Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Redefining Of A Rising Blues Rock Guitar Hero - An Exclusive Interview With Ryan McGarvey

New Mexico may rightfully be known as "The Land Of Enchantment" for its abundance of sunshine, mild weather, vivid blue skies and spectacular scenery, but one thing it is not known for is blues rock guitar heroes. Certainly there are exceptional regional musicians in the genre, such as Santa Fe's Alex Maryol and Albuquerque's Todd Tijerina, and have been for years, but none have truly been able to break through in an international way. That situation however has begun to change with the emergence of native son Ryan McGarvey.

Born in Albuquerque in 1986, it's safe to say McGarvey was destined to be a musician. Enchanted by the guitar almost immediately, by age two he was given his first acoustic. By age six he was inspired by classic hard rock to pick up the instrument in earnest, and has never looked back since.

Tracing back songs from artists such as Led Zeppelin, he soon immersed himself in blues tradition, combining influences from blues legends Robert Johnson and Leadbelly, Texas guitar legends Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson with the blues rock stylings of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Irish guitar wizard Rory Gallagher and Joe Bonamassa.

Thus began his journey as a musician, playing local clubs, even while still a teen, wowing crowds throught the Southwest. Displaying an amazing guitar technique during performances which normally could stretch out to over four hours long, it wasn't long before he was taken notice of. Leading to McGarvey appearing with and/or sharing the bill with such well established performers as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Wishbone Ash, Back Door Slam, Gov't Mule, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and many more.

In 2007 McGarvey released his debut album, the critically acclaimed 'Forward In Reverse'. Although recorded when he was still but 19 years old, it demonstrated through the album's 10 self penned tracks not only was he an exceptionally talented guitarist, but had the impeccable knack for writing strong, memorable compositions as well. One of which, "Cryin' Over You" took home honors as "Blues Song Of The Year" in the 2007 New Mexico Music awards.

Evidence of his growing popularity amongst fans of the blues rock genre was the fact that in 2010 the guitarist was chosen from a field of over 4,000 hopefuls via fan votes to appear at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival - An event which has served to propel his career into a much higher gear. Three successful tours of Europe have followed, each one serving to broaden and expand his fanbase.

After a long, five year gap between releases, McGarvey is back with a brand new album 'Redefined'. A much more mature and confident offering than his debut, the material - ranging from the hard driving blues rocker "Blues Knockin' At My Door" all the way to the Tommy Emmanuel by way of Joe Bonamassa influenced acoustic workout "Four Graces" - states a very strong musical case for the 25 year old to be ranked firmly amongst the rising stars of the recently burgeoning neo blues rock movement.

Recently we had the opportunity to catch up with the guitarist at home in New Mexico to discuss the brand new album, his recent successful tours of Europe, what the future may hold for him, and so much more. Please join us as we have an exclusive interview with one of blues rock guitar's rising young guns, Ryan McGarvey.(Photo credits, from top to bottom : Rhonda Pierce, Robert M. Knight, Marco van Roijjen, Fons Kersbulck)

Special thanks to Ryan McGarvey for doing this interview for Nightwatcher's House Of Rock!

Interview and text by Keith Langerman © 2012 Nightwatcher's House Of Rock

"I met Ryan in 2006 and was very impressed at the depth of his influence and his ability to put said influences together in his own way.. To watch him grow as a artist and to hear his name mentioned to me as much as it has is a testament to his hard work and skill."~ Joe Bonamassa  

Nightwatcher's House Of Rock : I'd like to get right into talking about your brand new release, 'Redefined', which is just being released here in North America. It's been five years since the release of your debut album 'Forward In Release' in 2007. Why such a long time in between releases?

Ryan McGarvey : I've had stuff recorded for the past year. I'm now actually very happy that I took so long. I feel that it was done right. What it really was, is that things kept being delayed due to record labels. Every time I'd get to the point of putting something out, more and more industry people would say, "Wait before you release that. Let us see what we can do". It kept being that way for so long, even until recently.

