Frank - Talent Around The Block

Lost somewhere between the rhythm and the rhyme is where you’ll find the singer and songwriter Frank Ryan. Originally from Dublin, Frank is based in Toronto for our great pleasure. And yes, he still has the accent.

Interview in collaboration with Patrick Godin

• Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Frank Ryan, I’m 25, born and raised in Dublin, Ireland but now living in Toronto and I am a professional musician.

• You have been playing since the age 11. What inspired you to create and perform music? Have those inspirations stuck until now?

There was definitely a combination of influences that ultimately mixed together and fueled that desire to be a musician. To pick out a couple, I’d have to say the Beatles as a kid were huge. I heard a lot of Beatles growing up & remember being intrigued by certain melodies, fascinated by everything they did. Then when I was 11 a guy on my school bus played me Fire by Jimi Hendrix. My dad had two old guitars in our living room and I naturally wanted to be Jimi Hendrix. Then I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers live & that was it. I wanted that job. To this day, they remain, and I imagine they always will be my key influences

• After opening for Big Wreck at Beerfest Toronto & performing at Ottawa’s Juno fest, what has been your best experience playing so far?

There’s been so many it’s pretty hard to pick one, I played the Mod Club last week which was pretty special and a lot of fun. But yeah the beer festival is always quite a highlight.

• Who are some of your important musical influences today?

D’Angelo. Oh man. I saw him in Europe a few weeks ago and it was insane. James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Hendrix had a baby and called it D’Angelo! His new album is one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. Also, Paolo Nutini, his latest album Caustic Love is incredible. Then there’s Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone Al Green... I could go on...

• Were there any formative experiences in your career that fundamentally influenced your work?

Too many! I have been extremely fortunate to meet and become friends with some incredible players, and there is a lot you pick up that way, be it getting turned onto some incredible music or having your musical perspective completely broadened. I also worked as a session player and was exposed to such an array of different musical styles and approaches that it really had a lasting affect on me.

• Is there any difference between performing in Toronto & Dublin?

Oh yes... Way less fights in Toronto... But it’s a lot more reserved in Toronto. Dublin has volatile electricity in the air as is, so playing a small club there is fun because you don’t know what could happen, people get loose. In Toronto, people watch the bands attentively & are far more cautious about letting loose. Both situations can be great to play in, it really just depends on how you’re feeling.

• What is your main career goal?

To write, record and tour original music and be able to live a somewhat comfortable life in doing so. But as any musician will tell you, stability is not a common word in this industry. But that’s part of the fun.

• What is the project you are most proud of?

I have been working on and recording some new music that I am very proud of. It is yet to be released but I am dying for people to hear it. I have also played some standout shows, little club shows nobody came to that I was very proud of haha.

• Is there a specific process or regimen you follow when creating your music?

Yes and no. Creativity comes on its own terms. You can’t force it. But you can neglect it. I try to stick with a routine of playing and writing daily. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think there’s a right way to create any art, you just have to find your own way to interpret the inspiration when it comes.

• What qualities do you think one requires to succeed the music industry?

Copious amounts of patience, a sense of humor and a tough neck. It’s pretty brutal at the best of times.

• To the next 11 year old kid tuning his or her guitar dying to get out there & perform, what advice would you give?

Haha fasten your seatbelt... And don’t ever give up. As insane as it is, it’s one of the most incredibly rewarding things you could ever pursue and so much fun. Ignore anyone who says otherwise.

• Where can we find you?

I don’t know if there’s one particular place.. I tend to roam all over the place. Dundas and Ossington is my stomping ground so I am most likely frequenting somewhere around there. As far as gigs go we have a handful coming up in May. We are opening up for Tasman Jude at Dundas West's 3030 on the 16th.

ed: Frank will be playing on May 26th at Jane Harbury's Discoveries
Frank & the band will have the pleasure of performing at Jane Harbury's Discoveries, next week at Hugh's Room. Advance tickets & reservations are available through the link below..
Posted by Frank Ryan Music on Tuesday, 19 May 2015

• If Toronto was a person what kind would it be?

 “The” question.. Toronto is like a beautiful woman with a major split personality. You meet her in the summer and she is warm, happy, fun and exciting... But then you see her in the winter & she is cold, mean, angry and moody... But that’s what I love about it!

Wanna hear more? Check out Frank's work here:


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