singles with Boone collecting them on an EP released at the top of 2019. The record was produced by Eric Rickert (Shinedown, William Fitzsimmons, Framing Hanley, The Royal Teeth) at Ocean Industries Studios (owned by Shinedown’s Eric Bass) in Charleston, South Carolina.

When “Jealousy” experienced a warm reception at radio over the summer, the singer-songwriter ultimately decided to create a video for the track. “The inspiration for the video came from [the clip for] Tom DeLonge’s ‘New World’ where he comes into a band rehearsal space with tons of things to smash such as TVs and goes crazy while everything is captured in slow motion,” Boone says.

“We took our spin on this video and surrounded a rehearsal space for the Charleston Band Rare Creatures in white sheets with tons of glass and other breakable objects (from the Habitat for Humanity in Charleston) ready for me to smash and break in different camera angles all caught in slow motion!” He continues, “We really wanted to smash the TV but after reading about how it can implode at an insane rate, we decided it wasn’t worth it for our safety!”

Speaking specifically about the song, he says, “It comes from the very common feeling of jealousy we’ve all been aware of whether we like it or not and the idea of coming into a closed space to let all that rage out seemed pretty perfect.”

Video director Paul Chelmis adds, “The track has a lot of angsty energy that I wanted to harness in the video. The theme of toxic jealousy clouding our heads, relationships, and lives is no stranger to us all; it causes some rash decisions and consequences, much like throwing stones in a glasshouse. I wanted to portray that in a symbolic way that leaves the narrative open to interpretation, rather than the typical ‘boy and girl fighting, boy and girl make up’ approach.”

Chelmis notes, “Visually, some eye candy never hurts. Super rich reds and blues, crispy guitar licks, and it doesn’t get more satisfying than watching slow-mo shots of glass shit getting wrecked. Plus, the track itself is full of ups and downs, catchy phrases, and unique rhythm, which allowed for some dynamic editing and fun cut timing.”

Boone has become an integral member of the Charleston community, as he co-founded the Charleston Songwriters Festival. Having previously worked on the city’s First Flush Festival, he was familiar with staging large-scale shows. When the ever-energetic Luke Pierce contacted him about creating another festival, Boone’s response was a resounding yes. Working with a small but well-connected team, the first-year lineup boasted John Paul White and Will Hoge, among others. Though it’s uncertain at the time of this writing if there will be a second year, Boone remains fond of the endeavor.

“It was all about songwriters,” he says. “We’d never had that before.”

If the idea of cities and scenes died out sometime around grunge’s death rattle, no one has told Charleston. The inaugural Charleston Songwriters Festival followed the Shovels & Rope-curated High Water Festival by one week and was followed by Widespread Panic-led Trondossa.

“It was a hell of a month,” Boone says.

When he’s not writing songs, filming videos, or helping to mount a festival, the singer oversees his bourbon brand, Boone’s Bourbon. It’s for the urbane bourbon fan as the drink is aged in American charred white oak barrels (mash bill) and registers at 117 percent proof with 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye, and four percent barley. Managed, sourced, and bottled by Striped Pig Distillery in Charleston, the brand is available in 38 states and will soon break into the Canadian market.

Having worked in food and beverage throughout college, Boone watched celebrity brands grow in popularity. “George Clooney crushed it because he made it more about the drink than himself,” says Boone. “Bourbon and whiskey people are particular. They’ll quiz me about the mash mill at tastings.”

He moved to Nashville around 2015 but quickly found himself at odds with the city’s country aesthetics and ethics. When he wasn’t taking meetings and finding himself increasingly at odds with the image others had of him, he worked in a liquor store.

“It’s funny because that store carries my bourbon now,” he says.