Then I got tired of waiting. I had so many people saying, "Oh, we can't wait for your next record". I couldn't wait either. (Laughs) I wanted it out more than anybody. Finally, we had so many songs recorded, I figured it wasn't going to hurt anything if I just released it myself.

NHOR : There's definitely a more hard rocking vibe in comparison with the first album, and you've shifted musicially a bit from straight forward blues rock on the songs here. What were the reasons you decided to go towards a more harder rocking sound with this release?

RM : 'Forward In Reverse' has more of a straight blues rock vibe. But even when we recorded that one I didn't want it to be just the standard "I -IV-V" blues album. I'm still very proud of what I did on that album. It was a good picture of where I was at that time.  But this one I feel really shows where I have grown. I wasn't holding back as much.

I grew up on classic hard rock, even really before I had gotten into blues. I think a lot more of that came out on this album. It's another picture of where I was. This album was recorded last year. It shows where I was at that time. I think my songwriting has blossomed more on this album, rather than being restricted to a straight blues format. There's still a blues influence there. People are really happy with it. It's just a new heavier step from what I was doing on the first album.

NHOR : How satisfied with you with the record now that it's finished? Is there anything about the album that you'd like to go back and change?

RM : There's always things that I hear where I'm like, "Oh, I don't do this now. I'd like to change that" There are always little things that I'd like to change. But I'm still very happy with how it turned out. I haven't really had a chance to listen to it lately. Luckily...Not that I got burnt out on it, but I listened to it so many times during the recording process. I was finally able to give it some space. I recently listened to some of the songs, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. It sounds like a record that I would like if I were listening to someone else's album. It sounds really big. I'm really happy with the production quality.

NHOR : Did you feel a lot more confident going into the studio this time around?

RM : I would say so. We went in, with the band who recorded it with me, Sam Miller on bass, and August Johnson on drums, and in one day we recorded 21 songs. Most of those were all no more than two takes. I wanted it to have more of a raw feeling, so that it wasn't too sterile sounding. It was really basically us rocking out in the studio live. There was very little overdubbing. We did go back and redid some vocals and that was about it. We listened to the playback that night, and we were like, "This sounds like a good record" I was happy then, and thought this was a great follow-up to the first CD.

My vocals I feel have matured and grown throughout the years, and continue to do so. I was more flexible to try new things. I could hear myself on the first record kind of holding back, trying to hit that certain note or key. I think it's better when you don't pay attention to that and just go for it, even if it's off just a little bit, the feeling makes up for that.

NHOR : What songs are your favorites on this album? 

RM : It continually keeps changing. I always love "Never Seem To Learn", for a rocker. At festivals we've played live, people get into a unison clap even before the song gets going, then it just takes off from there. It was cool for me, because I didn't feel like I really had a rock song like that on the previous album. Also, "My Sweet Angel". "So Close To Heaven" is also getting really good reviews as well, and has become a real crowd favorite I think. Even some of the ones that I didn't think would be as mentionable, such as "Pennies", I've had people who are really happy that it's on the album. So now it's been a song that we hadn't been playing live, but now we are, and it's becoming one of my favorite songs to play.

NHOR : As a young artist, how difficult is it for you to come up with something fresh and new given the long history of the blues rock genre? Is there ever a time when you go, "Well I can't play this, this sounds just like this song"?

RM : I think that happens a lot. If I can, I'll let a song develop for awhile so that I can look at it. Sometimes it's like, "Well, I don't know if it was subconscious, but it sounds to me like this song". Or it has too much of this vibe, and I don't like it now. Sometimes I'll do something like that, but if it's a strong enough song, it's sometimes me thinking that and nobody else. Then I'll try to do something different to it. I'll use a different effect, and try this different. Instead of playing it like this, let me try it this way. Just try to change things up always so that it's not too repetitive. I sometimes wish there would be an app for the phone that you could run a song through that you just made, and it would tell you, "It sounds just like this song". (Laughs)

NHOR : Right, This chord progression is from this song, these licks are from this one....

