Band You Need to Know: Kaneholler's Jon Foster and Chelsea Tyler on Love, Touring, and Famous Relatives
When you have family members who have fully established themselves in the entertainment biz, it can be daunting to try and create a name for yourself. But Jon Foster and Chelsea Tyler, brother of actor Ben Foster and daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, seemed to have settled on a good one. Kaneholler, the electro-soul duo formed when the newly engaged couple first met in 2011, is an old nickname for the Tyler's farm down south. "There's a bamboo forest on the farm, and switch cane is a type of bamboo," Tyler tells InStyle. "Holler is slang for 'down yonder'. It was the place where the kids went to get away from the adults."
Their shows seem to create a similar atmosphere. What originally began as a low-key, folky project has transformed into a full-blown electronic dance party, with audience members gyrating late into the night. "It has a lot to do with us performing live," Foster says of the band's change in sound. "It's much more fun to see people go for it and lose themselves, rather than sway back and forth and stare at the ground." We caught up with two lovebirds before their show at N.Y.C.'s Webster Hall to promote their new EP, Vol. 3. Here's an excerpt from our conversation:
So how did you two meet?Foster: We were introduced by a mutual friend, Zoe Kravitz. Chelsea has known her since they were kids.
Tyler: Our dads toured together and were buddies when we were growing up. We'd see each other every once in a while. I ran into her in New York when I was living in Boston, and went back to her apartment to catch up, and she showed me a picture of Jon.
Foster: I've known [Kravitz] since she was 16. She ended up dating my brother, and she was my roommate for a while when my brother and I lived together. She sort of became like a little sister. Then I moved in with Zoe in Brooklyn when I met Chelsea. Within 48 hours, we were making music.
Were you always interested in music?Tyler: There was definitely an interest there, but neither of us were doing anything with it, which was kind of a nice surprise.
Foster: We were pursing different things: I was acting and she was modeling. My brother encouraged me to act for a long time, but there was a lot of downtime, so I was making music in between that. When I heard Chelsea sing in the bathroom, it was instant in that moment of thinking, "This would be really cool."
What were you singing?Tyler: I can't remember. Jon was playing his music, and I just sang a random verse over it. We recorded it directly into the laptop.
I'm picturing a Marnie and Desi situation in Girls.Tyler: It's more like we have raging dance parties at 10 in the morning to our new music. With a lot of strobe lights.
Chelsea: We definitely live in Venice. We get up on stage and rage, but we can be chill too.
Do you feel added pressure following in the footsteps of your famous relatives?Foster: I think it's great to have people in your family doing the same thing—it adds a lot of like-mindedness and allows you to understand and encourage each other to do those things.
Tyler: I wouldn't say it feels like being in some kind of shadow, or having to fill expectations. When you see it from the outside, there's already this lineage of comparison, and with music, the kind we make is so different than what my dad's doing. I know it helps a lot more than it hurts.
Did your dad give you any advice when you told him you were going to pursue music?Tyler: He conducts his world like he's the CEO of his company, and when I was a little kid with idealistic dreams of becoming a singer, I never really thought about that part of it. Now I'm realizing the reality of the situation: This is our business, and we need to realize what's going on, and all of the different facets.
Watch the video for “Paper Games” below, and purchase Vol. 3 for $4 from the iTunes Store.