Ryan.D: Band names are a difficult decision to make. What is the story behind Ronjo V?
Ryan: It’s kind of a funny story and started off as a bit of a joke, but a few years ago I was touring Europe with White Denim, recording all of their shows for a live album. The guys started calling me Ronjo V, probably because I was such a jackass and consumed as much of their beer as humanly possible. It was my first time in Europe and let me say drinking a fresh Heineken in Amsterdam, smoking a spliff and exploring those streets for the first time was quite an experience. Just about every city we went to was an awesome adventure. Over the years, the nickname stuck. Then I made the mistake of putting out “Dying Wish” on YouTube under the name Ronjo V. Keith and I had been writing music together for fun and at the time we had no real intentions of forming a band. Fortunately, perhaps unfortunately, Dying Wish did quite well and now we’re stuck with the name Ronjo V.
Ryan.D: What is the story behind the bands formation?
Keith: While attending college in Fayetteville, Arkansas (whoo pig soooie!), my band posted flyers in a local music store looking for a singer. Literally a year later, Ryan responded to the flyer and contacted us, we immediately clicked. He was the first person I had the ability to record with and i think that made my appreciation for music that much stronger. We’ve been creating music together since then and we’re excited to hear where our most recent project will lead.
Ryan.D: What does your song writing process look like?
Ryan: Our songs almost always originate from an acoustic guitar chord progression. I’ve given up trying to control it. Years ago I read or heard a quote from Keith Richards-he said something along the lines that “these songs” are out floating around in the air; he doesn’t write them he just tunes into them. I found a lot of peace with that. I used to put pressure on myself to write a song, often thinking “I have to write a song now”. When an idea comes, it comes, I don’t worry about it and I don’t force it.
Ryan.D: Where do you gather inspiration from?
Keith: I try to gather inspiration from everywhere. It could be anything from the way the sun sets behind the clouds, the anticipation of waiting for my favorite band to come on stage, or the frustration of sitting in traffic after a long day (until he rips a fat bowl) My biggest inspiration is just that feeling of playing good music in a room with people who feel the same way I do.
Ryan: Keith’s mom has given me all the inspiration I’ll ever need.
Ryan.D: How long did your album Ronjoism take to make?
Ryan: Ronjoism is really just a collection of developed demos Keith and I made over the last few years.
Ryan.D: How would you describe your sound to someone that has not heard it before?
Keith: I think our style varies a lot and its really hard to lock us down into a certain genre, but truly I would prefer to not try to describe the sound. I believe that it should really be left up to the listener to take what they feel out of the sound. As an artist you hear yourself very differently than your audience does. That’s the part I love, it can make different people feel different things.
Ryan.D: If you could collaborate with another musician, who would it be?
Keith: Well that could end up being a very long list but here is the short version. If I could stand in a room with any other artist it would be Jimi Hendrix. I think the way he progressed rock music was far beyond his time. His use of effects and passion seem to wrap up everything i think music should be.
Ryan: I would have to say Thom Yorke, although, I would be frozen with fear and totally fuck it up.
Ryan.D: At this point in your musical career, what are some of your highlights?
Ryan: Perhaps this interview with Ryan Donnelly! Well you know we are a really new band just getting out there, but Personally and professionally I’d have to say recording and working with White Denim, James Petralli’s Bop English-Constant Bop, and co-engineering Leon Bridges’ album “Coming Home” with Niles City Productions. I suppose Leon’s record technically makes me a grammy nominated engineer.
Ryan.D: How long have you been making music?
Ryan: Since inception.
Keith: From the moment I was given the ability.
Ryan.D: Slo Motion is a great track, surrounded by many other great tracks. Why did this particular song get chosen as the lead single?
Ryan: I think Slo Motion is the most indicative example of the direction Ronjo V’s music is going.
Ryan.D: Do you have any advice for indie artists looking to make their own album?
Ryan: Record everything you can, even if after working on it you don’t feel that great about the material. You never know when you may come back to it with fresh ears and be excited about it again. Just yesterday I was listening to some recordings I had made a few years ago and was like “holy shit” this is pretty cool I can use this.
Ryan.D: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
Ryan: Hey Ryan thank you, we don’t have any official news but we are discussing with our label (Major Label Records) about how to release our next album. There’s a strong possibility we may release it 1-2 tunes at a time maybe as soon as May, so keep checking in with us. And follow us on Spotify those fuckers won’t give us any attention until we clear a few thousand followers!