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A Chat w/ Ryan Bingham

Interview: Ryan Bingham
Byline: Derek Signore, The Sound Magazine
Show Info: 5.4.13 Brewster Ice House, Corpus Christi
Social: Facebook/Twitter / RyanBingham
Photo Credit: Anna Axster

STEAM: The new release, Tomorrowland, sees you now as an independent artist. Was the driving factor behind that decision a result of the success you reached with Cray Heart, knowing you were on the map of sorts and could garner success now on your own?
RB: I think it was in part the success with the movie soundtrack but I think more so the fact that we had been touring really hard and had built up quite a fan base around the country. As long as we were confident that we were going to be able to inform our fans of upcoming show dates and that we utilized social networking to push our new material we knew the opportunity to branch out was there. The status of the industry also made the decision more comfortable.
STEAM: Born in New Mexico and raised in South Texas what is your feeling on the state of affairs in Austin? Many artists feel that the scene there has changed in recent years to mimic the rest of the country. Do you feel that way as well and are you happy that you emerged onto the scene before such transition?
RB: I think that the scene has changed in Austin but what hasn’t changed is the tremendous amount of support the city gives to singers and song writers. There are so many little bars and café’s to play live music and people would come out to support constantly. As for SXSW it was originally about the bands and artists and now that seems to be more of an industry event to me. I have great amount of love for the city, and I’m sure the scene there will persevere.
STEAM: Minus your success with “The Weary Kind” from the movie Cray Heart, movie soundtracks have been waning in recent years with musicians playing a part now in more acting and directing roles than musically. Recently, though, with Adele’s hit song for the new 007 film Skyfall and Trent Reznor’s score for The Social Network things look to be coming back. Do you think there will be an industry shift back to the silver screen or are we more inclined to see individual singles from soundtracks be the norm?
RB: I think as a whole my impression is that people I know would like to see things round out for the entire soundtrack but I think that heavily relies on the audience demanding that. I’ve definitely considered scoring an entire soundtrack but I know I would need some help to do so. That’s a whole other ball game there.
STEAM: You are very interactive with your fan, spending time signing albums for them post show as well as constantly updating your youtube page with video performances and messages to them as well. Are you ever concerned that you are taking away from your mystique as a musician being so open with your fans?
RB: I used to think that way and social networking used to be very intimidating to me. Times have changed though and people want to know more about you, where you’re from and why you write these songs. The more I’ve gotten into it the more comfortable I have become. With my involvement now it kind of feels like I’m not playing to complete strangers anymore every night. You can learn a little bit more about your fans and what their expectations are. I’m still kind of experimenting with it, learning my boundaries and figuring out my safe boundaries with it. At the end of the day I think fans appreciate getting to know who you are and I appreciate getting to know them as well.
STEAM: For your upcoming show, how do you put together a set list which I’m sure will incorporate elements of the new album with your award winning material?
RB: I like to feel out what the crowd is aside from a general set list. I would say that for a typical evening I like to live in the moment of what the feeling is. It’s always an experiment so things have a tendency to change from night to night.

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