Friday night at Sam’s Place in Crowley, the Kyle Turley Band (or KTB as is listed on the flyers around town) will be performing along with White Light Cemetery. Upon listening to Turley’s music on YouTube Tuesday, it is obvious that he is taking his second career very seriously.
“I began playing guitar when I was 14. That and football were two things I became passionate about,” said Turley during a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I had to do something after retiring from football and I had a lot of offers...doing radio, announcing, coaching. But I’ve always loved playing music.”
Those who may seem skeptical about his commitment to music, need only to speak to the two time All-Pro to understand how dedicated he is to his latest craft. He has his own music label - Gridiron Records - and his band presently has released an aptly named album called ‘Anger Management.’
The album debuted in the Billboard Top 200. The album is a unique mix of hard rock and country (he was influenced by heavy metal bands like Pantera when he played in the NFL but also has developed an appreciation for country stars, notably Johnny Cash), has drawn critical praise. And the title track is a song about the notoriety he gained when he ripped the helmet off of New York Jets defender Damien Robinson and tossed it across the field in the Superdome. Robinson was twisting Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks’ helmet in a dangerous manner when Turley stepped in dragged him by his helmet and ripped it off before his infamous toss.
Though he seemed eager to discuss his future in music, his playing days in the NFL will always be a part of the man he is today. He has given several interviews on painkiller abuse in the league and in 2011 Turley launched his Gridiron Tail Gate Tour. The tour played tailgating parties and local venues at numerous NFL and college football games. Turley dedicated his tour to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. Gridiron Records announced that 100 percent of online sales for his sophomore album single “Fortune and Pain” will go to the fund.
"It's like night and day," said Turley when comparing playing music to professional football. "But they are also similar because both jobs are part of the entertainment industry."
Speaking of his days in the NFL, the obviously concerned Turley spoke of the pressure ‘to stay big.’
“Just last year an old teammate and friend of mine, Norman Hand, died due to a cardiovascular disease,” said Turley. “Unfortunately the game that I love has stricken many of my friends with injuries that they can carry for the rest of their lives..the pressure on me to keep my weight up was enormous,” he said.
However, though his days in the NFL will forever be with him, Kyle Turley is a man who obviously is looking towards a future in music.
Whenever he was asked about his show in Crowley (he calls south Louisiana his ‘second home’) he sounded the same as any other musician promoting his band.
“I hope to see some familiar faces and make some new friends out there Friday,” he said. “This is no novelty act. We will put on a great show and there will be no negative comments from the crowd.”