|That's how we do it here in the Yeah Area! It's all sunshine and convertibles.|
WDS - I know you have probably been busy recording and preparing Dominant Legs full-length, any working title yet? And what can you tell me about the recording process for this?
Ryan - I haven't thought too much about a title for the album. I've considered calling it, " I Like Love." It's a title of another artists song. I thought it would be nice to pay them homage and it also makes sense because a few of the songs have 'love' in the title. And if they don't they are about love in one way or another. Hannah has made me aware of the fact that I may be using the word too much. So, you're just going to have to wait and see on that one.
WDS - Girls are also working on a new record, were you involved with the recording of that as well? What is your status in that band? Will you be doing both projects?
Ryan - Girls and I parted ways prior to the Australian tour last December. So I was not involved in the Girls record that they are working on now. Dominant Legs is my only project. We are all good friends still. FYI
WDS - Dominant Legs music really sparks a lot of memories for me when I listen to it. It reminds me of a time when songs were tuneful and not overly self-aware, if that makes sense? What do you find makes a good song or song feel right to you?
Ryan - Lyrically, I'd like the song to be honest. I hope to reveal something about myself in the lyrical content. Then it's up to the listener to decide if it's interesting or not. That way, whatever their opinion may be, it's me. As for the music, it takes different things for each song. I like everything to make sense. Like in a film, for instance. I like it when you feel like there aren't any wasted scenes or that there aren't any scenes that feel unnecessary or done poorly. The most important thing to me are the melodies though. That's where I have the most fun.
WDS - We both grew up on the Peninsula (you in Redwood City and me in Millbrae) what do you think that chronically suburban experience brings to the music you make?
Ryan - When I was in high school, it was much harder to get independent music. We mail-ordered records and put on our own shows. The punks and other kids into music were very nurturing. The peninsula has influenced me in that aspect, but my musical influences come from all over.
WDS - There is a strong R&B undercurrent mixed with a kind of AM radio Top 40 KFRC quality (if you remember that station). I heard you mention Nile Rodgers in another interview, who has influenced your guitar playing? The same question regarding singing?
Ryan - Michael Jackson for sure. When I first started writing songs my friends told me that sounded like Tracy Chapman. I was and am still a fan of hers, so I took it as a compliment. I think that she is much better than I though. There's a lot of feeling and soul in her voice that can't be taught. Others I like are: Van Morrison, Steve Ignorant, R Kelly, Bob Dylan who I would never attempt to imitate, Luther Vandross, Robert Smith.
WDS - Having been through the “buzz machine” with Girls, how has that prepared you for the same kind of interest in Dominant Legs?
Ryan - I am well prepared. If we are lucky enough to be as successful as Girls, I will know before what it will be like. A lot of van time on the road. I am ok with that.
WDS - How is being in a “band” with Hannah different than other bands you’ve been involved with?
Ryan - Not really a big difference. We were all friends before. (There is six of us now.) You wouldn't notice that she's the only gal.
Ryan - We were very grateful. It's always nice when people are excited to see your show. Any other band would tell you the same thing. Honestly, I still love watching Magic Bullets. I've seen them a couple times recently and just love their show. The new songs are amazing. Melted Toys, who are also from SF, are really great too. I've been listening to The Blue Nile a lot. Don't think they are around anymore though.
WDS - Let’s talk baseball! It’s been well-documented that you are a HUGE Giants fan. Growing up in the Bay Area, describe how it felt to finally have the team be World Champions? How did you celebrate and for how long? (I have friends that are still celebrating)
Ryan - I could go on forever. It was something that meant a lot to me, as it did for so many people. To be brief, the Giants winning the World Series was one of the most fulfilling, long awaited experiences I've ever had. Sports mirror life and the good guys just won it all!! I celebrated for quite a while. Over the off season I watched the dvd box set quite a bit and shed tears of joy each time. It's something to always cherish and I will celebrate it forever. But a new season has begun and you can't let that get in the way of defending the title.
WDS - What are your feelings on the team coming out of spring training and defending their title?
I think they will be even better than last year. With all of the same pitching coming back and only losing Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria offensively. It isn't going to be easy though. You have to remember last year's regular season, where they had their struggles in the first half. I came back from tour, mid-year, just in time to watch an 8 or nine game losing streak. They will be good though. They can go up against any team and win. They've proven that.
Ridiculous But Necessary Questions
What is your favorite cheese?
Ryan - Sharp Chedder, I guess.
Donna Summer or W. Axel Rose?
Ryan - Donna Summer
Cody Ross or Barry Bonds?
Ryan - Cody Ross. He's part of the Championship team. A BIG part of it. I do love Barry Lamar though. He was our guy for a long time.
Talk about girls or sports?
Ryan - Don't make me choose.
A month in the van with anyone (entirely up to you)?
Ryan - Bob Dylan