RM : Right. It's almost impossible to come up with something that hasn't been done. Because it's all been done before. There's a reason that the chords go together with each other. Because they have to go that way. It's kind of the rule. (Laughs) As much as I can, I try to ...if I even hear my playing sound too much like someone else, I purposely don't listen to them. I'll try to listen to someone else.

NHOR : In terms of songwriting, what is your process when you write? Do you usually come up with music first, then the lyrics? Or the other way around?

RM : It's always kind of back and forth. I'll usually have a reserve of ideas in my head. Something that I've come up with, that I'm toying with. Those kind of stack up, and usually the lyrics come as they come. There have been times, such as on the first album, when I wrote "Joyride" it took me about 10 minutes I think. I sat down with the guitar, had it mapped out. I was sitting in front of a computer playing it, and I wrote the words as I was sitting in front of the computer. It all blended great.

It's always a vice versa. Sometimes I'll have lyrics for a really long time that won't fit anything, then I'll be jamming something new, perhaps with the band, then in my head I'll go, "Wow, that would go great with these lyrics". Ones that I wrote a month ago, or something like that.

NHOR : Do you ever encounter a block when you're trying to write, or do the ideas just flow naturally out of you?

RM : Sometimes if it's forced, I think it can be a little bit hard, but I've never really had a block when it comes to that. I've been such a big guitar fan, I can grab a different guitar, sit down, and something which I never would have thought of on the other guitar just kind of comes out.

On this record, with "All The Little Things" I borrowed a Dobro, went into my room, had it tuned to a Bluegrass tuning, was playing around with it, and everything just came together. Then it grew from this acoustic thing that I was learning. I picked up a Telecaster, and it evolved over the years. It all developed from me sitting down with a different instrument.

NHOR : Do you feel sometimes when things aren't coming together, if you get another guitar it will give you inspiration that you wouldn't have had if you had continued playing the other instrument?

RM : Yeah, definitely. Like, every time I pick up the Telecaster, even if it's for two seconds or so, I'll start playing some sort of chickin' pickin' country lick. That would never had been played on this guitar, but as soon as I pick up the Tele, that's what comes out.

For a long time too, something that I was kind of scared about would be everytime I'd pick up a Strat, a Stevie Ray type sound would come out. It's just too easy to fall into that. Now though, any guitar I pick up, I'll pretty much play the same. Even now, with my electric set up, I'll be like, "I've got to use my fuzz pedal on this". Lots of variations help though.

NHOR : Where do you get your inspiration for your songs?

RM : Lots of different things. I find the ones that people always connect to are the real life based experience songs. It also helps me because I think it comes across more believable. I always try to take things from real life but try to write them in a way that's not like based off someone's name or something. Something that's very open to where either sex can listen to it and picture a scenario that they've been in. That they can picture something from their own life in.

I've had fans come up to me and say, "Oh, I really love this song because it reminds me of an experience that I had". I'll think that's pretty cool, mine was based upon an experience I had in high school or something like that. I pretty much try to keep it open ended.

NHOR :  I guess with your songs being based on real life we can't expect a prog rock epic filled with faeries and wizards and such from you anytime soon...

RM : Hey, you never know. (Laughs)

NHOR : The album was produced by you, your dad Pat and Bill Palmer in Santa Fe, then subsequently was mastered by Brian Lucey, who has been very busy lately with the latest from The Black Keys, Oli Brown, Dr. John, and now you. How did you get hooked up with Brian, and why did you choose him over other mastering engineers to add the finishing touches?

RM : I actually got hooked up with Brian through Bill Palmer at Frogville Studios in Santa Fe. I'm not sure how he got hooked up with him, but he had done a few things recently with him. I was actually dealing with someone else who was working with some really big name rockers. I was kind of leaning towards them because they had a really good deal and had a good resume.

Then I saw Brian's resume, and thought that was more of what I was wanting to do. I didn't want to be kind of typical either, in the aspect that all the blues guys are using these guys, so we have to go to them. The two albums that Brian worked with The Black Keys on, I really liked.

