Ask JONATHAN TIERSTEN what type of music he performs on his new EP, We’ll See (Edward Records), and the Colorado-based singer/songwriter and actor quickly responds that it‟s roots music with an edge. Tiersten has performed a variety of music over the years, but on We’ll See, he offers an earthy blend of roots rock, folk-rock and adult alternative pop-rock that is at once contemporary and timeless.
“People I've never even met before have told me, you have this knack for writing songs that I could see myself listening to 20 years down the line,‟ Tiersten explains. “I want to write songs that are like John Huston's films, which hold up well over time and never become dated. I think that the more honest you are in what you write, the greater the odds are that what you write is going to be timeless. Honest emotion doesn't have a half-life; neither should honest songwriting.”
We’ll See moves quickly into aggressive, hard-rocking territory on “In the Air,” which is used as the theme song in the horror film The Perfect House and sounds like a cross between Tool and Cream. But “In the Air” is atypical of the EP on the whole, as Tiersten favors a much more rootsy and contemplative approach on “Sancta Caecelia,” “Black Rain” and “Theodore.”
“Vertigo,” which boasts John Magnie of the Subdues on accordion and electric Hammond B-3 organ, becomes increasingly intense as it progresses, and is as passionate as it is introspective. “Vertigo,” like “Sancta Caecelia,” “Black Rain” and “Theodore,” is perfect for triple-A/adult album alternative radio formats.
“John added a bit more of that roots flavor to "Vertigo,‟ Tiersten observes. "It starts off where you think it's just going to be this mellow thing, but it gains power all the way through. It just keeps ramping up.”
Born in Queens and raised in New York City and Northern New Jersey, Tiersten has been involved in both music and acting since his teens. Tiersten, who studied French horn and guitar when he was growing up, was still a teenager when, in 1983, he played Ricky Thomas in Robert Hilzik‟s cult horror film Sleepaway Camp. Tiersten went on to study acting at New York University‟s prestigious Circle in the Square Theater School (where one of his classmates was future “Saturday Night Live” cast member Molly Shannon), and in 1987, he had a principal role in the Emmy-winning ABC after-school special “Seasonal Differences” (which also starred Utah Hagen, Melba Moore, Gabrielle Carteris and Frank Whaley). It was also in the late 1980s that Tiersten had a part on the NBC soap opera “Another World.”