Hey Ryan! Welcome and so glad we get to chat today! Start us off by telling us something most people don’t know about you and would be surprised to know?
Good morning…the pleasure is all mine! Most people don’t know that I sliced the tip of my right middle finger off when I was about 5, and that has changed my finger guitar style considerably. I can barely feel the tip of it!
It was a situation where I was a stubborn little kid who refused to listen to his mom. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. There was this basketball hoop attached to our local swimming pool (at the Mercer Island Country Club, just outside of Seattle) where we used to play water hoops. I was hanging on the rim, and my mom kept saying, “Ryan, get OFF of that thing. You’re gonna get hurt!” What a prophet she was.
It tipped over and clipped the top of my finger off. I bled like a stuck pig…all over the Olympic-sized pool, which of course they had to drain. The put the tip on ice and rushed me to the hospital. It was too mangled to sew back on, but it grew back…like a stump. I know, I know…but you ASKED!
Do you listen to other artists to get inspiration and is there a particular song that never fails to move you emotionally?
All day, every day. My life has a soundtrack, and it’s ever-changing and reflective of my moods. Today, for example, I listened to “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac, and it hit hard. Felt inspired to go kick some tail and get back and finish this song I am working on (It’s a surprise…details soon, but working with a legend in tribute to another legend who just passed as a benefit for cancer research.)
“Time Stand Still” by Rush always moves me. As we get older, the desire to freeze moments and draw them out gets stronger and more profound. Also, can never listen to “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads enough. “Same as it ever was” indeed!
Tell us what would your friends and family say they appreciate the most about you?
Oh boy…you’re assuming that they DO appreciate me! That’s a stretch (ha ha…maybe “humility”?) I would guess that they would choose between Loyal and Passionate. I’m good with that. Creative, Driven, and Funny would probably round out the Top 5.
Okay, maybe Humility is NOT in there…
What have you experienced as a musician that gives you a clear understanding of just how ‘tough’ the industry can be at times?
Terrific Highs and Crushing Lows. The bipolar nature of releasing your music and lyrics to the world is an incredibly potent mix of exhilaration when people dig it and self-doubt and second-guessing when they don’t. You can’t underestimate what that can do to one’s psyche! I love my colleagues who say they don’t care what anyone thinks, and that they make music for themselves. Spoiler alert…they’re LYING!
When I was 25, I wrote and recorded my second album, Time Extension. I POURED myself into that record. I spent 6 months writing it…the lyrics are all connected as a concept piece about a man on his death bed looking back on his life and wishing to change some things – to right some wrongs, if you will. He is granted a “Time Extension” for an hour to go back and do it again, and each song is a different point in his life where he would make some changes. Heady stuff for a 25-year old, no?
I thought I was a friggin’ genius! The music was as intricate and thought-out as the lyrics, and I had A-list players. Mind you, this is 21 years before our latest album, Occam’s Foil, so I was still young and learning. Problem is, I wasn’t totally secure and seasoned as a singer and arranger. Oooops!
We released the album, and a dude named Kenn Rodriguez at the Albuquerque Journal got an advance copy before we toured through there. He CRUSHED it. 1.5 stars. Destroyed my voice…basically told us that we should find another singer or quit. I was floored, and it still stings a little even to this day…even though his criticism was probably SPOT ON!
Note to music journalists…you wield a mighty sword. Handle with care. Wink Wink.
What else would you like to share with our readers?
If you have passion for something, and it is constructive and lights you up, GO FOR IT. You will be good at it, the respect and money will come from how hard you work at it, simply because you love it. Do Not sacrifice your dreams for a path that doesn’t speak to you on every level. Life is short, so grab what is yours for the taking. I have mostly followed this advice, and while mistakes have been made along the way, I am a happy product of all of it…successes and failure. And as a musician and human, I wouldn’t trade that path for anyone else’s. It makes me, well, ME!
List your social media link and Spotify please so our readers can find you.
Our fans are the faithful FOLK (“Friends Of Little King”) and they follow us here:
www.littlekingtunes.com (you can stream all of the last 5 records there…start at the end and work backwards, please!)
FB – @littlekingtunes
IG – @littlekingtunes
For Bookings: Bsquaredmgmt.com
For Interview Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
End of Interview