Ryan Bingham is currently on a European Tour that will cap off a great year for the singer-songwriter after the release of his new album Tomorrowland.
We caught up with the singer to chat about how the tour is going and the response to his new record.
– You are currently on your European tour so how are the shows going?
It has been going really well so far. We are four or five shows into the tour and we have had some great crowds and the band is sounding really good. I am having a lot of fun.
– How are you finding the UK crowds and how do they compare to perhaps playing in the States?
It’s funny because it is pretty similar. People have been getting rather rambunctious (laughs). It has been interesting and a lot of fun.
We have had some late nights already and that is always a sign that something great is going on (laughs).
– For anyone who has a ticket for any of the shows of the next few weeks and perhaps hasn’t seen you live before what can they expect from the gig?
It is very live and loud – I have got a full band with me out on the tour; I have some stuff that is just acoustic and with a guitar but most of it is full on rock and roll with electric guitars.
So they can definitely expect some volume and some movement so don’t be scared to get out there and dance a bit.
– You have recorded some great albums in recent years but how much do you enjoy being out on the road? Is it the best part of the job?
It is. I have always looked at it as a love/hat relationship sometimes because sometimes it is good and sometimes it is rough (laughs). But it is just part of the experience and part of adventure.
And it is the kind of stuff that when you get home you write about- the good and the bad time because you can’t have it all.
Your outlook when you are going into it is to just keep a positive mindset and be open minded and try to make the best of every situation.
– You released Tomorrowland earlier this year so how have you found the response so far as it does seen to have gone down really well?
Yeah, it is always different. For a band like me I don’t really get crazy exposure with the record so sometimes it does take a while to circulate around and get out to fans.
Not a lot of people know the songs right off the bat when we go out touring so we do try to mix it up a bit and play some stuff off the older records as well.
But for the most part it has been really good and the fans that have showed up have the record and know the songs and seem to be really enjoying it so far.
– And while the record does have plenty of the acoustic guitar sounds that you are well known for this album is perhaps a little heavier than your previous recordings. So how would you describe the sound of this new record? And what did you decide to take your sound down a slightly different path?
I had some time off at home when I was recording this record and I had been playing a lot more electric guitar and that was really the big influence on this record.
I was really just sitting around and experimenting the electric guitar and then I wrote most of the songs with the electric guitar so it really set the pace for it.
My last record was very acoustic and stripped down and a lot of the songs tended to be really personal and so it was a bit sad to play these songs every night because they were slow and acoustic.
So with this record I just wanted to concentrate on having some fun with the songs and really enjoy playing them live.
When you can get out there and turn the electric guitar amps up a bit and rock out for me it helps bring out a sense of humour to it as well.
– This is your fourth studio album so how do you feel that you have developed as both a musician and a songwriter since that debut release back in 2007?
I feel like I have definitely grown up a bunch and I have travelled around quite a bit since the release of that record.
I think with every record it is like a new chapter in my life with new experiences and places that you go around to – especially travelling around Europe, UK and overseas you get the chance to experience different cultures and countries and hearing different people’s points of view on things.
It is a humbling experience when you travel around and you meet people all over the world and I take all that into consideration when I am writing songs at home.
The more that we travel and the older that I get to is guess you get more experienced and you have more to think about and contemplate. So I guess it just broadens your horizons a little bit more and there are always doors always opening up.
I guess learning as musician as well so I am trying to learn and to grow and be inspired by new things. It is always expanding and growing and leaving yourself open to be inspired by new things.
– This album was perhaps a little different because you released it on your own label for the very first time so why did you decide to make it an independent release?
Well the big thing is I think that it is a lot more accessible for musicians and people in my situation with social media. My wife and I had already started a company and we were lot of doing a lot of the stuff in house already.
The main think is it is a lot more accessible these days as you can reach out to your fans directly and let them know when you have new music or when you are coming to town and playing shows. We just prefer the in-house and home team sell.
– How much have you enjoyed the freedom that comes with that independence?
It’s nice, especially when you get out on the road and you are touring a lot because you know at the end of the day it is all coming back home and not to somebody who is just sat at a desk waiting for you to go out and work for it (laughs).
We know that it is all coming home and all of the hard work that we put into it we feel like we are getting something out of it. It is just a good feeling working for ourselves and no one looks out for my best interests more than she does and vice versa.
– So many artists are now working on their own labels but they do find it a challenge so what challenges or difficulties have you faced?
I don’t think that there have been too many problems with it. You have got to wake up in the morning and you can’t be scared of stamping envelopes and send them out – it is just another level of work.
But we have always been a do it yourself kind of group and we have always made out living our on the road singing for our supper and so on. It’s not that big a deal to us to sit in an office and stamp a few envelopes.
– And now that you do have the label is it something that you are going to use to just release your own music or are you looking to bring other bands and artist on to it as well?
For right now it is just the stuff that we are working on as we are not that far into the game yet.
– You have also got a whole new band playing on the record this time around so how did you find working with these new musicians?
It was great. I met a guy called Justin Stanley, he co-produced the record with me, and he brought in a drummer called Matt Sherrod and his wife actually played bass and another friend of theirs played guitar.
It has been great mixing it up a bit and they are all really talented musicians and I feel like I have been learning a lot from them as well. It brings something new into the project and that has been really inspiring.
– You have mentioned your producer Justin already so how did that collaboration come about?
I met Justin when… he was one of the first people that I met when I went out to Los Angeles and we just hit it off and became friends. We recorded some stuff and I just kept in touch with him over the years.
With this last record I just thought that I would produce it myself and just find a really good engineer to help me work on it. He was one of the first guys that I called because he is a fantastic engineer but it is also a great producer.
I went had lunch with him one day and talked about what I wanted to do and we just went into the studio and went at it – and that was it.
– So where did your love of music start?
I guess it started when I was a kid and listening to records. I have always been a fan of music but I didn’t really get into playing until I was about seventeen or eighteen years old – I never really thought that I had much musical talent.
When I picked up the guitar and started learning a few chords I guess I just got bit by the music bug because it has stuck with me.
– Finally what is coming up for you leading into 2013?
I am just looking to tour more – we have got a few more weeks over here in Europe. Then I will be heading back home where I will take some time off for the holidays. Then I will start touring again in the early spring.
Ryan Bingham “Heart Of Rhythm” Official Lyric Video