Singer-songwriter Ryan Traster was born and bred in Minneapolis, and moved to Brooklyn three years ago to further along his music career. Regardless of the move, Traster -- always a Minneapolis folk and roots scene favorite -- has been frequenting the Cities; it appears you can take the boy out of the Midwest, but you can't keep him out.
Traster is coming back to Minneapolis this weekend to play the 7th St. Entry, and Gimme Noise caught up with the smooth-voiced artist for a refresh.[jump]
Hey Ryan. So, how's it going it New York? How do you feel about the music scene there?
(Laughs) Well, truthfully, I don't even like it all that much. I basically moved with delusions of grandeur, like everyone does, you know... Last year I moved to L.A. for about five months, and that was great, I really liked the vibe there, and I really wanted to stay, but somehow I just ended up back here (in Brooklyn). I'm trying to move back there eventually, we'll see.
As far as the scene... you know, I play around maybe once or twice a month, but the music scene is much different here. Loud is better in New York... But the shows I play do go over well. There's a small scene here for folk, and I guess I'm not really folk, but you know. Would you ever move back to Minneapolis? Well, you know, I had just been living there for so long... Minneapolis just felt kind of dormant. Being out here is a lot more of a struggle, and I find a lot more material. I have a little more to go on.
Your last release was close to year ago, with your Tourists EP. It fits the Americana genre solidly, but I know this isn't a sound you've always been working in. How do you approach your music?
I just pretty much wander all the time, and I get a melody in my head and then I write about it. I figure out what it means later. (Laughs)
Growing up, what kind of music were you interested in? Was it always roots music?
The first memory I have of listening to music is when I was taking a road trip with my Mom and listening to Simon and Garfunkel and the Doors, and I remember my mom telling me the sort of folklore surrounding Jim Morrison. In high school, I picked up the record Wrecked Your Life by the Old 97's, and I was listening to a lot of the Velvet Underground. I was really into their hushed sound, and from then on it was kind of like, "Oh, I get it."
Do you have anything planned going forward, any new releases?
I've got a new EP coming out in October called Good Hearts. There's five songs, and for this one I had a lot to tinker with--horns and tons of instruments. It's kind of sparse, but... not really... I want to say it's like spars and dense at the same time, but that doesn't make sense. I've got a release show planned right now for late October or maybe early September in Minneapolis, and then maybe touring around. We'll see.
Awesome! Okay, final question: what are you most looking forward to about your show at the Entry?
I'm really looking forward to playing with the band again, just rehearsing with those guys an hour before the show and then playing it. It just feels great, how music should be--very organic.
Ryan Traster and his band will be playing at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. $6 cover.
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