Hi Ryan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello VENTS! I’ve been really good, thanks. Nice to meet you!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “With A Wolf”?
“with a wolf” is a song about the doubt and trepidation you experience at the onset of a new relationship…the fear that it won’t work out, not wanting to get your hopes up again, and the lack of trust in yourself to give it a chance.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Absolutely. I had just experienced a breakup while simultaneously falling in love with someone else.
How was the film experience?
It was a blast, mostly because my brother & best friend Joseph was there helping me!
The single comes off your new album always a river – why taking so long on releasing this material?
Actually, always a river has been out since 2013, and I just started playing a bunch of shows in support of it. It wasn’t until I wrote a stage show based on the album that I decided to do more of an “official” release.
How did time serve in your advantage?
I intentionally wrote this album based on a timeline of events that happened during a year in my life. I’m so happy with the story, the path that it takes, and after playing the songs live for a while, I went back & revisited my journals from the time that this all happened, and wrote a show, where I play the entire album from start to finish, with narration in between the songs & video projections. It guides the audience through this pretty intense year of my life.
What’s the story behind the title?
During the time frame that I wrote this album about, I did a lot of traveling. From Minneapolis to the north woods of Wisconsin, to Thailand, Honduras…seems like everywhere I went, I found myself on the banks of a river. That’s where the title came from, and also the last song on the album, the title track.
How was the recording and writing process?
I had the opportunity to spend six months tucked away in the North Woods of Wisconsin, where I did all of the writing. So, when I went into the studio to record, I really wanted to keep that rustic/open air/gravel road/grassy field/middle of the woods vibe that I had experienced while I was writing. I did all of the recording myself & then had the amazing Thomas Sandelands mix & master. I love the overall sound he created, I’m so happy with the record.
What aspect of your life and optimism did you get to explore on this material?
This is definitely the most optimistic writing I have ever done. Although the album starts with a breakup, it quickly moves into new love, creative rebirth & wide-eyed optimism. I met my husband during this chapter & then wrote about it! So, I definitely explored a lot of new ground making this album.
Any plans to hit the road?
Regionally, yes. Perhaps more?
What else is happening next in Ryan Lee’s world?
I am very committed to my work with a non-profit called the MN Music Coalition, where I spend my days helping other independent musicians navigate the murky waters of this industry. It is an absolute dream job! I’m also working on new material, writing & recording. Recently, more theater work has been popping up for me, as an actor/singer, so I am looking forward to more adventures in that world this year.
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