Live Ledge #286: Matthew Ryan

It’s no secret that I love interviewing musicians. I’ve always been intrigued with their influences, their drive, and every other element that makes them who they are.

I especially enjoy asking songwriters about their craft. As I always say in these chats, I find songwriting the most mysterious aspect of the creation process. Where do songs come from? How does a songwriter capture the perfect words to get across a desired feeling or viewpoint.

Matthew Ryan is one of the more intriguing songwriters that I’ve ever interviewed. He’s as mystified as I am about that unknown ether that contain those magic words and melodies, and, more importantly, he credits this talent with basically saving his life. “I know that it made me a better human”, he told me. I know that it made me more empathetic. It made me more optimistic. It comforted me in ways that...the only thing that could comfort me in a similar way is love itself.”

Today, Ryan released a brand new album, “Hustle Up Starlings”, and it is quite possibly the best album of his career. Once again, he captures the love, lust, frustrations, and personal turning points of those that rarely are heard in today’s pop culture.

A few weeks ago, Ryan sat down with me for an extremely thorough look at the creation of “Hustle Up Starlings”. We talked about the writing process, the recording, and the difficulties of surviving as an independant artist in a time when we’re bombarded with entertainment options. Along with a handful of tracks from the album, Ryan also picked out a dozen or so artists (Dylan, Cohen, Replacements, Strummer, etc.) who inspired the record’s creation. The Argus Leader published highlights of this conversation yesterday.

We didn't get to chat much about this video, but I just have to add that regular Live Ledge guest Gorman Bechard directed this wonderful video for "(I Just Died) Live an Aviator".

As always, you can find this show at most of the podcast sites, including iTunes and Stitcher. There’s also an Android/iTunes app, The Ledge, that hosts everything on this site. Or you can…

I’d like to thank Matthew Ryan for chatting with me. It’s always a true pleasure. I hope you guys all love our conversation as much as I did. Please let me know your thoughts on this show.


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