This small talk is sure to stay with you. RYTERBAND is a strong inspiration as well as a -not to be afraid to show himself- vulnerable individual. You can notice that in his perceptions, his music, and the way he tells a story. He is a versatile person with a divergent background. He has sharpened his skills in music as a singer and songwriter.
We spoke to the LA-based songwriter and producer about one of his most recent releases, ‘Camouflage:’
‘Camouflage’ is a song that comes to confront us with our truth, no matter if we hide our authentic selves in an effort to gain greater social acceptance. The costs of camouflaging our true personality and emotions can add up exponentially, causing us to experience a sense of loss, anxiety, and depression. This is what he has to say about Camouflage:
What was the idea behind your latest song “Camouflage”?
I wanted to tell the story of a person who was trapped in their own inhibition, and just beginning to realize it. I spent so many young years feeling fake, stuck, and un-expressed, it was something I knew how to talk about. There’s longing, numbness, and a very sweet sort of sadness that almost feels good—as if the heart is meant to ache, rather than to get what it wants. This is what I was trying to express.
Have you ever ignored your pain, minimized your sorrow, or lied about it to yourself by masking it?
When I was younger, I didn’t really feel much emotional pain at all. I was very cerebral—kinda numb. I lived a bunch of years that way. Ignorance is bliss, you know?
The lyrics mention: ‘It hurts to be half way / like I’m stuck behind the frame.’ What does this line represent in your journey?
This line is about a period when my own ignorance started to break down—sometime after college, I started meditating, and I started feeling more. I started to realize all the discomfort I was pushing down, but I didn’t yet know how to live in a way that wouldn’t cause more of it.
In the song, you talk about saying something to keep the door open. What’s the symbolism behind this choice of words?
The song isn’t just about hiding from one’s pain, it’s about the effect that has on a relationship. At this point, the very singer is watching his relationship slip away at the hands of his own inaction and resistance. He wants to let his partner know that he’s still interested and that he’s trying to open up.
The chorus repeats the phrase “Tell me why I fight to stay alone.” How significant is the concept of staying alone in the song’s narrative?
A fundamental feature of insecure people is the difficulty of maintaining intimate relationships. Some people isolate out of fear of connection, or because they think they’re better off alone. Others dive in too fast, lack boundaries, and often wind up alone when the relationship they’ve created implodes. The common theme though is aloneness—not the healthy sort, like doing something on your own, spending time by yourself, etc., but rather, aloneness that is compelled, forced on a person by unhealed wounds.
Could you share insights into your creative process while crafting the music to match the emotional depth of the lyrics?
When I’m producing music, I’m listening for the sound that makes me feel something. Sometimes it’s goosebumps or a sudden rush of tears. Music has a way of sneaking underneath our armor, or numbness, and evoking feeling—I think that’s one of the earliest things I loved about it, as a kid who didn’t feel much. So as I’m producing, I’m listening and feeling and letting the song tell me where to go next. Particularly with the chords in the chorus, I was so moved by the progression, and the words are so tragic, the combination of beauty and tragedy seemed to perfectly encapsulate one aspect of the human experience.
How has your journey of self-discovery and recovery influenced you as an artist and as a person?
At this point, I know—basically—who I am. I know what “authenticity” means. I think that’s the only reason I can write lyrics that don’t sound cheesy (at least, sometimes). I think that’s the only reason I can get out of my head and into the timeless, selfless place that good music comes from (again, sometimes). Also—if I hadn’t sorted out a lot of my shit—through therapy, meditation, and a lot of practice out in the world—I never would have had the courage to create this body of work in the first place.
What are your expectations about the impact of “Camouflage” will be on your audience?
I hope it gives people the chills the way it does for me. Generally, I just want my music to touch people, and inspire them. I want to connect with others, through music, in this magical place where we’re feeling mysterious things and we don’t know exactly why. So…that’s the impact I’m hoping for.
Let’s talk about your album “Echoes.” How and when was it born? What does it consist of?
Echoes is just four songs. They’ll all be out by the new year. And…little secret—these tracks weren’t originally meant to be put together, even though I wrote them at the same time. They are just four songs that I decided to finish, which I grew to really love. It wasn’t until after I decided to release them that I realized that they are all milestones, or perspectives, on psychological healing.
What meaning does this album have for you?
It’s a completion for me—the other half of what RYTERBAND seems to have to say after the first EP came out. It’s also a celebration and honoring of this spiritual and emotional journey I’ve been on. I’m excited to get it out because I feel really free to write and explore what comes next, after this.
After letting your guard down and exposing the raw emotions of your soul to your audience, do you consider that being vulnerable shows some sort of weakness or the complete opposite?
I think most artists hold exposing the raw emotions of their souls as a sort of benchmark for quality. And then of course we all have limits to what in ourselves we can actually access, and how often. Myself included. But yeah—probably obvious at this point—I think vulnerability is beautiful and incredibly powerful.
To conclude, can you issue any hint about the upcoming project that you have been working on for the future? Tell us what is next for RYTERBAND.
Oh gosh, there’s a bunch of stuff coming up. The Echoes EP includes two incredible videos (the first of which comes out along with song #2, Lies, at the end of this week)! Then I have a set of remixes in the works for 2024. I’m also working on a few collaborations at the moment that I can’t name specifically but I’ll say it’s more melodic house stuff—for anyone who’s into that side of what I do. It’s gonna be a great 12 months!
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