Q&A: The Dan Ryan Discusses February Residency at Stay Gold

In May of last year, The Dan Ryan released its self-titled, debut LP, a collection of songs that merged noisy, echoing aesthetics with acoustic sensibilities. Since then the band has been at work on new material, of which we’ve been granted an early preview. And we very much like what we heard. That’s good news for you, dear music lover, as you have several opportunities to see the band during their residency at Stay Gold throughout February and early March. The band kicked off the string of shows last Thursday and will again perform at the East Cesar Chavez venue tomorrow, February 9, as well as February 16 and March 2. The Dan Ryan’s second LP will be out this summer. Frontman for the band Nathan Dixey took time this week to respond to a few questions, which you can read below, following the stream of “Fleeting” from the band’s first LP.

Pop Press INTL: Your new songs have moved in a significantly more psychedelic direction. What inspired that?

Nathan Dixey: I have always been into psychedelic music because of its textures; the arpeggiated synthesizers and weird organ sounds with lots of shakers and tribal drumming.  This genre of rock has always kept me engaged, regardless of length or repetition.  There’s a metaphysical element to it.  So, being moved by lots of different psychedelic artists, I wanted to attempt my own incarnation of psychedelic and perhaps offer something new to it.

PPI: What are the benefits to a residency vs a usual show?

ND: For residencies, we have longer set times.  This allows us to play covers or songs that would not regularly be part of a 50 minute set. This also affords a greater ‘arch’ to the whole performance.  We can start real soft and ease our way into to the heavier/louder stuff before finally end the set on a soft note again.  For this residency, I want to have our guests join The DanRyan on stage for a cover each night.  This makes each residency performance a little more special.  We’re also recording all the sets for a live release at some point.

PPI: is there something your live set has that people might not get from your recorded songs?

ND: I think the live set allows us to stretch some songs a little further and pack a little more energy into them than their recorded versions.  Our live group tries to get really vibey and veer away from the traditional song structures of the record, extending the ends of some of the songs and make them ethereal.

PPI: What inspires your songs, other than other music or artists?

ND: The majority of these new songs had specific places attached to them, although only one title alludes to this connection.  That one is called “Meditation Lake McDonald”, which is named after an enormous lake in Glacier National Park.  Many of these songs have been inspired by times spent in nature or the national parks, especially Moab, Big Bend, and the Yosemite Area. The lyrical content comes from somewhere else, but I attempt to place the listener in a musical environment inspired by the natural environment.

PPI: Who are you favorite Austin artists to play with?

ND: I always love playing with Marmalakes.  I love their live energy.  Also, RF Shannon and The Dan Ryan have played together and shared members a number of times, so it’s always great to play with them.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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