I listened to the different albums Brian worked on, and he was really eager to work with me. I really appreciated that. It was a thing of, he's a great guy, and I'm really liking his work. He was super over the top professional, and that was great.  Working with him was quicker than if I had been working with someone locally. It was beautiful how that all came together.

Working with Bill at Frogville Studios, he was awesome with the tones that we were going for. He could totally read my mind. Instead of giving me an excuse of how he was going to make it sound a certain way, it would turn out that way. Just the way I wanted it to. Him being a musician, he knew what to expect.

NHOR : It's good to have that sort of musical empathy.....

RM : Totally. He always had it down. He didn't push too much. Any type of ideas he came up with, it was usually something I was already thinking. Him being a musician it just melded really good.

My Dad, having been around the songs hundreds and hundreds of times, has a great ear to know how it was supposed to sound. He has a great ear for details on how the music was supposed to be. Then there was what was in my mind, how I had always envisioned how I wanted it to sound on the album. It was a great environment, a very family vibe, and it all went so smoothly.

NHOR : One artist you have been frequently been compared to is Joe Bonamassa, and there are elements of your playing which certainly appear to be influenced by Joe. What elements of Bonamassa's playing have had the biggest impact upon you?

RM : I think a lot of things, and even how we have become friends even, is the way we look at things sometimes. We kind of think very much the same.  For me, even before I found out about Joe even, there was the Eric Johnson influence. I always wanted to go after some of what he's doing.

Not to be totally like Eric, but having still that edge and heaviness of blues rock, and having the ability to throw in the elegant part of his playing.

That was already kind of in my head, then Joe kind of had a lot of that already. It's a back and forth thing. Something that I'll think about doing, Joe just did, a few nights ago or something. Then I'll be like, "Nevermind", and move on.

I think it's just having a lot of the same influences. I think that comes out, who we listen to. That's how he has influenced me. I kind of tried to show more of a rock vibe on this album, to stay away from too much of a comparison to him even. More focused upon the song, rather than the solo.

NHOR : You're good friends with Joe. Since just several years ago he was travelling the same path as you are, and has to be considered a trailblazer in terms of bringing a new acceptance of blues rock to the masses, has he given you any advice?

RM : He's always giving me great advice. There's always words of wisdom that he got from other people that have really stuck with him. And it's great advice. Sometimes I'll go to him, and ask, "Hey, this is going on. Have you ever gone through this?" And he's always there with some words of wisdom.

NHOR : You've just returned from your third tour of Europe in the past year, playing in Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What has been the response there to your music? Were you happy with the way things went on this tour?

RM : It's breathtaking almost every night. Even our smallest show, we'll show up and the entire room's filled with people. I'll have it in the back of my head that I'd be so happy if six people showed up, that would be amazing. To go from one side of the world to the other, and hope that people will actually want to come and see you play. Then to have situations where there's lines at the door, and we're selling out shows, at really decent ticket prices, it's almost mind blowing.

Every show, I almost kind of refuse to look out at the crowd at first. Then I'll get onstage, and we'll be halfway through the first song,  then I'll finally look out at the crowd, and think, "Wow, there's a lot of people here". (Laughs)

NHOR : What, if any do you feel are the differences between European audiences versus here in the United States?

RM : I feel like here, in the United States, people go out more so as we're going to socialize, drink, have a good time, and the concert, or band performance is an extra bonus. "We're going to go do all this, and then.... there's the band".

When we go overseas, they're completely dedicated to see the band, and I mean watch the band. They're very detailed, they'll listen and pay attention. Being able to drink and be with friends, that's their bonus. It's kind of a flip flop. They really get excited about seeing the band. They pay attention to each band member, what they're doing on their instrument very closely. They're just so attentive. It's very heartwarming actually. You can hear a pin drop sometimes during a dynamic moment of a song. Back home, I would hear seven girls laughing, glasses breaking. (Laughs)

NHOR : Do you feel that has pushed you as a player? To have that sort of attention, where they're actually there to listen to what you're playing rather than just being a soundtrack to having a good time?

