Siblings Tyler and Amanda Wilkinson have been singing since they were small. First as part of a trio with their dad (The Wilkinsons), they later pursued solo careers, but something wonderful brought them back together. Now they are The Small Town Pistols.
In the past year, they have earned a CCMA Award (Group or Duo of the Year)and a Top Country Award (Most Talented Family). As if being award-winning country artists wasn’t enough, these two siblings have both had babies in the last year (6 weeks apart from each other)!
With their new album set to be released in May and new babies in tow, nothing can stop this duo. We caught up with them while they were shooting a music video for their new single Can’t Wait To Meet You in Toronto. We asked them about juggling parenthood and the release of their new album!
SGMC: You’ve been in the biz for a number of years, but last year you accepted the greatest challenge of all – parenthood. How is that going?
Tyler: I think it’s good. You just have to prepare yourself. This is our 17th year of having record deals, so for us the crazy phase of the music industry is normal now. Adding babies to it, just kind of ramps things up. We’re not getting sleep but people with 9-5 jobs aren’t getting any either. So I think it’s pretty normal. It just means that they’re coming to music video shoots.
Amanda: We’re used to flying by the seat of our pants.
SGMC: I wonder if being a parent changes the way you approach your art?
Tyler: I think that artists take a portion of what is happening in their lives and translate it into their work. Whether it’s love, heartbreak, or having a baby it’s all included, but it’s not reflected one hundred per cent.
Amanda: Absolutely, I think there are different breadths, widths, and heights you experience with having a child. Everybody tells you – you’re really going to understand what real love is. I think those emotions can’t help but spill over. Indiana has been on radio tours with Tyler and I and that makes it easier because we’re so familiar with that. It’s how we were raised, touring alongside our dad.
SGMC: Do you think you would ever want your children to have the same musical upbringing as you?
Amanda: You know what, I think they get to decide for themselves. The great thing about my dad when we were growing up was that he saw how atrocious some stage parents were. He looked at that and said, “I don’t ever want to be like that to my kids. The moment it stops being fun, don’t do it.” We carried those words into adulthood and that’s what we want for our kids. We want them to be happy and do what they love to do.
Tyler: I think that people who push their kids towards something, lose sight of the ultimate goal – which is seeing your child happy. If they want to sing they can sing, if they want to be lawyers or do other things – ok. They should go wherever their heart takes them.
SGMC: Amanda, you have had the experience of singing with your dad and brother, have a solo career, and then now singing with Tyler again. What are the notable differences between the 3?
Amanda: Singing with my family is the best kind of comfort I can imagine. For as long as I can remember we have sung together – even before we had record deals. My solo career was challenging because I felt as though I was hanging in the wind without the anchor of my family. Everybody was focusing on me. I think that there is some kind of magic that will always be there when we sing together. Tyler and I have this kind of twinspeak that has developed over years of singing together. I enjoyed my solo career, but there is something really spiritual about being able to sing together, whether our dad is involved in the equation or not. It is so cohesive and moving.
SGMC: Please tell us a little bit about your upcoming album.
Amanda: I think there’s a genuine evolution in our songs. The first record, we were talking about heartbreak and healing because we were going through that at the time, but in this record we are really embracing the creativity of the writing process together. We genuinely said, “Let’s just write a killer record. Write the best songs we possibly can and put a whole bunch of colours in there.” For us, we want to just have fun!
Tyler: The album is going to be called Pistology. There are a lot of songs that are personal to us like Can’t Wait To Meet You. But we like to give the listeners a myriad of colours. When we make a record, we never want to give people regurgitation of the same type of songs. . We wanted to make a record that is stretching from point A to point B. We didn’t want to stay in the same comfort spot for us and we really just want to have a blast doing it.
There you have it kids, STP’s new single is available today and their full album will be released this May! For now, click HERE to check out their new single CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU!