INTERVIEW: Metts Ryan & Collins

Hi Geoff, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Doing great thank you! We’re excited to have the new record out and look forward to playing a bunch of shows this winter and spring.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Blues Train”?

Dain (Ryan, bassist) had the opening riff and we played around with it during rehearsal that week. A couple of days later I was on a plane waiting to take off and it just hit me…I had written the words and basic chord structure before we reached cruising altitude! I sang the melody and chord changes into my phone and knew I had something good.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The line “Girl since I got a hold of you, I get up on the blues train” is about getting bad news and feeling down. “Girl” was just a metaphor for bad news. From there I like to leave it up to interpretation, but I was writing about something very specific to me.

Won’t catch me crying, that just don’t suit me right now

I’m not lying, I won’t do you like that

I’m not the one who gave up on you, it’s a sin and a shame

Girl since I got a hold of you, I get up on the blues train

I’m taking off, I’ll touch the sky

Coming to get you and you know why

I’m not the one who gave up on you, take my share of the blame

Girl since I got a hold of you, I get up on the blues train

Bless my soul when I see you it brings on so much pain

Bless my soul since I met you I said I  get up on the blues train

On my arrival, on with the show

Hello how are you, mirror and smoke

I’m not the one who gave up on you, you know a man can change

Girl since I got a hold of you, I get up on the blues train

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, we’ve been talking about concepts. We have one video out (I Think That I’m In Love) and another being finished now. Blues Train will be the next.

The single comes off your new album Homegrown – what’s the story behind the title?

The whole album was written, rehearsed, recorded, mixed and mastered in our home town of Portland, Oregon. Even the artwork and replication was done there so we thought “Homegrown” was an apt title.

How was the recording and writing process?

Mike (Collins, drummer), Dain and I have been playing music together for years, so when we put this project together it was comfortable and organic. We’ve got great communication in the studio and on stage. I can bring in a song idea and they just run with it. They’re great players who write parts intended to serve the song.

We also had the good fortune to have Earl Slick (David Bowie, John Lennon) play guitar on three of the tracks. We had the basic tracks recorded and he recorded additional guitar parts at his studio in New York. He’s a great player whose work we all really admire – so it was a real honor to have him contribute to our record.

What role does Portland play in your music?

Portland is a great city that has been very supportive of our music. I moved there from a small town so to me it was the ‘big city’ – it’s still an inspiration to me.

How AC/DC and Led Zeppelin has influenced your writing?

The bands you listen to when you’re growing up and learning an instrument have a huge influence on your voice. We listened to all sorts of bands that are reflected by the music we make. You can hear how it rubbed off on us.

What aspect of home did you get to explore on this record?

We write about what’s around us. A song like “Oregon” is obvious, but there are more subtle lyrical references throughout the record.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re working on a handful of west-coast shows and then festivals in the summer.

What else is happening next in Metts Ryan & Collins’ world?

We are writing and recording the soundtrack for a short film that will come out next year – it’s our Maximum Overdrive ????

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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