RM : Definitely. I think it's great. Even the technology now. There's a couple hundred videos that pop up on YouTube every tour. And someone in the crowd got every single song. It's all on there somewhere. Everything has to be perfected. I think we did a great job on this tour. Every night after the show, we'd be like, "Well, in this song, we did this...Ehhhh...didn't really care for it. Next time let's do this to fine tune this". Just continually trying to perfect things. Especially with the crowds being as attentive as they are. You want to put on a really good show, and be as close to perfect as you can. Yet still allowing yourself to breathe.

NHOR : How does that awareness of, especially when you are in Europe, of knowing that almost every song that you play is going to end up online almost immediately? Does it make you focus more on your playing?

RM : I think we've gotten to good point right now. Where there is kind of like a steel frame for every song. We know the map of each song, but still there are moments where we can go off the beaten track if the moment's just right. Sometimes you're so caught up in the song you get through it, nail it perfectly, but it's just there. Sometimes I'll get sidetracked play the song a bit different, and halfway through I'll think, "Oh I'm going to see this on YouTube". Then I'll wonder if I'm going to hate myself for doing that tonight or if it's going to be cool. (Laughs)

NHOR : While at the Kwadendamme Bluesfestival in Holland in May, you had the opportunity to sit in with bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna, whom of course spent many years with the late great Rory Gallagher. Being a big fan of Rory's, and him being a big influence on you, what was that like for you sitting in with them?

RM : It was so great. We were playing the festival, and they were going to be playing after us. Specifically for Europe we worked up a heavy rock cover version of Rory's "A Million Miles Away". We were at the festival, and knowing that they were going to play I didn't want to play that song that night. I knew people would be fine and cool with it, and there were even people in the crowd who were asking for it, but it was just kind of a weird thing for me personally. Playing this Rory song this way, then his real band was going to come out and maybe play it. We held off, and ended up playing something else for the encore.

I got to meet them, and was hitting off with them all about being Irish, talking about Ireland and all that. Then it had been built up by a lot of people over "Oh, what would you think about having Ryan out there with you maybe?". Because the name of their band is Gerry McAvoy's Band Of Friends. Finally, I was talking with Gerry, and he was saying, "Yeah, why don't you put an amp up on the side. We'll see, but we can't promise anything. But we'll try and get you up with us".

I was fine with that. I wasn't pressuring for that. I would be there regardless. Towards the end of their set they asked if I wanted to play "Messin' With The Kid" with them. So, I did, and it was a thrill. They're all such top notch musicians, and such gentlemen, it's unbelieveable.

NHOR : You started playing guitar at the age of four. What was your inspiration for picking up the instrument in the first place?

RM : I grew up around guitars through my Dad. He'd get home from work, he'd play just to relax, strumming the guitar a bit. When my parents saw that I couldn't leave it alone, and how much it was exciting me, they gave me my first acoustic when I was two. Of course I couldn't do anything with it at that point. They didn't push me either. They figured, he'll either like it, and it'll be geat if he wants to pick it up, but if he doesn't, it's not a big deal.

Then when I was around six or seven, I believe, I accidently picked it up, and began playing with it. Like a toy, playing with the guitar. I accidently was playing with it, and realized what I did. I ran and showed my Dad, and he corrected my fingers a little bit. I was playing the intro to Heart's "Barracuda". I just thought it was the coolest thing ever being able to do it. God knows how long I played that over and over. (Laughs) It just grew from that. Then my Dad showed me some basic chords, and before I knew it I was picking things up, like Led Zeppelin stuff, trying to figure out things on my own playing along with cassettes, wearing them out.

NHOR : What album if you had to choose was the one which made the biggest impact upon you as a young player? 

