ED RYAN – Roadmap (interview)

Man, when the soul hits your power pop …. You create something really special! Hope you take that as a compliment!

Thank you so much for the kind words! I am a slave to melody but for me the songs have to have some meaning and soul beyond the hooks. I’m so glad you hear and appreciate that…thanks for really listening!

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

The most fun for me were the happy accidents that happen during arranging and recording. Since I have a home studio I can go from song idea to rough tracks pretty quickly so it’s fun having that immediate burst of ideas.

Melodic & Bashing: which music/bands/artist do inspire you?

My biggest inspirations are Buffalo Springfield, The Kinks, The Who, Bowie, XTC and John Hiatt for songwriting and style. For guitar…Jeff Beck and Mick Ronson.

How did Roadmap come together? I can’t imagine the songs were written overnight but your sound is “raw/fresh/live”. Both remarks are meant as a compliment!

Roadmap began as me learning how to record and engineer songs from a huge backlog of material. The further I got into it the more new songs started to appear so it is a mix of old and new. I’m glad you appreciate the live feel. Over the years I’ve done many recordings and found them a little too slick for my tastes. When you’re a one man band it’s hard to not sound stiff…so when I record I try to do it quickly and if something has the right feel but isn’t perfect I keep it!

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright and Roadmap. They begin and end the album and express my ideas about how people adapt and change to keep their sanity. The small lies and good deeds we do to survive.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?  

I started out in the mid to late 70’s as part of the CBGB and Max’s scene in NYC. It was very difficult to get signed, record etc. but playing live was incredible…I got to share the stage with some incredible bands! What I love about the music world now is the easy access to recording and being able to find your tribe online.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

5 songs? 

That’s tough but I’ll give it a shot. 1. Broken Arrow- Buffalo Springfield 2. Waterloo Sunset- The Kinks 3. Senses Working Overtime- XTC 4. I Can See For Miles- The Who 5. A Rose For Emily- The Zombies I don’t know if that would get me the girl but if she didn’t like them I’d say it wasn’t meant to be lol!

What’s up for the next couple of months?

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my second album, then on to mastering. Trying to get the word out on Roadmap through airplay and reviews. Working, living, walking the earth!

Songs like Roadmap and Darker Side must have been hard to write?

Yeah, you feel a little exposed putting yourself out there emotionally. My favorite lyric writers in any genre tend to go deep and a little dark. Like most songwriters there’s a fair amount of romantic relationship stuff but I like to go beyond just boy/girl stuff as much as I can. Davies, Townshend and Hiatt are such great storytellers while staying emotionally true…they are my gold standard.

The guitar solo at the end of Roadmap ….. Is it stange as I say that I can feel the pain?

That solo was pretty cathartic for me. I’m essentially a blues based player so it’s as much about feel as melody. The solo was completely improvised in one pass…it was supposed to be a fade but it just felt so raw and right I just let it be. I teach music and when one of my students heard it he asked me to teach it to him…I said I’d have to learn it myself since I only played it once lol!

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