SPEAKING from his hometown in Texas, USA, former Smile Smile and People On Vacation member Ryan Hamilton spoke to Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Smith ahead of his first UK headline tour…
Describing his music as ‘Better than Bieber’ singer song-writer Ryan Hamilton describes feelings of nerves and excitement ahead of his first UK headline tour as a solo artist. Despite being a crucial member of Smile Smile and People On Vacation, he admits he his “freaking out a little” given he is going solo this time around.
With the release of tracks online and positive reviews meeting the release of his album ‘Hell of a Day’, the nerves may just be all in his head. However, in preparation for the tour, fans can attend a warm up gig, in Bolton of all places.
The venue is not the Bolton Hall though. But is instead at a fan’s house.
Reflecting at the very premise of the gig, Hamilton added: “I hate that word, “fan”. So let’s use friend instead”
Describing his views on modern day music, it’s clear that Hamilton has a firmly rooted ideology of what and how the music industry should be. Distancing himself from the high-flying pop artists that dominate much of the charts, he expresses his deep-rooted belief in tickets being affordable ‘to everyone who wants to attend’.
“I see WAY TOO MANY of my musical peers getting greedy these days. Charging an arm and a leg for tickets. As long as I can pay for the tour, put food on the table and take care of my wife, I’m happy. I can’t stand all the greed in the music business.”
The start of 2016 has seen the passing of some of music and films biggest contributors, including David Bowie and Warrington indie band Viola Beach. In Hamilton’s music video for track ‘Records and Needles’, a homage to the late legend can be seen.
“Bowie passing really had an effect on me” he admits. “If we keep losing all of the REAL rock stars, the music business is going to end up more lost and confused than it is now!
“Noel Gallagher better live forever!
“For a young band [like Viola Beach], seemingly on their way to do great things, to lose their chance, and their lives, so early… it just seems so unfair. It breaks my heart.”
With the Bolton house party an intimate acoustic performance, fans attending Manchester’s Sound Control performance can expect the binary opposite, with Hamilton promising a “fun sweaty rock ‘n’ roll show”. Adding it will be similar to “an old, Texas style saloon where everyone is having drinks, singing, dancing and having the time of their lives”. For those who still can’t comprehend what the gig will be, the Texan advises that ‘you’ll just have to come to the show’.
Speaking of Texas and band influences, whilst browsing YouTube videos eagle eyed viewers may well notice Bowling for Soup front man Jaret Reddick alongside Hamilton. This is due to the pair forming a super group under the name of People on Vacation. His band, Smile Smile, even opened up for Reddick’s Bowling for Soup, despite revealing he ‘wasn’t really a fan’.
“It’s funny, because Jaret and I became friends, ended up touring together, started a band together, and I grew to really love his songs,” says Ryan.
“I don’t know if there’s any influence, necessarily, but I definitely learned how to better write, fun, poppier songs from Jaret.”
A solo artist he now may be, but fans should not confuse the American for just another Ed Sheeran. Shining light onto the situation, he revealed he still has a band. The difference now, however, being a new found pressure which he describes as rewarding in seeing his creations do well.
“I’m really enjoying the freedom of doing things on my own. No bossy, greedy “managers” or big record label trying to squeeze every possible penny out of me.”
Embracing his inner Braveheart, he then yells “FREEEEEDOM!”
By Nathan Smith
You can catch Ryan’s new found freedom on his tour where tickets are available at his site.