Written and Photographed by: Gemma Mastroianni
Ryley Patrick's passion for music began with his childhood through his fascination with the idea of 'Rockstardom.' As many do, he looked up to artists such as Slash and Jimi Hendrix. When he was ten years old, he begged his Dad for a guitar - and so it began.
His Father signed him up for guitar lessons and purchased him an Epiphone. He really wanted a Gibson Les Paul, but his Dad said no. They compromised on the Epiphone as it looks similar to a Gibson Les Paul. Ryley eventually moved onto Fenders, and doubts he'll be playing another guitar as he considers them a "classic."
As he got older he moved away from Classic Rock and dove into more complex artists such as The Cure and John Frusciante, who he claims shaped him and fit his mood as he got into his 'angsty teen years.'
I was curious about what caused his 'angsty teen years' and he credits those to the small town he grew up in which he described as divided, "It was never cool to be different, like different music, or not be "mainstream", or not play sports." He said he was not particularly bullied or picked on, but it was easy to be singled out as an outsider if you were 'different' in any way shape or form.
He plays pretty much every instrument but guitar is his favourite. On his debut album, The Disaster Plan, he plays all instruments other than drums, which are played by David Burke. "On the record, I played guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals. I do play the drums but I'm not at a point where I feel comfortable recording them."
He went through a transition phase following the break-up of his high-school band "The Deceived" where he had trouble finding music he liked to listen to. Last year, he referred back to some of his original inspirations, The Cure and John Frusciante. This inspired him to go for the various sounds that are on the album. "The record is a bit of a jumbled rollercoaster, and some could even call it unfocused, but it's a collaboration from all of my inspiration." In his track Eleanor, you can hear influences of metal, where-as the track "Talking to You" has more of a David Bowie sing-a-long vibe to it. Although the record goes in many different instrumental directions, the theme remains the same - women and heartbreak.
Ryley claims that he has never been able to write a happy song, but considers this his weakness. Although "Talking to You" sounds happy, it's a pretty sad song. Each song on The Disaster Plan is about a different relationship ranging from romantic, family, and friends. Although it is a bit of a vague explanation, he claims that if you are in his inner circle you will likely know who every song is about.
"I think I'll continue to get heartbroken for the rest of my life, but it isn't as sad as it sounds because it helps me continue to find inspiration. Yeah, I do listen to a lot of happy music, but I don't think I could write about that at this point in my life. I write about being a hopeless romantic and the next record, and the record after that, it will likely be about the same thing."
He just got back from Europe where he played at some intimate shows at different bars and homes. Why in Europe? He traveled through Europe by himself last year and fell in love with adventure, and the way that Europeans process art,
"They're a lot more open and accepting of art than Canada is. Toronto is an awesome and accessible city for art and it's more appreciated here than other cities in Canada, but it's nowhere near the level of acceptance it is in places like London, Berlin, or Amsterdam. European crowds are more tentative. If you play a random bar here in Toronto, people don't really care and will talk over you. When you do this in London, everyone shuts up. It doesn't matter if there are five people or 50, everyone listens and gives respect."
What's next? His last album was written by himself and produced by longtime friend Max Ross, but his upcoming record will include his live band in the creative process, "It will be more of a team effort, which will be interesting. It's exciting!"
The band played their first show at The Diezel Room in Oshawa a couple of months ago. It was a sold-out energetic show with tons of people dancing and moshing. Catch their next performance with Patiohawk on November 9th at The Atria in Oshawa.