Ryan Hamilton - Interview
Posted by Guest Writer on Wed, 03 Jul 2013.
Texas-based Indie artist and one half of People on Vacation, Ryan Hamilton's solo career has recently kicked off with great force following the split from his former band, Smile Smile. Following his UK House Party Tour, the Bowling for Soup acoustic tour and new single, 'Stone by Stone' being produced, he catches up with us via an email interview.
How did the split from your former band, 'Smile Smile' come about?
The music business is a tough one. We weren't seeing eye-to-eye with our former management, and the record label had a different vision for our last album (Marry a Stranger). It's hard enough to be in a band with your ex-fiancé. Not being on the same page with the people in charge of our career was the ultimate deal breaker. It was sad, but it has given me the opportunity to focus on People on Vacation and finally pursue a solo career.
The UK House Party earlier this year was an awesome concept. How did you come up with the idea?
Thanks! That tour got a lot of unexpected attention. I wanted to do something different for theUKfolks. I also wanted to guarantee that I was playing for people who knew, appreciated and like the music I make. I didn't want to come back over to the UK and play in big venues that were half full... and attempt to sing over people who had no interest in what I was doing. So, I found a way to create intimate, fun, memorable nights with some amazing people.
How did UK House Party tour go? Any favourite venues and stand-out moments?
It was AMAZING. I still get emails from people who attended. Every night was perfect. The drinks were flowing. We had sing a longs. Lots of laughs and lots of good music. In fact, it went so well, we're doing it again next year! ... but more about that soon enough :-)
You seem to have a lovely new Geordie lady in your life how did that come about? We're all dying for a gushy love story over here.
Holly [Scarlett] and I met on the People on Vacation/Bowling for Soup UK acoustic tour in 2012. She came to a show... with her Mom. Haha. So, we didn't get to pursue anything then and there, but we definitely both felt a crazy, real connection. We kept in touch online. Tweets and Facebook posts, turned to lengthy emails and messages. Those messages led to LONG conversations via Skype. It was amazing to get to know each other that way. We were forced to really TALK to each other. Early this year I did the very first Ryan Hamilton UK House Party Tour. Not only was that a ground-breaking, unique experience and tour. Holly came to a few shows and we got to spend some time together... nearly a year after we first met. Truth is, and I know it's a little cheesy to say, I feel like I'm in the middle of my own, real life, love story.
How do you think you've developed as an artist since you first started out?
I've learned that it's important to stay true to who you really are as an artist and ignore whatever is "fashionable" or "cool" at the moment. Moments pass. I want to make music that lasts. I think I've finally found MY voice, and I've really hit my stride as a songwriter. A lot of it has to do with working with Jaret. He's taught me that it's important to believe in yourself and be confident. He's also taught me how to important it is to have FUN.
A lot of bands and artists are using web-hosted platforms, like StageIt, to put on concerts, even from the comfort of their own home. Do you prefer this method to live venues in any way?
I've embraced StageIt, and I love it! That being said, performing to a computer, instead of a live audience, did take some getting used to. Haha. Seriously though, how cool is it to be able to play a show for friends and fans all across the world AT THE SAME TIME. So cool.
Did you ever want to do anything other than music? If so, what was it and did you do anything towards it?
Not really. I had several jobs, but was always trying to figure out what I wanted to do, or be. Once I got bit with the music bug - that was it. I got a late start in the music business, but once I started I didn't stop. No looking back now. It's what I feel I was put on this earth to do. I can only hope I work as hard as I can and people like what I do. So far... so good. crosses fingers
Have you got any band or artist you're particularly into right now?
Frank Turner and Noel Gallagher... always and forever ;-)
The last time we caught up, you mentioned that you'd like to do a little more with People on Vacation, what are you guys up to at the moment?
I feel like People on Vacation is going to take over the world!! Haha. I know the Bowling for Soup farewell tour is bittersweet, and it's going to be sad to say goodbye to such an amazing live band. However, with Smile Smile breaking up and BFS not touring anymore it gives Jaret [Reddick] and I the possibility to make POV a priority. We're discussing our game plan, but we have BIG THINGS in mind for the future.
What would you say, if anything, your life philosophy is?
I don't know if I have any "life philosophy", but I do think it's important to follow your heart and your dreams. Find something you're good at and you love to do... and do it forever. If you stick with it, it may get hard, but I truly believe it'll all work out and you'll get to live a life doing what you love.
Ryan's new single "Stone by Stone" comes out on July 4th. The exclusive preview of the video is being released tomorrow, so don't forget to check it out!
Interview by Dannii Campbell-Logan