A few years ago my band needed a bass player (again). We tried some cats from craigslist, but as you'd guess, we didn't have much luck. Oddly enough a friend of one of our past bass players recommended someone to us. She said she even brought him to see us a couple times and he was really into our band. So we got together and jammed and the dude (Ryan) was/is a player. You know right away. He was in other projects but since we weren't looking to go on any world tour anytime soon, we didn't need a strong commitment and had no issues whatsoever with his other projects, nor did we want to interfere with them in any way. I could go on about details of how things progressed with our band and the inner relationships within it, but to be short, we became close friends. My friends and I had just started our own label in order to have control over when, how, and what to do with our music so we pretty much had (and still do) a blank canvas of sorts to work with and to provide to artists and friends we really dig. We recorded a couple EPs with Ryan in our band The 65's and they came out great if I dare say so myself. Anyway, Ryan had been working on some solo material and he was kind enough to share some of it with me in simple demo form. Being as talented as he is, while I wasn't surprised at the quality of the songs, it did take me back a bit. Because they were like really fucking good. Not in any way trying to take the least bit credit, I did try to encourage him to iron out the songs, continue to work on them and flesh them out, and let him know that he had an open invite to put a record out on PVR (our label) if he was interested. He finished the record early this year and it was officially released on PVR in early May. It's been getting tons of great press and I couldn't be happier for him as well as for those who hear it. It's unique. It's intelligent. It's catchy. It's substantive. And it's in an odd acoustic punk format.
Sometimes (okay often at times) I reflect and think back, what if over the years I had put more time into a "real" career, and didn't spend so much time on so many music projects. But then I remember I met my amazing wife at a fucking dive bar at one of my shows and how it completely altered the course of my life, and all the lasting friendships I've made - almost all of my close friends are musicians or recording engineers, etc - and now, albeit in a small (yet stubbornly deliberate) way, our label has helped me expand my (our) network of friends. I've learned to feel as though I shine through them and their successes, mine being almost an afterthought at this point. I'm just happy to have amazing musicians to work with when I actually write something and want to record it. Enough about me though, the point of this is, music brought so many great people into my life, and Ryan is one of the most top notch of them all. Whatever small role I did to help him get his latest record together and out there is one of my better accomplishments. I not only released another amazing record on our label, I unexpectedly came out the other end with a really close friendship that I'm confident will last.
Check out the record here: https://www.tattoo.com/blog/scary-hours-drops-live-to-serve-lp