I know, I know. Ryan Cabrera on a blog devoted to indie music, country music and indie films is strange and out of place. But alas the opportunity arose and sure enough, Cabrera is a guilty pleasure of yours truly. So without further ado, here’s 10 quick questions with the gold-selling poster boy.
RMP: So you’re headlining Bamboozle. Was that a surprise? A shock? Where were you when you found out? Do you remember your reaction?
Ryan: It’s definitely a honor to play the festival because I am a fan of it. My friends played it last year and I remember going to see them and having such a great time. The founder saw me and was like we ‘gotta get you playing here next year’ and that’s how it all came about. So it’s pretty rad that it worked out
RMP: Why is Bamboozle a good launching pad for your upcoming album, as opposed to a standard tour?
Ryan: Well it’s such a hype for kids.. I have gotten so much feedback from people who were stoked that they saw I was playing and it got them excited to find out that I was writing a new album. I have been taking my time and not trying to force a new album and with that I think it makes people more interested. Instead of just throwing out songs, I am really trying to bring a great record that will hopefully be refreshing if ya know what I mean?
RMP: What can you tell us about the new album? Any surprises? Anything people might not expect?
Ryan: Nothing too crazy, I’m trying not to let anything affect the songs I am writing. It has already gone in so many different directions but I think keeping it really has brought a little of an old school feel to it. Like, where radio was years ago, I think was a killer place, and I personally miss that sound, so I’m not trying to steer away from it and over produce it.
RMP: Printz Board, a founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, lends his talents to the new record. What can you say about working with him, what did he bring to the table that nobody else did? How did you two get together?
Ryan: We have been friends for a while. He’s a monster. We have lots to do together
RMP: You recently got off a tour in Europe and Asia. Aside from the language barrier, what makes gigs in Europe and Asia so different? Do you prefer it? Are there anything about the shows that are better than American gigs?
Well it’s definitely different. They really appreciate music and listen. They were there not just to see your face but to hear your songs. There is something overseas in the air that just lives music. I thought the language barrier in a lot of the areas was fun cause it made it everything new. Like I had to earn their laughter.
RMP: You were a frequent guest star on the MTV series The Hills. Was acting something you’ve always wanted to do? Would you consider doing it again, or are you just focused on music for now?
Ryan: I do love acting but that was really just something I did because me and my girlfriend at the time didn’t get to spend too much time together. She was always filming and I was always in the studio so we combined the two to make it work. I tried to stay away from that show but if we wanted to spend time together it seemed like the only solution.
RMP: Artists always grow from one album to the next and talk about the maturation process and having learned so much in the time in between releases. What two things stand out to you in terms of your maturation and evolution as a songwriter from The Moon Under Water to now?
Ryan: Experience changes everything. Obviously the more and more you do, the more you learn. I have seen and done so many things at this point in my life that I have never done previously and it makes you wiser. I still have a long way to go but I would like to think that every album will get better and better. I just try to keep it as organic and real as possible.
RMP: You’ve cited the Dave Matthews Band as a childhood influence. Are you still a fan of the band? What was it about their sound that made you want to pick up the guitar?
Ryan: Yes I will always be a fan. The way he plays the guitar and the way each member of the band brings something so unique always draws me in. Dave was my first guitar teacher. I just watched the way he played and it made me wanna play things differently. It’s funny cause I tend to write pop melodies but still my music will always have a element of Dave in it whether people recognize it or not.
RMP: List five CDs that you’re currently listening in heavy rotation.
Ryan: First one is Phoenix 1901, second is Michael Jackson Dangerous, third is an album by Michael Buble, but I forget the name. Fourth is John Mayer’s Room for Squares, and the last one is Jeff Buckley’s Grace.
RMP: As someone who has lived his life in the limelight for the better part of the last seven years, do you have any opinions on the Charlie Sheen debacle?