Interview: Bek Grealy
‘Buy the Ticket, take the Ride’ The Black Ryder‘s Scott Von Ryper (SVR) talks with Bek Grealy (BG)
The Black Ryder album ‘Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride’ out on ‘The Anti Machine Machine’ and EMI, November 2009
BG: How’s the live music scene working out for you at the moment? Had any recent gigs?
SVR: No we haven’t actually, we have a show coming up in Melbourne in mid November, and we had an exhibition in Sydney at the Monster Children Gallery, with a pre album listening party and the photos shown were taken from our video clip shoot. It gave the attendees a chance to listen to the sounds before the album is launched.
BG: Did any of the content, or ideas come from the previous band you both worked together in, “The Morning After Girls” to establish The Black Ryder?
SVR: No, I don’t think so, the bands are very different musically, and Aimee and I joined The Morning After Girls a little later on, so they already had a pretty clear direction. Whereas the Black Ryder, we are the creators, we write the music and we record it.
BG: I see you’ve struck up a deal with Original Matters & EMI music; can you explain this great initiative, as you appear to be one of the first bands to travel down this unique path.
SVR: Well it’s pretty great, in the end it’s a deal that feels so perfect for us. It means we can release our album using our own label, but subsequently with the backing of EMI Music Australia. So we created our own label the Anti Machine Machine and then struck up a deal with our managing company and marketing department to have EMI Music Australia work in with us. It means we have complete creative control and also control over not just the content of the album but how we present the album to the public when it’s released.
We pretty much get to have our own say or have complete control in the entire process and not just the creative side.
BG: Tell us a bit about your new album (‘Buy the Ticket, take the Ride’) that hits the shelves in the first week in November, what was the inspiration behind it?
SVR: The inspiration is really when Aimee and I split from The Morning After Girls, we immediately launched into this and we had a few very early rough demos hanging around with three very different songs. We had, already the basis of what we thought the sound should be, then in the first week, grabbing a band name and creating a page on MySpace with some music, which in turn had an overwhelming response. From there we began putting a studio together and also sorted out our instruments, because neither of us played the guitar in The Morning After Girls. I was the Bass Player for many years, and Aimee played guitar on occasions, but she also played keyboard and percussion. We thought it was really important for The Black Ryder, that we both play guitar as we will both sing and it is such a crucial part of the sound. It took a long period of time to assemble the gear and really hone our instruments and record. We wrote recorded and mixed at the same time because we had the studio in the house.
BG: Having the recording studio in your house, did you ever have the opportunity to invite some guests to play on your set or record some of your combined music?
SVR: Yeah for sure when we had people staying in the house, we had the opportunity to go into the studio and play or come up with different ideas and sounds and incorporate them into the music.
BG: Great, so have you recorded some of these guests in your new album?
SVR: Yeah there a couple of guests on the album. The person who appears the most would be our great friend Ricky Maymi from “The Brian Jonestown Massacre”. Ricky appeared on the set, for the first couple of tours when he happened to be in Australia. He was the third guitarist for The Black Ryder. We also have a drummer, Graham Bonnar who used to play in a band called Swervedriver, who Aimee and I are big fans of. Then towards the end of the process, Peter Hayes from “The Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club” started playing the harmonica and put some guitar parts down. What I really love is that he sings with Aimee on a track of ours called ‘Burn and Fade’.
BG: It must be such an honour to have such great muso’s as friends who can step into your music to produce some extraordinary sounds.
SVR: Yeah, it’s pretty lovely, it’s great to have just Aimee and I, so we have the ability to choose what we want. But it’s also lovely that your friends show an interest in what you are doing and what you are creating that they want to be a part of it and play in your album. Of course Aimee and I are fans of all of those bands.
BG: Is the shoe on the other foot, where you appear on their album or set?
SVR: Not as yet, we haven’t done anything like that, but there might be something like that in the pipeline. Which I cannot really talk about just yet. Let’s just say there is something in the works.
BG: So The Black Ryder is set to launch their new album, does that mean you’ll be hitting the road?
SVR: Yes we will be doing a gig in November, and we are also thinking of doing a few festivals early next year. We hope to get overseas mid to late next year and do a few tours over there.
BG: I was just looking on your MySpace page and noticed quite a few followers from overseas and some great feedback on your music. I think your music is very different to what they hear now, it’s psychedelic it’s very intimate sounding and so beautiful, but you’ve also got that touch of heavy incorporated into the sound. It’s very unique.
SVR: Yes, when you hear that word unique being used about our music it’s liberating, because obviously every artist strive to have their music sound unique. And the fact that, if you listen to our album each of our songs are very different to each other and sound different and it’s lovely that people recognise that.
BG: Just a couple of random questions.
BG: When you were 6 years of age, did you know you were or wanted to be a musician?
SVR: Yes, I always knew it, I played in a band at the age 12, and found myself setting up a drum kit in the bathroom and annoying my parents recording stuff. I always knew what I wanted to do. I knew it was hard to break into it. So when I was young I touched on the engineering side to become more grounded and experienced with that side of things. So when we started with The Black Ryder we were prepared for this.
BG: And finally what’s the next big thing for The Black Ryder?
SVR: We are very much excited about the film clip that we just shot. That’s going to be released in the next couple of days. IT’s so beautiful and we have had a relationship with the director for the last couple of years. He approached us to direct a film clip, as he was very passionate about our music, but we had to turn him away due to the lack of funds. We thought it would be the last that we heard of him however he stuck around and we became really close friends. There is mutual respect. We collectively produced an incredible film clip as a result of this closeness.
We are also focusing on gigs around the country and overseas and also releasing the new album.
BG: Scott, you have been an absolute pleasure to talk to and I appreciate your openness and flowing answers, you appear extremely passionate about The Black Ryder. We’re looking forward to seeing you live.
miss aimeé nash
scott von ryper
The Black Ryder album ‘Buy the Ticket, take the Ride’ available November 2009