AA: Hey Ryan! We heard you have new music dropping soon. Describe it in 5 words or less.
RRLK: Dynamic Melodic Progressive Cerebral Rock
AA: What do you hope listeners walk away with after hearing your music?
RRLK: We are mourning the loss of Rush's drummer Neil Peart, a titan in the industry and the consummate musician's musician and lyricist. I want to help carry on his message...to think deeply, not accept things at face value, and to treat each other with kindness and dignity. The disc is called Occam's Foil, and it is a play on the famous theory of Occam's Razor, which posits that the most simple answer is usually the correct one. I call B.S.! Father William of Ockham was a medieval priest in England, and I think his theory was a play on not questioning the church, which was all-powerful and omniscient at that time. I think that we should question everything, find alternate solutions, and take time to listen to people with whom you might not agree. That's how we progress as people. Peart railed about this on Rush's breakthrough album, 2112. He was inspired by the controversial author Ayn Rand. That spirit of individualism and liberty of heart and mind permeate my music, my lyrics, and hopefully diffuses into the hearts of our listeners as well.
AA: We know you are not only a talented musician but also a songwriter, how do you work through periods when you can’t seem to come up with any ideas? Do you have any tips to work through writers block?
RRLK: I have a degree in Creative Writing and was a high school English teacher down in Texas for a couple years (right around the time I released Legacy of Fools in 2008). You'd think that part of the education was an emphasis on pushing through writer's block, but it wasn't. As much as I'd like to think their is an endless supply of Rocket Fuel, I run into times when I can't write a damn word that makes any sense or doesn't sound like the worst cliche ever. And sometimes I have an idea that seems so powerful and fresh, but I will go back and listen to my back-catalog and realize that I have already expressed the exact same sentiment in a previous song. SO FRUSTRATING! I draw inspiration from the joy and pain of my past, the possibilities of the future, and my love for my family and friends. I also read and watch the news. The first song on the album, "Hate Counter," was definitely inspired by current events in El Paso, our recording city and my former hometown. The shooting at Walmart in July of 2019 and the filthy camps where migrant children were separated from their families drove us to write a very angry song. But it ends on a note of "Hope and Love..."
AA: When you need to get your creative juices flowing – what is something you do?
RRLK: A stroll through Manhattan, a hike through the Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware, and a period of reflection on what is moving me at that given time always does the trick. As I said, I do draw inspiration from the news, politics, literature, and music. Sometimes I have to isolate myself, so I walk with noise-cancelling headphones on with no music and just the sound of my breathing. Invariably, the words and melodies come.
AA: If you can only listen to one song on repeat for a month – what are you choosing?
Let's go with "It's A Dream" by Neil Young from his album Prairie Wind. The mood it sets and the string arrangements stretch that song from 6 and a half minutes to seemingly an hour. Love it.
You can find all of the last 5 Little Kings records available on their CD Baby store at https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/LittleKing. The Faithful FOLK ( that's “Friends Of Little King”) can find them @littlekingtunes for both FB and IG, and our web site is www.littlekingtunes.com.