RM : There was some live stuff that I was figuring out that I had on tape when I was young. I remember the Coverdale/Page album. I remember completely wearing that cassette out, listening along and learning how to play songs from that. There are a ton of albums that were thete when I was first really getting into playing, such as the guitar work on Sass Jordan's 'Rats' album. There are so many riffs and licks on that one. The first Kenny Wayne Shepherd album, all the Stevie Ray stuff. They all just happened at once for me.

NHOR : What drew you to blues? At that time when you were really getting into playing it was right around the height of the grunge era, so you could have easily been more influenced by Nirvana than Stevie Ray Vaughan....

RM : I started tracing things back. I already kind of knew. By the time I discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, and was really into him, it took a little bit of time for me to get into him at first, and really appreciating what he was doing, it was Led Zeppelin. The first song of theirs which was a favorite was "Gallows Pole". Which I traced back to being a Leadbelly song. Then I fell into learning about Robert Johnson. For awhile I became kind of a blues purist. All I listened to was blues, blues, blues. I was only into really traditional stuff. Thankfully I got out of that.

I still have such a love for it, but luckily I was able to mix the influences and not be narrow minded about one thing. But just tracing it back, and the blues being such a huge influence on Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and such.

NHOR : Do you recall what the first album you bought was?

RM : I think there were three. There were two vinyl albums...My Mom and sister were going to a record show and I think I gave ten dollars to them. I got a rare German import of a Jimi Hendrix album and a Ventures record. Another one I got around that time was Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Live Alive!'.

NHOR : How would you rate your own progression as a player? Are you satisfied with your playing at this point?

RM : I think not satisfied to the point of always wanting to do better. Usually before a show I don't typically warm up. Every once in awhile I'll be noodling before a show, and I'll even find things there. During a show I'll do something and it's like, "What was that?" And then I'll think I need to figure out how to do that better. I think it's always developing. Especially in the aspect of singing and songwriting. I think it's always sounding a little bit better, and sharper. More polished in every way.

When I was 12 or 13, I was playing all the Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix stuff already. In theory, I could have found a couple of guys and played the clubs, even at that age. But even at that age, I didn't really like the really young guitar players trying to play blues. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but I think there's a cut off point somewhere. At some point it just gets kind of weird.

NHOR : It's just a novelty act, or even like a freakshow at some point.....

RM : It can just sometimes get too weird. I thought that when I was really young. I started when I was young, but when I was around 15 or so I was sitting in with people in clubs. I wasn't trying to really push it, like, "Come see me, I'm a young teenager trying to play blues". I think even at that point there was talk of, "Hey, you should do a CD". But I'm glad I waited until when I did. Because that album could have been horrible. (Laughs)

We started to record the album 'Redefined' not long after 'Forward In Reverse' was out. We started it, and the production got way too far out with other people's input on it. Before I knew it the songs didn't sound right. I didn't like anything that was going on the album really. One thing that I'm super thankful about waiting on it is it sounds so many leaps and bounds better than it was going to be. I'm glad there was a little space to make sure it was actually right.

NHOR : When you're onstage, and launching into a solo, what is going through your mind at that time? Do you let your music take you to another place? Or is it more along the lines of "God, I hope I don't mess this up?"

RM : I don't think I ever worry about ruining it. That just happens naturally. (Laughs) I think it definitely takes me somewhere. That's the one time that I can let myself go to feel it flow. Sometimes it can depend on the night too. Sometimes I'll have a million things going on in my head that I don't even realize what I'm doing. I'm feeling it. There are so many things that i'm worried about. The words to the song, am I making enough contact with the audience,  are the amps sounding right, what's the drummer doing...what's the bass player doing...all these different things.

Even the little distractions. It just takes one thing to overflow the mind. When I'll hit my flub I'm like, "Oh my God, what was that? What just happened here? Where was I?" (Laughs) So the solo's the time when it can all just take off. Then I'll come back to reality after that.

NHOR : Where would you like to take your music in the next 5 years?

RM : I'm always anxious to see where it's headed to. I don't know if I would even have pictured this album at the time I was doing 'Forward In Reverse'. It seems like so much of a heavier record than that was. Even now, I don't think that it sounds super heavy, like a metal album. It just has such a full sound to it.

