TIEZZI’s “Not Your Man” Shines a Spotlight on One Man’s Struggle with Addiction, and Himself
TIEZZI’s first studio single, “Not Your Man”, is grunge, indie-rock ode to the modern breakup. It transports listeners to the 90s underground alt-rock scene. They will want to hold up lighters in an open-air arena, sway to the music, and feel all the feelings. At the same time, vocalist Travis Tiezzi harmonizes emotions familiar to everyone who struggles with mental illness.
The song starts with repeating, melodic strums, akin to Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Tension builds. About 35 seconds in, it breaks—melancholy transitions to triumph.
For Travis, this song is very personal, and it is not about his breakup with another, but rather, himself. The chorus captivates listeners as he narrates his experience dissociating from his former drug-addled self. A toxic love affair with drugs, the highs and the lows, building the addict’s final decision to end the cycle.
“Walking through the sand/ don’t you know I’m not your man,” Travis sings. An occasional, subtle rhyme scheme gives “Not Your Man” a fascinating rhythm. “Not Your Man” is a rare, candid letter to self at a pivotal moment of change.
It is the epiphany we have when realizing that the person we are today, with the weight of illness and addiction upon us, is not the person we want to be. “It’s essentially saying. You’re not the man I want you to be. It’s time to look inward and change,” Travis said.
TIEZZI is a three-person band formed in Richmond, Virginia, in 2019. Travis Tiezzi is the lead guitarist and vocalist, Timmy Burger plays the drums, and Justin Abernathy plays the bass. The band members united through their shared struggles with addiction and used music as a creative outlet.
They have a collaborative creative process. Travis writes the music and lyrics then asks band members for suggestions. He draws on personal experience and creates fictional narratives or writes socially conscious lyrics.
TIEZZI’s original focus on live shows changed abruptly with the onset of the pandemic. In collaboration with Tree Heart Records, managed by Ray Maternick, TIEZZI successfully transitioned their musical talents from the stage to the studio and recorded over nine songs.
TIEZZI is entering 2022 with a renewed sense of purpose with a new drummer and record label. “Not Your Man” is the first in a series of studio singles, later coming together as an EP.
The band gathers inspiration from various musicians, including Soundgarden, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and jazz fusion artists. And it shows. Each song’s style varies—one might be grunge rock, the next could be relaxed reggae. TIEZZI is unpredictable and uncategorizable in the best way.
In an era of autotune and ghostwriters, “Not Your Man” is a refreshing and nostalgic harkening back to a decade where alt-rock was king and raw emotion sold-out arenas.