[This is the first in a weekly series of short interviews with local artists, musicians, movers, shakers, and the locally infamous. We start with a man who fits all of the above descriptions, our good friend singer/songwriter Ryan Lawson- ed.]
photo by Levi Bouska
If you like Robert Johnson, Will Oldham, and Jim Beam, you should probably also like Ryan Lawson. Lawson’s songs have the haunted sound of an ozark moonshiner in mourning, which makes his whole “super friendly and generally not at all frightening” personality seem somewhat counter-intuitive. In the hopes of getting to the bottom of this, we sent him this short list of questions, and are happy to report that we are still utterly baffled.
1) Sex, drugs or rock n’ roll?
Rock n’ Roll, of course (it includes the others, doesn’t it?).
2) Lou, Iggy, or David?
Meh, none of them are really my style.
3) Top five favorite local bands?
In no particular order:
-Purple Church (these guys will fit your psychedelic fix)
-Brad Fielder (he’ll fit your singing and song writing fix)
-Black Canyon (they’ll fit your all around good feeling fix)
-JV’s Filling Station (these fellas and one lady will fit you bluegrass dancing fix)
-John Wayne’s Bitches (well, they’d take care of your punk rock fix if they’d ever do another dern show!)
4) Top five favorite non-local bands?
-Possessed by Paul James (he’ll inspire you and make you stop thinking all at once)
-Jalan Crossland (he’ll get you out of your seat quicker than most)
-Jimi Hendrix (really, there’s no explanation needed here)
-Townes Van Zandt (he’ll make you remember the good and the bad times)
-Guy Clark (he’ll make you want to buy a Randall Knife and some Black Diamond Strings)
5) Top five favorite films?
-25th Hour (first Hollywood film done in NYC post 9-11 and it’s heavy as hell on the mind)
-One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (the book is better, but the movie is awesome)
-The Motorcycle Diaries (The experiences that got Che Guevara aiming to change things. It’s a damn beautiful movie, too, from the soundtrack to the cinematography)
-Gummo (“This baker, had gravy on his vest, gravy on his tie, gravy on his pants, gravy all over him. So he went to his grave, with gravy on his vest, gravy on his tie, gravy on his pants, gravy all over him. That dirty old man!”)
– The Big Lebowski (“That rug really tied the room together…”)
6) Top five favorite artists?
I’m naming locals here:
-Rawb Carter (He’ll give you a kick ass tattoo)
-Josh Reynolds (Hey, so will he!)
-Erin Elise (Flier queen and all around bad ass)
-Erica Nichols (She’s really good at painting scabs and stuff)
-Frank Kozik (okay, I lied, I didn’t name only locals…)
7) Favorite website?
The Oatmeal is pretty funny, I suppose.
8) Favorite 405 hang-out spot?
I’m all over. The 405 is my favorite all around!
9) Favorite local restaurant?
I’m pretty partial to the Jalapeño chow-chow on the burgers at Iron Starr.
10) What projects are you working on right now?
Outside of trying to wrangle in the final tracks of a new album, I’ve started studying to be a luthier!