For those NFL Football fans out there the name Kyle Turley should sound familiar as he played offensive tackle from 1998-2007 with The Saints, Rams and ended his career with The Chiefs. After he retired his focused on retired player’s issues and made a run at a career in music. It paid off as he landed the highly coveted slot as the opening act on the Hank Williams III and Assjack tour. Having seen Turley open for Hank III in Portland, Oregon all I can say is that they earned several new fans on the sold out tour. I got a chance to connect with Kyle as the tour wrapped up. He was gracious and answered everything that I threw at him. I can’t wait to do it again. Also check out his fantastic album Anger Management on Gridiron Records.
I’ve seen a number of bands get torn to shreds opening for Hank III. Turley went over very well. The show in Portland was sold out.
Yeah you know that’s the way it’s been. We’ve earned ourselves some fans and most of the shows have sold out night after night. Hank’s developed quite a reputation and fans base for himself and we’re just along for the ride man. We’ve done some good PR for ourselves, we’re getting our name out there. We’ve had some of our fans out there too who have made it out to the shows. We’ve had a hell of a run on this tour. We’ve got tonight and then tomorrow night and then we’re done. It’s gonna be sad to see it all end.
What’s the plan after this tour winds down for you guys?
Well as you know we’ve got the record Anger Managementout and we’re going to continue booking shows. We’ve got other booked already and then we’ll wait to get on that next big tour and continue to get our name out there like Hank’s been doing for all of these years.
How long after the end of your football career did you get into the music business because you’ve always been a musician.
Yeah, I’ve been playing music for just about as long as I’ve been playing football. I was always in side bands during the off season, I was in a death metal band. I play drums, I play bass and guitar, I’ve been in cover bands, death metal bands and have done my own thing. I moved to Nashville about three years ago when I retired from playing ball and put all my efforts in my post football career music.
How was it that you wound up a country singer? I had you pegged for a rock or metal guy, obviously I was wrong.
We’re trying to incorporate it all into the music. Our music is a mix of all rock sub genres and country sub genres, I don’t want to be pigeon hold in my music career much like I didn’t want to be pigeon hold in my football career. A lot of the music we do has been rock based but the country side is based in old school country. My dad was a truck driver when I was growing up . I grew up with heavy doses of Meryl Haggard, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams they were a big part of my childhood. Having moved to Nashville, it was me and my guitar and it was good to cultivate that sound. I think the next album will probably be a little bit heavier, the stuff that a little more rock based on Anger Management has gone over the best live. We’ll still throw in some old school country to keep it real but overall the progression of the band has resulted in us being much heavier. Also I recorded the album before I got the band together we’ve gelled very well on the road and I can’t wait to record with these guys. We’re all on the same page with what we’re doing. We’ve been having little jam session on the road that have resulted in some killer songs and song ideas. The second record is going to be the big one for us.
You put together a damn fine band. You guys are prettytight.
Right! All the guys in the band are total pros man, they are studio session guys, touring guys, they’ve been in other bands and continue to play in other bands. Hopefully some day I can pay them enough money so that they don’t have to play in other bands. Until that time comes they’ll continue to do what they need to do to make ends meet and we’ll continue to move forward and hope that gain momentum.
I know the incident that inspired Flyin’ Helmets. I’ll spare you from repeating that story, I know how and why Mike Matrz wound up on there, but how did Robert Smith end up on there and why? Have you heard either of their thoughts on their inclusion in the song?
(Laughs) I haven’t heard any feedback on the song from those guys or anybody associated with them. I hope they have heard it. They know where I stand and they know how I feel about them both. I disagree with their views and in my opinion they just aren’t very good human beings. Robert Smith was a company man who signed a huge contract and he walked away from his team mates in his prime when the Vikings were about to take it to the next level. The guy was an integral part of that team and he simply quit on them. He’s now the guy out there in defense of the NFL player’s union and all the wrongs which are being done to the retired players. He’s a part of all the wrongs that are being done to the retired players. I know he is part of the union certain ways he’s just one of those guys that has forgotten where this game came from and why it is so successful, it was the men that built it and not the union or the owners. Sure they’ve done their part but it was on the backs of the players the entire time and they seem to forget that.
You work along side Mike Ditka on retired player’s issues is that correct?
Right, Mike drafted me with The Saints and we’ve been working in the retired player effort. As a result we’ve gotten closer. Mike has one of the biggest hearts, if you’re in need and he knows you he’ll do whatever he can to help you out. It’s amazing to see what his name has done to help the retired player efforts. That’s what it takes guy with a big name like Mike’s and to some extent myself to give the the cause big media attention because nothing will change unless the media continues to cover it.
Read the rest of the interview HERE