Tyler Hilton (USA) and Kate Voegele (USA) are performing together live in concert for the first time ever in Australia. Tyler and Kate met on the set of US hit TV show One Tree Hill where they played characters Chris Keller and Mia Catalano, both based on their real lives as musicians, the two have been touring around the world together performing to sell-out crowds.

Tyler Hilton signed his first record contract at eighteen, and released his debut self-titled EP May 2004. His debut Album The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton was released September that same year which saw him tour with Gavin Degraw and Hilary Duff. Tyler has gone on to release four albums, two EP’s and was featured on the Grammy Award winning Soundtrack to Walk The Line. His latest album Indian Summer he describes as a ‘hand-crafted coming of age exploration into early manhood, family, and home life’ and has been well received as a fan favourite. Tyler spoke to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about his musical partnership with Kate Vogele and their Australian tour.

How did the partnership with Kate come about?
We met through mutual friends on One Tree Hill and we had always been around the same singer songwriter scene in Los Angeles. I heard that she wanted to tour Europe as well and I think how it first came together is the thought why don’t we both tour together. As soon as we went on the road it was like why hadn’t we been doing this for years? That was two or three years ago, I love it and it has been a chilled vibe ever since. We haven’t toured with anyone else and continued touring together and it is working really well.

Did you ever think being on a TV show would lead to a musical partnership like this?
I never thought that would happen and it seems all so random. Life is random any way, the entertainment business is so bizarre I would never have guessed. I was only supposed to be on the show for two episodes and it turned in to a whole character where they kept me coming back. I never saw that happening, all these things seemed so random for someone who was just going to be a musician and a writer forever. I got signed to a record deal when I was eighteen and never in a million years did I ever think that I would be on TV or in a movie… so wild!

What were the initial jam sessions like with Kate working out how things would go?
When we first went on tour together it was Kate do a set then I would do a set so there wasn’t really any jamming. Then as we got on the road together we had time backstage I thought start playing each other’s songs because we spend a lot of time playing as solo artists. Playing together makes it so much fun so we started learning each other’s songs and then after a while we thought let’s just do one big set together and play each other’s songs. One of my favourite moments of touring has been playing on Kate’s songs because I have always been a front man but it is good to be part of the band where I’m not the lead singer. While I was jamming with Kate and playing on this tour I get to play guitar half the time and do background vocals for her. I get to enjoy the music on stage as the guy who doesn’t have the pressure and I think I have grown so much musically which is so cool.

The format of the show sounds really great and seems to work so well.
Kate is really cool about it and she totally goes with the flow. We’ve got to meet so many great people and who knows how long we’ll get to keep doing this for and what direction it might take us. It is great that we get to keep doing this in Australia.

Do you still find that some fans struggle to separate you from your character on the TV show?
Truthfully, I think it is amazing to be even known and I loved the character on the TV show. I’m going to be doing this stuff until the day that I die, decades and decades of time and I’m not that character any more. I’m looking forward to playing my record in your town and whatever path people take to the way there whether that is the TV show or through the music is totally fine. I’m not like Brad Pitt or Ed Sheeran or any huge so it is amazing that people have heard of me.

Has the crazy stalker element subsided?
A little bit! I think once you are turned on to that element I think you will always have your guard up. I’ve been in the public eye since I was younger so I’ve been pretty careful about it. Everyone is generally super respectful and really cool.

What is your passion? Music? Acting?
There’s two different things, one is where I get hired for things like acting jobs or go where the jobs are and the other side of it where I’m not being hired which is the time I have to follow my passion . That’s where I like writing my music or writing music for other people or working on my records or those kind of things. When I have time I’ll chase whatever excites me and right now I’ve finished an album which I think is the best one I have ever done. I can’t get it out in time for Australia but hopefully it will be out in January. I’m doing the mixing and the album artwork now and I’m so obsessed with it. I can’t wrap my head around that I’m so excited about the album, my heart has a good feel and keeps beating. It’s funny, you balance what you are excited about with what you are presented and certainly there are other times I have to go out and tour and I have that much fun I don’t want to leave the tour. Right now I am so in to this new record and I don’t know where it is going to take me but I feel really excited about it.

Interview by Rob Lyon

Catch Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele on the following dates…

Tyler Hilton Tour Poster