I'm excited to see what I'm going to sound like. What will my guitar sound like? Will my voice be more like this person or more like that person? We're always trying to expand it and take it somewhere new.

NHOR : Obviously being chosen to play at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010 was a pivotal moment for you. Do you feel that it has given you a step up in your career?

RM : I definitely think it's something which has been the biggest mark on my resume. It's been an even bigger boost than I could have hoped for.

When we went over on our first tour of Germany. our first appearance was at the Grolsch Blues Festival, we were talking to people, and the second we started playing songs from our first album, a crowd of thousands were singing every song perfectly.It was all based upon people actually having the album for awhile. It had gotten great reviews.

They are more about quality rather than trends over there. If a song's eight minutes long, they'll still play it on the radio because it's a good song. Where here, if it's not under three minutes, thirty seconds, you're not getting on the radio.

It was already manifesting. But I think the Crossroads thing definitely gave it a booster shot. I know that's what made things kind of grow before we got over there.

NHOR : What has been the most bizarre experience you've had on tour thus far?

RM : There was one time, and it was actually overseas, which made it more weird. After the show, I found out there was a guy who was drunk who was trying to start a fight with everyone. Including my band, and even my Dad who was with us. The guy was threatening everyone, he left, and I was kind of oblivious at the time, and didn't know what had goine on already.

I was sitting at the bar, and I heard all this commotion, and people yelling to get back. Usually when there's a bar fight, I'll get 10 to 12 feet back, so that I'm not involved with it. I'll just walk away, and let people take care of it. The guy was pushing past me, and trying to go towards my drummer. I jumped back, and I was still trying to grab my drink, just casually trying to get away. Then everyone was really screaming at me. Because he had gone back to his house, and had come back with a gun, threatening to kill somebody.

It was a crazy night, and in the midst of everything, with everyone telling me to hide somewhere, I had fell down in the dark and hurt my knee really bad. It was kind of messed up for the rest of the tour because of it. A week later, we were talking about it, at another show, and it had been in all the newspapers. About the guy who had come to our show waving a gun, threatening to kill someone.

NHOR : What artists are you listening to now?

RM : I'm kind of in a weird rotation right now. I've been listening to a lot more mainstream music than I usually listen to. A lot of random things. I've also over the past year gotten a lot of influence going with friends to see rock shows such as The Foo Fighters. I didn't know that I would like them as much as I did. I have so much respect for them. They came out beforehand and said, "We're playing for three and a half hours". Then they came back and played like six songs for an encore. They just put so much into their performance. I was getting exhausted just watching them. (Laughs)

There's also always a handful of young blues rock guitar guys.We just played a festival a couple weeks ago with Aynsley Lister, whom I've been a fan of for a long time. So I've been listening to him a bit more lately. Henrik Freischlader, from Germany, who I got to sit in with recently is just amazing.

NHOR : With all the shows you've been playing lately have you considered releasing a DVD of live performances? Is that something you'd be interested in doing anytime soon?

RM : We were supposed to do a couple things in Europe but they fell through with people. We're talking about maybe next year, but I've been looking into maybe just doing it here in the States, like a hometown type of thing.

I have a lot of ideas for various projects that i'd like to do right away. I want to do a third album. I want to go in right away and do an acoustic album. The third album, I'd like to do a more blues based album featuring every spectrum of the blues. Maybe have special guests on it. Then a fourth album after that. I'd also like to do a live CD with a DVD to go with it. It's almost a case of too many ideas but not enough time.

For more information on Ryan McGarvey go to

"So Close To Heaven" from 'Redefined' 2012

"Blues Knockin' At My Door' from 'Redefined' 2012

"Four Graces" from "Redefined" 2012

The Ryan McGarvey Band Live Vienna, Austria April 30, 2012

Ryan McGarvey "Hey Joe" Live Wijk, Holland November 26, 2011

Ryan McGarvey with Samantha Fish and Kate Moss "Got A Good Mind To Give Up Living" 2012

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